Gazetted in 1966, Phillip is a suburb located at the centre of the Canberra district of Woden Valley. It contains the district’s main commercial centre, Woden Town Centre. The suburb is named after Admiral Arthur Phillip, chosen in 1786 to lead the expedition destined for Botany Bay. After reaching the Bay on 18 January 1788, he became the first Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of New South Wales. He also discovered and settled Sydney Cove at Port Jackson. Accordingly, the streets in Phillip use names associated with the First, Second and Third Fleets. The streets in the Swinger Hill locality, also in Phillip, are named after architects.
As the commercial and geographical centre of Woden, Phillip contains many of the district’s key facilities. As well as the Woden Town Centre, which includes the Westfield Woden shopping centre, a bus interchange and the Lovett Tower (the tallest building in Canberra), it has its own commercial area located along Botany, Townshend and Parramatta Streets. The Southside campus of the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is located in the suburb, as is Eddison Park and the Woden Cemetery. Phillip also contains a number of sporting facilities, including the Phillip Enclosed Oval, several playing fields and the Phillip Swimming & Ice Skating Centre, which is home to the Canberra Knights of the Australian Ice Hockey League.
The locality of Swinger Hill is also within Phillip. It is often seen as a separate suburb or as part of nearby Mawson, because it is located away from the rest of Phillip, on the other side of Hindmarsh and Athllon Drive. The Swinger Hill development was built in the 1970s, some years after Phillip itself, as a suburb of mixed townhouses. Some of the houses in Barnett Close in Swinger Hill are listed by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects as significant twentieth century architecture.