History & Heritage

Planning and development

Wybalena Grove was established in 1974 by the Cook-Aranda  Cooperative Housing Society. The Cooperative was formed at a time when there was interest in alternative forms of housing and when there was an influx of people CACHSmasterplanp1moving to Canberra from other places. The origins of this interest resulted from a complex interaction of factors. Some wanted to explore the idea of 'living cooperatively'. Another group saw the Cooperative as a means to reduce building costs by using the same materials and building at the same time.

The Urambi Village Cooperative was established first and this was soon followed by the Cook-Aranda Cooperative.

For articles describing Wybalena Grove and Urambi Village and a biographical note on Michael Dysart who was the architect of both developments and a practitioner of the Sydney Regional style go to the links.

In 1978 Fay Steven wrote a paper: The Cook-Aranda Housing Co-Operative which gives an early picture of the development of Wybalena Grove from various perspectives.

See  Promotional Images for some background to the time of the establishment of the Cook-Aranda Housing Society.



In the 1970s Wybalena Grove was conceived, designed, and built by the Cook-Aranda Cooperative Housing Society (CACHS). In 2009 Karina West prepared a paper titled Cultural heritage - Significance assessment -
Wybalena Grove, Cook, ACT
  (PDF, 4.3MB*)  as an assessment piece for ANU's Cultural and Environmental 
Heritage course for which she received a high distinction. Karina's lecturer recommended that it be used as an
application to propose Wybalena Grove for the ACT Heritage list. Karina would not herself seek to obtain a heritage listing. If members of the Corporation wished to pursue this she may be able to assist.

*Please note: The file is very large, Downloading, particularly on a slow connection, may take several minutes.



Face to face with the fenceless society

An article by architect Roger Pegrum - The Weekend Australian - 5 November 1977

"Fewer Australians every year can afford to build their own home. Even if they can arrange for the floor plan and internal space to suit them, there is little hope that the street will be visually harmonious or provied a safe area for children...."

Click here (PDF, 2pp,  436kB) to read Roger Pegrum's account of the development of the Urambi and Cook-Aranda (Wybalena Grove) housing developments and Michael Dysart's recollections as their architect.