Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published August 28th 2019
Living the Great Australian Dream in Lyons
For the majority of Canberrans, the suburb is where we live out the Great Australian Dream. It's in our suburbs where we raise families, go to school, play sport, shop for groceries, worship, potter about in our gardens, ride our bikes, mow lawns, walk our dogs, celebrate birthdays, and hibernate during the long, gloomy Canberra winter. It's in our suburbs where most of Canberra happens.
In this series of articles, I'll be featuring a few of Canberra's suburbs and pointing out my top five highlights of each suburb. If you're thinking of moving to a new suburb of Canberra or would like to explore a suburb of Canberra that you've never explored before, then read on.
Let's begin with LYONS.
LYONS Lyons is a suburb situated in the Woden Valley district south of the Canberra city centre. Like the suburbs of Chifley, Fisher, Reid, Holt, Deakin and many more in Canberra, Lyons is also named after a Prime Minister: Joseph Lyons. Joseph Lyons was Australia's tenth Prime Minister. He served in office from 1932 until his untimely death in 1939.
The suburb of Lyons sits comfortably alongside Oakey Hill Nature Reserve which runs along its western side and separates Woden Valley district from the Weston Creek district. Lyons is a snug, hilly suburb with all of its streets named after locations in Tasmania (due to Joseph Lyons' Tasmanian heritage and the fact that he was Premier of Tasmania from 1923-1928).
I chatted with four Lyons locals: Jessamine, Primrose, Laurel and Marigold.* And they shared with me the reasons why they absolutely love living in Lyons.
1. Location, location, location! "Lyons is centrally located and so easy to get to everything," Jessamine says. Laurel agrees. "I love the convenience," she says."We're close to Canberra City, Westfield Woden, and my work." And Primrose adds that she loves "being able to walk to the shops, the library, the Sunday farmers' markets, the movies or out to dinner."
The central location of Lyons is indeed one of its best features. It's within easy walking distance of the Woden town centre and a very short drive away from Canberra City Centre, and the Weston Creek district and its centre located at Cooleman Court. Lyons is also nestled alongside the Tuggeranong Parkway which easily connects the suburb with Tuggeranong further south and Belconnen and Gungahlin to the north.
2. Stand By Me café. Many of Canberra's suburbs are unique in the sense that they've been designed around local shops. Lyons is no exception. Its local shops are located at Lyons Place. And the main reason why Laurel, Primrose, Marigold and Jessamine (as well as plenty of other locals!) visit the Lyons shops is because of its fabulous, funky, family-run café,
Stand By Me. "Having previously lived in Kingston, it was important for us to be close to a good local café," Jessamine tells me. "We love Stand By Me!"
Stand By Me is open Monday-Friday from 7.00am-3.00pm, and Saturday-Sunday from 8.00am-2.00pm. Serving breakfast, lunch, and great coffee.
3. Lyons Early Childhood School Jessamine, Primrose, Marigold and Laurel all send their children to Lyons Early Childhood School (LECS). LECS is one of six schools in the ACT that follow the innovative early childhood school model. It caters for children from birth to 8 years, with programs offered for preschool to Year 2 including onsite childcare.
LECS fosters amongst its students strong, positive relationships, a play-based pedagogy and community connection and involvement. LECS has a strong sense of community-building, with the school's Parents & Citizens Association actively involved in making the school a welcoming and friendly place. "We've enjoyed meeting many other families through the school community," Jessamine tells me.
4. Oakey Hill "I love being right by Oakey Hill for easy nature walks and runs," Marigold says. Primrose adds, "I love the nature surrounding us, the views and the native animals."
Oakey Hill Nature Reserve lies on the western side of Lyons and is a very popular place for locals. Because the reserve takes up a lot of space in the small suburb, nature is indeed all around Lyons. "I love the beautiful birds and wildlife we see," Laurel says. "We even had a kangaroo stroll past our front lawn one morning!"
A volunteer-run group, the Oakey Hill Parkcare Group, meets every third Sunday of the month to carry out conservation work on Oakey Hill. New members are always welcome to help the group preserve and protect the reserve.
For Laurel, Primrose, Marigold and Jessamine, it's community and a sense of belonging in Lyons that help make the suburb such a great place to live. "Lyons is a lovely local community," Marigold says. As for Primrose, "I love our neighbours! Everyone is so incredibly friendly!" Laurel agrees that Lyons is a "beautiful community.""I love that our son goes to the local school and we live in the community," she says."On the weekends, for example, our children go riding their bikes and all the families we see know each other." Laurel adds that she loves the diversity in the Lyons community. "I love the broad range of ages that live in our area. From retired people to young families. It's a really lovely mix."
Lyons may be a small suburb of Canberra; however, its central location, excellent local school, funky local café, Oakey Hill, and strong sense of community all help to make Lyons a wonderful place to live the Great Australian Dream!
"We were looking all over Canberra when buying our house and felt lucky to find our home in Lyons." Jessamine