Baby cards, record book, telegrams,
bonnet, booties and dress
, 1929
mixed media
dimensions variable
Gift of Lois Hicks 2008
Photo Joe Lafferty


Lois Hicks (née Swindon) was born in Canberra on 24 September 1929. Her home was in Ainslie, a suburb built on top of a bare paddock, and she grew up against the backdrop of a growing city. She has always been vehemently proud of ‘her’ Canberra.

Hicks’s father Norman Swindon was one of many public servants transferred from Melbourne to Canberra as the city offi cially became home to the Federal Government. Norman, his wife Una and son Tom moved to Canberra in 1927, along with 200 other public servants and their families. For the wives and children of these offi cials, Canberra was a long way from the traditional social and support networks of extended family and friends. Clubs and sporting groups quickly formed to foster the fledgling community.

In 2004 Lois Hicks was contemplating leaving her home in Turner, and decided to donate precious family keepsakes to CMAG. The collection provides an insight into several generations of Canberra children. It also demonstrates the practice of ‘making do’, a reality for many who lived through the Depression of the 1930s and who subsequently continued these practices throughout their lives.

Copyright © 2001-2008. ACT Museums and Galleries