On Saturday, 10 December 2011, former Chief Minister Mr Jon Stanhope joined the Chief Minister Ms Katy Gallagher MLA in planting a Kurrajong tree in the Central Valley at the National Arboretum Canberra. He was also joined by Dr Kris Klugman OAM, National President of Civil Liberties Australia, and Charlotte Withers, a child born on 1 July 2004, the day the ACT Government brought in the first Human Rights Act.
The Kurrajong tree, known as a Liberty tree, was chosen as a significant acknowledgement of Mr Stanhope’s role in both the first Human Rights Act in Australia and in the establishment of the National Arboretum. The 10th December marks the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Kurrajong tree is native to the western side of the Great Dividing Range and is a medium sized evergreen which is semi deciduous in summer. It was selected as it is an Australian native with an important place in Canberra’s history as Capital Hill was previously known as Kurrajong Hill.