Canberra Weekly’s top 10 stories of 2020

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To mark the end of an ‘unprecedented’ year of ‘pivoting’ as we’ve collectively navigated these ‘uncertain times’, CW has compiled a list of 10 stories our readers loved in 2020.


11 DECEMBER | Your guide to Canberra’s best Christmas lights 2020

Mid-way through December it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Canberra, particularly in suburbs where residents have gone above and beyond – up some very steep ladders – to craft brilliant Christmas light displays!

Ahead of the big day, hundreds of thousands of LEDs were working the night shift to bring light and joy to local communities, after a year with its fair share of dim moments.

To take the guesswork out of finding some stellar lights near you, Canberra Weekly compiled a list of some standout displays, and there are sure to be plenty more beaming gems waiting to be discovered in a neighbourhood near you.

CW top 10 stories 2020
Mid-way through December it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Canberra, particularly in suburbs where residents have gone above and beyond to craft brilliant Christmas light displays!

25 MARCH | New restrictions to slow COVID-19 pandemic

As the ‘new normal’ of COVID was quickly becoming apparent, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a raft of new restrictions to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation.

Weddings of five, funerals of 10, takeaway only, and 30-minute haircuts were just some of the constraints announced at the end of March.

“Large gatherings brought together by particular organised events are things we have seeking to avoid,” he said.

March year in review 2020
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a raft of restrictions on 25 March to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation. Getty.

28 SEPTEMBER | ACT votes: meet your candidates

Canberrans could head to the polls from Monday 28 September to 6pm Saturday 17 October for this year’s ACT election.

Elections ACT encouraged voters to cast their ballots early this year due to COVID-19, to avoid large crowds at polling places.

We reached out to all of the candidates for each electorate, to bring you, in their words, their policy platforms and promises. Those who responded are listed electorate by electorate, in alphabetic order.


13 APRIL | 5 things I’ve learned about going grey

CW editor Julie Samaras recounted what she’d learned since giving up the (hair dye) bottle in December 2018.

Julie’s learnings included saving money, time and angst; being okay with not everyone approving; finding a support crew (mainly yourself); and more.

CW top 10 stories 2020
CW editor Julie Samaras recounted what she’d learned since giving up the (hair dye) bottle in December 2018.

19 JULY | Man dies after disturbance at Kokomo’s bar in Civic

A disturbance at Kokomo’s bar, a licensed venue in Civic, early on the morning of Sunday 19 July led to Comancheros Canberra bikie gang commander Pitasoni Ulavalu, 48 dying on the scene. Police responded to the incident about 12.05am.


29 SEPTEMBER | Test driving the new e-scooter share scheme

In late September 2020 as Neuron’s next-generation N3 e-scooters made their debut in the nation’s capital earlier that month, you’d have to have been living under a rock to have missed them.

Now ubiquitous, at launch they were available for locals and visitors alike to to zoom around the Inner North, Inner South and Belconnen.

CW journalist Danielle Meddemmen recounted her first experience on the e-scooter to great fanfare a week after they had launched.

CW top 10 stories 2020
CW journalist Danielle Meddemmen recounted her first experience on the e-scooter to great fanfare a week after they had launched.

5 NOVEMBER | Bin collections to be missed in 20 Canberra suburbs next Tuesday

In what became a stand-off that ran for several weeks over a pay dispute, industrial action saw household waste and recycling kerbside bin collection missed in 20 Canberra suburbs across Woden and Tuggeranong on Tuesday 10 November.

The ACT Government advised at the time that suburbs with a Tuesday household waste and recycling bin collection would be missed on 10 November and wouldn’t be caught up.

CW top 10 stories 2020
In what became a stand-off that ran for several weeks over a pay dispute, industrial action saw household waste and recycling kerbside bin collection missed in 20 Canberra suburbs across Woden and Tuggeranong on Tuesday 10 November.

4 SEPTEMBER | ACT minor party candidates make their case

There were strong “Don Chipp vibes” at Woden’s Southern Cross Club on Thursday 3 September when candidates from the ACT’s minor parties presented their policy priorities for the 2020 ACT election and declared their intention to hold the government of the day accountable.

The Minor Party Showcase was hosted by former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, Michael Moore, who told the physically-distanced crowd of fewer than 100 people that a strong crossbench made for a strong democracy.


28 SEPTEMBER | ACT Election 2020: Your questions answered

Ahead of the ACT election CW journalist Cassandra Power assembled an explainer running through common questions about how the Territory’s democratic process works.

The article answered questions and covered topics like the history of voting in the ACT, when, where and how people can vote, mobile voting, voter registration, electorates and of course the Hare-Clark electoral system.


1 JULY | Merici College Principal joins TikTok trend

Boosting student morale amid a global pandemic came naturally to Merici College Principal Loretta Wholley; and all she had to do was download popular social media app TikTok.

The video-sharing app had become popular with students at the college during the lockdown period, some of whom were still attending the school which remained opened.

“A group of girls had come up to me and asked me to do a TikTok with them and I didn’t really know anything about the app at that point,” Ms Wholley said.

“I downloaded it and wasted several hours of my life, but to be honest I thought a lot of the content was quite funny.”

CW top 10 stories 2020
Boosting student morale amid a global pandemic came naturally to Merici College Principal Loretta Wholley; and all she had to do was download popular social media app TikTok.

For more of 2020 in review:

January 2020 | February 2020 | March 2020 | April 2020 | May 2020 | June 2020 | July 2020 | August 2020 | September 2020 | October 2020 | November 2020 | December 2020 |