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It is believed that Aboriginal people used the area which is now the ACT as a meeting place, possibly for corroborees held to mark the migration of the bogong moth, which was hunted and eaten. Canberra was first settled by Europeans in 1824, when Joshua Moore bought the first land grant in the area, at the foot of Black Mountain. By 1845 a town had grown up in the shadow of the mountain, with the newly built St John´s Church and the nearby school at its centre.
The establishing of a national capital and surrounding Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was one of the tenets of the constitution created when the colonies were federated into Australian states in 1901.