The name Brindabella was given to the valley area by the native Aboriginals who lived in the area. Before the arrival of the Europeans and the Franklin family's settlement, the area was occupied by the Djimantan Aborigines, the Walgalu Aborigines, and the Ngunawal Aborigines, the Aboriginal Australians.
The valley was their home. They were the area's traditional custodians such that they even kicked back at Franklin's attempt to settle in the area. They killed his cattle and then forced him to leave the area. However, they were eventually forced back by the gold miners who had been passing through the valley.
In the Aboriginal occupant's language, the word "Brindabella" is said to mean "two kangaroo rats." Kangaroo rats are small, nocturnal rodents that are native to Australia. They are named Kangaroo rats because the way they move is by hopping in a very similar manner to the movement of the much larger kangaroos, another animal native to Australia.
Perhaps the Aboriginals named the area about the presence of the Kangaroo rats in the Brindabella Range Area. The kangaroo rats were once widespread in the country.
Apart from this meaning of the word Brindabella, some people think that the word was coined from "Brindy Brindy," which was a local term that meant "water running over rocks." The word "Bella" was then added by the Europeans from the Bella vista in Italy. "Bella" means "beautiful view."
The area was considered to be an outstation of the Yarralumla station. Joseph Franklin eventually moved back with his family in 1861 to the Brindabella after the Aboriginals had been forced back by the gold miners. Joseph Franklin's son, Thomas Franklin, went on to build the first homestead in Brindabella. His second son, John, also went on to build a house as well later on.
The name Brindabella and the town were "put on the map" and became known by people because of Miles Franklin, the author. Miles Franklin was the daughter of John Franklin and the granddaughter of Thomas Franklin.
Miles Franklin, who was privately tutored and attended classes at the Brindabella Homestead, became a writer. Her books went on to become Australian classics. Some of her books are Pioneers on Parade, Childhood at Brindabella, Up the Country, and My Brilliant Career.
Today, Brindabella attracts many visitors that cut across all ages and walks of life. The area has surely come a long way from the time it was named Brindabella by the Aboriginals. However, in all this, there's no doubt that the origin of the name remains somewhat shrouded in confusion. This is because there's no agreement on the origin of the word and its emergence.