Williamstown

Williamstown is a suburb of Melbourne, 9km south-west of Melbourne’s CBD.

The Yalukit-willam clan of the Kulin nation were the first people to call Hobsons Bay home. They roamed the thin coastal strip from Werribee to Williamstown/Hobsons Bay. Benbow, the head of the Yalikut-willam tribe at the time of the arrival of the first white settlers, became one of the guides to John Batman whose crew recognised the potential of the Melbourne town site for development.

Surrounded on three sides by water, Williamstown was Melbourne’s first seaport, receiving its first cargo vessel from Launceston in November 1835. It served as the centre of Melbourne’s port facilities until the late 19th century.  Recently, Williamstown has developed from what was a neglected industrialised centre into a popular and fashionable maritime village.

Williamstown’s attractive main commercial precinct is located along Ferguson Street and Douglas Parade. Around the corner in Nelson Place is what was originally the town centre, lined with historic buildings which are now restaurants, hotels and galleries.

Church History – Williamstown Baptist Church was officially founded in 1868, though a congregation had begun to form eight years earlier in response to an advertisement in the Williamstown Chronicle dated Saturday, 24 November 1860. Baptismal services were performed at the back beach at Williamstown from 1861 through to 1868.

Footscray

An inner-western suburb of Melbourne, Footscray had a population of 13,203 at the 2011 census.

Footscray is characterised by a very diverse, multicultural central shopping area, which reflects the successive waves of immigration experienced by Melbourne, and by Footscray in particular. Once a centre for Greek, Italian and former Yugoslavian migrants, it later became a hub for Vietnamese and East African immigrants in Melbourne. A recent wave of gentrification has brought a new demographic to the area. The impact on existing communities remains to be seen however one positive is that many disused spaces have been revived.

St Kilda

St Kilda is an inner suburb of the metropolitan area of Melbourne, 6km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD.  At the 2011 Census, St Kilda had a population of 17,795.

During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, St Kilda became a favoured suburb of Melbourne’s elite, and many palatial mansions were constructed along its hills and waterfront. Densely populated postwar St Kilda became Melbourne’s red-light district, home to low-cost rooming houses. Since the late 1960s, St Kilda has become known for its culture of bohemianism and as home to many prominent artists, musicians and other subcultures. While some of these groups still maintain a presence in St Kilda, in recent years the district has experienced rapid gentrification pushing many lower socio-economic groups out to other areas.

St Kilda is home to many of Melbourne’s famous visitor attractions including Luna Park, the Esplanade Hotel, Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. It is home to St Kilda Beach, Melbourne’s most famous beach, several renowned theatres and several of Melbourne’s big events and festivals.

South Melbourne

South Melbourne is an inner suburb of Melbourne, historically known as Emerald Hill.  The area now called South Melbourne features a single hill (where the Town Hall now stands) which was a traditional social and ceremonial meeting place for Aboriginal tribes.

The area was settled by Europeans in 1840 and in 1850, during the Victorian Gold Rush, became home to tens of thousands of migrants from around the world. Land sales started in 1852 and by the late 1870s the area became a favourite place of residence for Melbourne’s middle class. In the 1960s two large housing commission buildings were built in South Melbourne with the result being an injection of migrants to the area adding to the multicultural flavour of the area.

Recently South Melbourne has seen an increase in population density due to apartment development spilling over from the Melbourne CBD.

Melbourne

Founded by free settlers on 30 August 1835 Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847 after which it became the capital of the newly founded colony of Victoria in 1851. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. 

Referred to as Australia’s “cultural capital”, it is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries, and Australian contemporary dance. It is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a major centre for street art, music and theatre. It is home to many of Australia’s largest and oldest cultural institutions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.

Melbourne rates highly in education, entertainment, health care, research and development, tourism and sport, making it the world’s most liveable city—for the seventh year in a row in 2017. It is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks among the top 15 cities in the world in the Global Financial Centres Index.