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Protecting and sharing Melbourne’s story

 Thursday, 1 November 2012 

Historic buildings, landscapes, parks, monuments and artefacts will be better protected with the introduction of a new heritage strategy for Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne Heritage Strategy has been developed to ensure the city’s rich combination of traditions, memories, places and objects are identified and protected. 

From 1 – 30 November 2012 the community is invited to have a say on Melbourne’s new plan to manage and celebrate our city’s heritage for future generations.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the City of Melbourne is committed to preserving and sharing the story of Melbourne’s development.

 “The new heritage strategy maps out how we will work with key partners; the community, the state government and heritage groups, to ensure our story continues to be well understood, celebrated and protected,” Cr Doyle said. 

“Policies like these ensure that the city is well designed and managed as it grows, so that Melbourne accommodates more people without sacrificing quality of life or losing the history that is essential to our identity,” Cr Doyle concluded.The release of the heritage strategy for feedback is accompanied by a fascinating new history commissioned by the City of Melbourne. 

Historian Helen Doyle has written A History of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Environment which is a theme-based history of Melbourne. This history provides the historical context for buildings and places around the city and is a fresh opportunity to appreciate and understand Melbourne’s heritage. 

This new history largely focusses on the post-settlement period. This complements the City of Melbourne’s Indigenous Heritage Action Plan which will provide a more comprehensive approach for protecting, recognising and celebrating indigenous heritage in Melbourne.

A History of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Environment traverses a range of topics, from the impact of white settlement on the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people, to the culture and commerce of the gold rush era Melbourne. 

The new resource also reveals some of Melbourne’s more colourful secrets and quirks:

Melbourne’s first fire brigade established in 1845 was known as the ‘Fire Prevention Society,’ and was reliant on pumping water from the Yarra. When Melbourne’s water supply was connected in 1857 a celebratory ceremony was held in the Carlton gardens, with attendees sprayed liberally with the newly installed tap.
The first underground toilet with facilities for women opened in Russell Street in 1902, the same year women won the right to vote in federal elections.
Melbourne’s original cemetery was an eight acre site called Burial Hill, later known as Flagstaff Hill.
The colloquialism ‘larrikin’ owes its existence to the Melburnians of the 1870’s, characterising young men congregating on street corners exhibiting ‘loutish’ behaviour. 

To find out more, or to have your say on the City of Melbourne Heritage Strategy visit