Welcome to Melbourne sign; countryside,
Highway scene, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. April 15, 2011.
Victoria’s most populated city, and Australia’s 2nd largest city, is “Melbourne” with approximately over four million inhabitants called “Melburnians”. The heart of Melbourne is the “CBD” or the “Central Business District” a.k.a. “The City Centre” which is the lifespring of the metropolitan heart. Nestled in a natural bay called “Port Phillip” at the Yarra River’s estuary, the city is not only a port location, but a place popular for its ocean view. This area was first settled 20,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers known as the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wathaurong. Many Australian Aborigines saw this area as an important meeting place to establish the Kulin nation alliance as well as a source for food and water. The first white settlers came to the area in 1803 on Sullivan Bay which was later abandoned by the European settlers as they didn’t discover the wealth of resources the area had. It was re-settled again in 1835 by Van Diemen settlers notably under John Batman, thus establishing the first official habitation of Melbourne area with a purchase of over 600,000 acres of land. This settlement arranged the “Batman’s Treaty” with the Aborigine to settle this area. New South Wales annulled this treaty giving them control of the area. By 1836, its Governor Richard Bourke declared it the administrative capital for New South Wales commissioning the first plan for the city. Melbourne was named after Bourke in 1837 honoring “William Lamb- the 2nd Viscount Melbourne”. The Post Office was opened up later that year. The city was given its status by Queen Victoria in 1847 and became the capital of Victoria in 1851. It soon after became one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities after the Victorian gold rush. This brought in an influx of various migrants including German, Chinese, and Irish settlers; saw the development of slums and projects; temporary tent cities; and eventually the formation of Chinatown in 1851. After the Eureka Rebellion, various nationalities siezed the area turning it into a extremely cultural area. By 1901 it became the temporary seat of the government of Australia’s first federation. It had its first federal parliament later that year operating up until 1927 until the center was moved to Canberra. After World War II, Melbourne expanded substantially due to post war immigration from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The city experimented with controversial public housing projects in the inner city to deal with its growth leading to demolition of neighborhoods and an increase in high rise towers. More financial and mining booms around 1970 established many major companies to set their headquarters in the city adding more boom to the commerce for Melbourne to be a major financial district. Melbourne saw a economic downturn from 1898-1992 which led to a collapse of local institutions, but by 1992 plans were in motion to develop public works to promote the city as a tourist location, hosting events, sports, and the arts. This plan worked as early as 1997 with great growth and today, Melbourne is most popular for its tourism, arts, entertainment, education, sport, and commerce industries. It is the home place for Australian Film and is where the world’s first feature film was produced. It is the base location for Australian television, Australian rules football, dance styles, contemporary and traditional Australian music, and is the “mixing pot” of Australia. Melbourne is also popular for its festivals including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Melbourne is also home to the University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, and Australian Catholic University. Melbourne also has the largest tram network in the world with over 178 million passenger trips a year and over 300 routes for its buses. Melbourne has four airports. The city is also well known for its bicycle sharing system that was established in 2010.
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