Post-contact Cultural
Heritage Study
Volume 1 -
Environmental History
By Olwen Ford & Gary Vines, Melbourne's Living Museum of the West
in association with Graeme Butler & Associates and Francine Gilfedder & Associates

Brimbank City Council
Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Volume 1
Environmental History
Olwen Ford & Gary Vines
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
in association with
Graeme Butler
Graeme Butler & Associates
Francine Gilfedder
Francine Gilfedder & Associates

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Brimbank City Council
Post-contact Cultural Heritage Strategy
Volume 1
Environmental History
Prepared by:
en Ford & Gary Vines
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
P.O. Box 60 Highpoint City, Victoria, 3023
in association with
Graeme Butler
Graeme Butler & Associates
21 Alphington St. Fairfield, 3078
& Francine Gilfedder
Francine Gilfedder & Associates
15 Dover St. Richmond, Victoria 3121
for Brimbank City Council,
Municipal Offices, Alexandra Avenue, Sunshine, Victoria, 3030.
Cover illustration: Darling & Son’s Flour Mill, Albion, in 1989.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Statement of significance.................................................................................................
Introduction .....................................................................................................................
Acknowledgments .......................................................................................................
Background ................................................................................................................
Methodology ...............................................................................................................
Themes .......................................................................................................................
Applying national themes to the Brimbank area .........................................................
Environmental History .....................................................................................................
Summary History.........................................................................................................
1 Valuing a Special Environment ...............................................................................
2 Exploring and Surveying .........................................................................................
3 Peopling the Plains ..................................................................................................
4 Exploiting Natural Resources ...................................................................................
5 Grazing Country ......................................................................................................
6 Farming, Fruit-Growing and Market-Gardening ......................................................
7 Travelling: Roads, Railways and Bridges ................................................................
8 Developing Australia’s Manufacturing Base ............................................................
9 Engineers and Inventors ..........................................................................................
10..Working ...................................................................................................................
11 Shops and Shopping Centres ..................................................................................
12 Planning and Building New Settlements ..................................................................
13 Houses and Gardens ................................................................................................
14 Providing Services ....................................................................................................
15 Communications and Media.......................................................................................
16 Educating ..................................................................................................................
17 Governing .................................................................................................................
18 Organising Recreation...............................................................................................
19 Eating and Drinking...................................................................................................
20 Worshipping...............................................................................................................
21 Forming Associations................................................................................................
22 Commemorating People and Events.........................................................................
23 Transforming the Plains/Conclusion...........................................................................
Bibliography .......................................................................................................................
Appendix A: AHC Principal Australian Themes .................................................................
Appendix B: Historical Themes for the Brimbank area.......................................................
Appendix C: Summary of themes by chapter.....................................................................
Appendix D: Report on Community Consultation ..............................................................
Appendix E: Notes on place names....................................................................................
Sources of illustrations and maps ......................................................................................
14 16 18 20 23
5 7 7 8 10 11 12
30 35 38 42 47 56 59 61 64 73 77 80 82 88 90 96 100 106 108 110 112 121 123 128 129 136 137 141

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Statement of Significance for the Brimbank area
The Brimbank municipality is an area of unique character which is distinguished by its pastoral
origins, early industrial development, working class suburbs and post-war multicultural
communities. It is one of the earliest areas of European settlement in Victoria, where important
pastoral activity developed on the native grassland plains. This pastoral activity continued to the
20th century, when large pastoral estates, such as Overnewton, were broken up for Closer
rimbank is an outstanding example of the impact of migration after World War 2 and is one of the
most multi-cultural areas of Australia. Its surviving ‘half-houses’ in St.Albans are a reminder of the
early struggle of post-war migrants, while its houses and gardens, places of worship, church
schools, community centres, and sports facilities, demonstrate the remarkable achievement of its
migrant settlers and the strength of their commitment to their cultural traditions, as well as to their
new homeland. Brimbank is significant for its surviving structures built by early migrants of the
1840s-50s and reflecting their ethnic origins - Irish, Scots, English - and the process of adapting
to a new environment.
The municipality has significant associations with travel to the gold diggings, the road through
Keilor being the most important road in the colony. The first government railway in Victoria went
through the Brimbank area. Substantial bridges, notable for their engineering construction and
bluestone masonry, are evidence of this important episode in Australia’s history. Large-scale
engineering works were required to cross the deep valleys. The Outfall Sewer aqueduct in the
early 1890s and the Railway Trestle Bridge of 1928 are significant examples.
rimbank is significant for its planned suburbs and estates: the 1850s settlements of Keilor and
‘Albion’ (later Sunshine); the architect-designed suburb of St. Albans in Melbourne’s 1880s boom;
the development of Sunshine- one of the first ‘garden suburbs’ in Australia - founded by one of
Australia’s leading industrialists; extensive Commonwealth, State and company housing schemes
which created precincts with their own distinct character.
rimbank is significant for its industrial heritage. It is a major part of Victoria's most highly
industrialised region - Melbourne's western region. The first factory in the Brimbank area, initially
developed by German experts, was amongst the earliest high-explosives factories in the world,
and became Australia’s leading explosives and chemical factory. Brimbank’s agricultural
implement factories had a huge impact on farming in Victoria and Australia, especially the
Sunshine Harvester Works, once the largest farm implement factory in the southern hemisphere.
emnants of Brimbank's former industrial development can be found in Albion, with Darling’s Flour
Mill the best example of a 20th century flour mill in Victoria and ARC and the former Wunderlich
factory representing important contributions to Australia’s construction industry. The large-scale
meat works, metal industries and engineering works are historically important for their role in the
growth of Australia’s export trade. The Brimbank area was one of Victoria's leading producers of
bluestone, its quarries providing stone for local and metropolitan buildings, for roads and railways,
and for export.
Brimbank played an important role in agricultural developments. The first irrigation project in
Victoria was at Keilor. This area later became Victoria’s leading producer of apricots in the 1890s
and a model for intensive market gardening in the 1920s-30s.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The Brimbank area has a distinct cultural and natural landscape, including drystone walls,
important remnant grasslands and wetlands, rock-faces, basalt escarpments and the incised
valleys of its two major waterways - the Maribyrnong River and the Kororoit Creek. The cultural
landscape demonstrates the transformation of the plains by industry, housing and road
construction, and the introduction of exotic plants by successive waves of settlers.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
We would like to acknowledge the assistance provided by members of the Brimbank community in
the preparation of this report. Their input has been important to the study, notably in identifying
places of significance and allowing us to take photographs, but also in providing information.
e are especially thankful to members of the Keilor Historical Society, St.Albans History Society
and the Sunshine and District Historical Society. The numerous publications which these
organisations have produced over many years have been a great resource. We have appreciated
the opportunity to make use of photographs from the collections of the local societies. Individual
members of the societies have also given generously of their time in suggesting places for
inclusion, and comments on drafts of this report.
We would like to thank Chantal Brens and Des Johnson for their assistance with photography and
particularly Norm Carlton, Joan Carstairs, Diedrie Farfor, Frank Ford, Susan Jennison, Tamara
Jaworski, Rosa Jovanovic, Chris Laskowski, David Moloney, Tom Rigg, Greg Thorpe and Don
Webster for their individual contributions to the study.
Acknowledgment is due to the staff of the local libraries at Keilor, St.Albans and Sunshine and to
staff of the State Library of Victoria, for assistance with reference material. Illustrations and maps in
the La Trobe Collection, State Library of Victoria. have been reproduced in this report and we
acknowledge this contribution. A full list of the sources of illustrations and maps is included at the
end of the report.
avid Meale of I.C.I. Deer Park made possible a tour of the I.C.I. complex and has been generous
in supplying reference material. We have made extensive use of material held in the collection of
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, especially photographs, maps and printed documents.
nally we would like to thank the Steering Committee for their input, support and suggestions:
Geoff Austin of Heritage Victoria and Ros Kilgour, Carol Opperman and Amanda Opie of Brimbank
City Council.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Brimbank City Council commissioned a Cultural
Heritage Strategy
for the municipality as part of
their overall
Corporate Plan for 1995 to 2000
. The Cultural Heritage Strategy is in two parts,
comprising Part 1 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Part 2 Post-contact Cultural Heritage.
This report details the findings of the
first stage
of the
Post-contact Cultural Heritage Strategy
The aims of the overall strategy are to:
a) provide an overall framework which will facilitate the effective and efficient planning and
anagement of Brimbank’s Cultural Heritage;
b) establish significance and prepare documentation for nomination of sites for Statutory
c) recommend non-statutory measures for conservation of heritage sites;
d) outline the context in which significance is determined;
e) provide a policy framework to enable Council to develop conservation and preservation
trategies for culturally significant sites.
he Post-contact Cultural Heritage Strategy is being carried out in two stages:
Stage 1 -
Preliminary Survey
Stage 2 -
Place Documentation and Assessment and Development of Heritage Program
The Post-contact Cultural Heritage Strategy report documents all stages of the study in four
olume 1
includes an environmental history, bibliography, list of themes applicable to the
Brimbank area and a report on community consultation.
olume 2
contains the introduction, methodology, summary of recommendations, statutory and
non-statutory heritage provisions, conservation policy for heritage areas and a summary listing of
all places investigated during the study. It also contains a discussion of the significance and
character of Brimbank’s cultural heritage and a listing of all places investigated in the course of the
Volume 3
contains individual site reports for places of cultural significance and citations for each
of the 11 heritage areas. It also includes indexes to places according to street address, location
and place name.
olume 4
contains maps of the individual heritage places, and the 11 heritage areas, along with a
list of the places indexed to the relevant map numbers and place numbers.
he objectives of the Preliminary Survey are to:
a) doc
ument the environmental history of post-contact settlement and development of the study
b) identify all potential places of post-contact cultural significance in the study area;
c) estimate the resources required to fully research, document and assess the identified places of
cultural significance.
he Australian Heritage Commission’s Minimal Documentations Standards have been used as a
starting point for the documentation of places but, in practice, these have been exceeded. Data on
sites recorded in the preliminary survey have been entered into a database (Claris Filemaker Pro
3.0 format).

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The field structure for this database has been prepared to accommodate the level of
documentation which is anticipated to be required for the second stage of the project, and not just
the minimum information required to prepare the preliminary list of sites. Therefore, where
additional information is available, either in electronic form, or from the historical research and field
survey, this has been entered into the database.
A summary of the database field structure is included as an appendix in Volume 2 of this report.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The Post-contact Cultural Heritage Strategy has been prepared in accordance with the Australian
ICOMOS (International Council for the Conservation of Monuments and Sites) Charter for the
Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance (Burra Charter) and its guidelines. Reference has
also been made to the publication: J.S. Kerr,
The Conservation Plan: A guide to the preparation of
conservation plans for places of European cultural significance.
riteria used in the identification and assessment of places of cultural significance are the criteria
adopted by the Australian Heritage Commission for the Register of the National Estate.
Consideration has also been made of separate criteria used by Heritage Victoria and the National
Trust of Australia.
n the preparation of the environmental history and assessment of sites, use has been made of the
historic themes adopted in the Australian Heritage Commission’s National Historic Themes
Project. These themes have been added to and modified to suit the particular history and
character of the Brimbank municipality. A detailed discussion of the thematic approach follows and
a list of themes as they apply to the Brimbank area is included in Appendix B of this report.
n important aspect of the methodology was community consultation. Local people made
comments on the draft report and suggested sites for the preliminary list. Research by members of
history societies and others was a valuable source, as well as primary source material held in local
and State collections.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
A thematic approach to heritage is evident in a number of heritage studies undertaken since the
The value of such an approach is that it broadens the scope of investigation, identifies
gaps and enriches our understanding of the complexity of historic places. It also assists
assessment and comparative analysis. The Australian Heritage Commission has developed a list
of historic themes for use as a framework in identifying, assessing, interpreting and managing
cultural heritage in Australia. This is part of a national project, begun in 1993, which will help to
standardise the identification and documentation of places. The Brimbank City Council Cultural
Heritage Study makes use of these historic themes.
he Australian Heritage Commision principal historic themes are listed in Appendix A. The
framework is not intended to be rigidly adhered to and some adjustment and adaptation is
necessary in different contexts. Following site investigation, further themes may be added or
existing themes may be modified. Some themes are relevant but have no known physical
representation in the area.
As part of the process of applying the principal historic themes to the City of Brimbank, the section
following contains examples of aspects of those themes which have particular relevance for the
municipality. Some additional themes and connecting themes are also included.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Applying national themes to the municipality of Brimbank
In this heritage study, there is be an emphasis on specific themes which have particular relevance
to the municipality of Brimbank (former parts of the Cities of Keilor and Sunshine). The first of the
Principal Australian Historic Themes is concerned with
Tracing the evolution of special
. Scientists have been studying the geology of the Brimbank area, part of a large
volcanic plain, since the beginning of the twentieth century. However, the majority of the work has
been in the 1970s and 1980s, identifying sites of geological significance, notably in the Keilor area
and along Kororoit Creek. Botanists and naturalists, since 1916, have focussed on the remnant
grasslands and other flora of the Keilor plains. In 1986 a site at Sunshine was declared to be of
national significance, for its rare orchid,
Diuris fragrantissima.
In South Sunshine, the Anderson
Swamp Grassland is one of two sites in Victoria reserved as native grassland.
Peopling the continent
is a major theme. In the Brimbank area the earliest wave of migrants were
pastoralists from Britain, appropriating large areas. Some of their homestead sites survive. Those
who worked for them included ex-convicts from Van Diemen’s Land and immigrants on assisted
passages, who were also amongst the early purchasers of land in the area in the 1850s. The gold
rushes brought thousands travelling through the district and opportunities to provide services such
as food, drink and shelter. Gold era immigrants who settled in the area were soon establishing
community links and institutions such as schools and churches. With the next wave of migration, in
the early 20th century, Spanish, Italian and Maltese migrants began arriving. Post-war migrants
from Europe came in vast numbers and had a great impact on the area, establishing new
neighbourhoods and new cultural centres. In the 1980s-90s, Asian and African migrants have
settled in the district.
The sub-theme of
settling the land through selection and group settlement
is relevant to the
Brimbank area, since a number of local farms were established following the Selection Acts and
through the government policy of ‘Closer Settlement’, which involved breaking up and sub-dividing
some of the large pastoral estates.
Developing local, regional and national economies
is a theme of great importance, since much of
Australia’s heritage has developed out of activities undertaken for economic gain. The sub-theme
exploiting natural resources
is particularly relevant, since quarrying has been a major activity for
almost 150 years, providing stone for the rest of Melbourne.
Developing primary production
was a
consequence of the early pastoral interest in the area’s grassy plains, which is still reflected in
extant structures, including dry stone walls, out-buildings and homesteads. Stock breeding was
important from the 1850s, with leading studs at Mount Derrimut and Arundel. Surviving dairies,
sheds and fencing reflect activities which provided income for many farms. An early vineyard near
St. Albans and orchards and market gardens at Keilor indicated the productive nature of the
Maribyrnong valley.
oving goods and people
is a relevant sub-theme since the most important road in the colony in
the early 1850s went through Keilor, while the railway lines to Bendigo and Ballarat and beyond
were major links.
Farming for export, Altering the environment
Feeding people
are all themes
which have some physical manifestation in the Brimbank area. Of particular significance are the
Developing an Australian manufacturing capacity
Developing an Australian
engineering and construction industry
Developing economic links to the rest of the world.
Industrial sites in the Sunshine-Deer Park area especially reflect these themes.
uilding settlements, towns and cities
is a theme that is relevant to Brimbank from 1850, when the
first townships were surveyed, to the boom period of the 1890s when new townships were
established in the area; the early twentieth century when the garden suburb concept was being
applied at Sunshine, and the post-war period when the area grew rapidly.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The theme of
applies to all phases and areas of the district’s history, but has special
significance because of the size and scale of workplaces such as McKay’s Harvester Works and
the hazardous nature of industries such as the explosives industry which has been so important in
the area.
theme is represented by many school sites and the Victoria University of
Technology, while shire halls and municipal offices reflect the theme of
cultural institutions and ways of life
relates to the many recreational activities of the local people,
but also to the multicultural diversity which is demonstrated in the area’s eating places, churches,
halls and community centres. The theme of
Marking the phases of life
covers a wide range of
places associated with caring for and servicing people at different stages of their lives from birth to
dditional themes which are suggested for the study are:
Developing community identities in new
Transforming rural townships to modern suburbs
. The particular ethnic
character of some suburbs within Brimbank relates to the timing and pattern of settlement and is
reflected in demographic data as well as in local cultural institutions and businesses. Connections
between themes need to be stressed. For example, the links between industry and education, as
evidenced in the development of technical education in Sunshine, and the links between religion
and education and community centres. Often the one building or precinct encompasses all these
themes. The additional theme of
Transforming the plains
also connects themes such as
Building settlements, towns and cities.
Landscape reflects changing cultural attitudes and
values, from the early attempts at creating familiar environments by introducing plants from the Old
World, to more recent efforts to recover the indigenous landscape in private and public spaces.
list of historic themes as they apply to the Brimbank area is included as Appendix B in this

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Environmental History
Written by Olwen Ford

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Map of the municipality of Brimbank, 1996.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Summary History
The municipality of Brimbank is a relatively new creation, just over two years old. Its population is
increasing fast and new houses continue to cover the once-open grassy plains. Yet its geological
history goes back millions of years, its Aboriginal history tens of thousands of years and its history
of migration and settlement just over 160 years. In that brief episode there have been more
changes to the landscape than have occurred in thousands of years.
The Surveyor General of New South Wales commented in 1803 on the area’s two most noticeable
features - its grassy plains and its stone. These became its greatest economic assets, still
important 100 years later. The grasslands were good grazing country for sheep, the basis of
Australia’s early wealth. The stone was an invaluable resource for the construction of buildings,
railways and roads, not only in the local area, but throughout Melbourne and for export overseas.
Some of the most dramatic events in Australia’s history are strongly reflected in Brimbank’s
landscape and built environment. Some of the wealthiest pastoralists in Australia owned land in
Brimbank. The homes of two leading pastoralists still remain, though their estates were broken up
years ago. The main route to the gold fields went through Keilor in the 1850s and Keilor Village
today is a legacy from that era. One of the first Government railways in Australia crossed the
Sunshine-St.Albans area, connecting with coaches at Keilor Road, now Sydenham. When
Australia started making its own explosives for the first time in the 1870s, the leading factory was at
Deer Park, only ten years after Nobel had invented dynamite.
When Melbourne became one of the fastest growing cities in the world in the 1880s, its leading
developers and speculators, even its Lord Mayor, were busy sub-dividing and selling and quarrying
Brimbank’s land. They started two new suburbs, the architect-designed suburb of St.Albans and
the industrial suburb of Braybrook Junction. Their lay-out, street names, institutions and even a few
houses have somehow survived. But the speculators left a trail of human misery as people lost
mortgages and had to leave.
When the farmers of North-West Victoria were opening up the Mallee country for wheat-farming in
the 1890s, many of them were using machines and implements made in a factory at Braybrook
Junction. When one of Australia’s leading industrialists, H.V. McKay, decided to re-locate his
Ballarat factory, he chose to go to Braybrook Junction. His factory became one of the largest
factories in Australia and the new suburb he developed round the older settlement took the name
from his famous harvester - ‘Sunshine’. It was one of the most unusual town planning
developments in Australia’s history. His factory has gone, but something of his suburb survives.
While Australia was developing as an independent nation, the farmers and market gardeners of
Keilor and St.Albans were producing hay, milk, apricots and vegetables for Melbourne markets.
One of them, David Milburn, had pioneered irrigation in Victoria half a century before. José Borrell
and J. Senserrick applied the intensive cultivation methods of their native Spain, achieving state
wide recognition. Sunshine’s quarrymen, including Maltese quarrymen, were quarrying and
crushing bluestone on a vast scale. Another Depression reduced migration and development, but
Sunshine reached the size of a small town.
In the 1920s, British, American and Canadian firms chose to invest in the Brimbank area or form
new partnerships. In World War Two, farms and factories of Brimbank supplied essential items to
the Government for the armed services or exported directly to Britain - cauliflowers from Keilor,
flour from Darling’s flour mill, millions of machinery parts from the Sunshine Harvester works, drugs
from Monsanto, T.N.T. and cordite from the Albion Explosives factory. Brimbank’s factories helped
Australia to achieve a self-sufficiency it had not had before. And hundreds of munition workers
came to live in new homes on a Commonwealth estate in East Sunshine.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
It was in the years after the war, that the greatest changes came, as thousands of migrants arrived
in the area and the population increased sevenfold in just a few years. Services were totally
inadequate, schools overflowed with new pupils. Like the first wave of migrant settlers, a hundred
years before, the newcomers struggled, worked hard, built houses, schools and churches. They
lived on the frontier of settlement, in an environment totally unlike their homelands, and sought to
retain something of their traditional culture and their community links. Their houses and gardens
spread across the plains. They worked in local factories and the males played soccer. Some
migrants from Britain even brought their houses with them, in ‘Operation Snail’.
This diverse population lived in a range of different centres, each influenced by its history: Deer
Park, a unique community which developed round an explosives factory; St.Albans, served and yet
divided by a railway line; Sunshine, a changing company town/country town; Keilor, still the village
of the gold rush travellers near an oasis of market gardens; Sydenham, the first country stop on the
iron road. Each centre was separated from the other by miles of open space, but the spaces are
now being filled up.
Many of the factories of 70, or even 20, years ago have now closed. Many 19th century and early
20th century houses and public buildings have disappeared. Whole neighbourhoods have
changed. A ‘sleepy hollow’ village has become prosperous Keilor, while once prosperous and busy
Sunshine battles to survive the recession and the loss of its main workplaces. A St Albans
shopping precinct, once predominantly European, is increasingly Vietnamese in character.
Brimbank’s cultural heritage, like its natural heritage, is sometimes not immediately visible. Yet it
includes structures which are of national, state, regional, or local, significance. Some structures,
like the Islamic mosque, are still being built. Brimbank’s heritage also includes landscapes,
streetscapes, gardens and trees which reflect the area’s history and diversity

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
1 Valuing a Special Environment
Studying our volcanic past
A geological survey in 1860 included the Brimbank area. The maps produced in this survey noted
the ‘symmetrical basaltic columns 50 to 60 feet in height’, at the site we now know as the Organ
Pipes. This is probably the first time the site was recorded. Forty years later a writer in the
commented: ‘the spot seems quite unknown to Victorian geologists, notwithstanding that
it is not more than 16 miles from Melbourne, and within easy walking distance of a railway station.’
The writer was describing a visit to the basalt columns by 14 people who ‘detrained’ at Sydenham.
Later excursions by the Victorian Naturalists’ club included one in May 1915, when ‘a charabanc
capable of holding 28 was engaged and nearly every seat was bespoken’. On arriving, ‘the whole
party alighted and walked down to the creek where the basalt columns proved of great interest to
those seeing them for the first time’.
Groups of naturalists and occasional school and university groups visited the site over the next 50
years, though access was difficult since the surrounding land was privately owned. One local
resident, Jim Lyon, later recalled that ‘trainloads of children used to go to the Sydenham Railway
Station and walk the three miles to the Organ Pipes’.
Greater access was possible when the area was declared a park in 1972. Volunteers made an
enormous contribution by clearing weeds and rubbish, surveying the remaining native vegetation
and collecting seed and cuttings to raise seedlings for a re-vegetation program. Don Marsh and the
‘Friends of the Organ Pipes’ played a major role in this work. From the 1970s there has been
renewed interest in the geological importance of the site. A number of reports and articles have
been written on its volcanic formations.
Other geological sites in the area have also been documented in the 1970s-80s, including the
silcrete cave at Taylor’s Creek, the Maribyrnong River Terraces and sections of the Kororoit Creek
valley and escarpments.
Assessing significant environments
The Organ Pipes site has also been valued for its botanical
significance since the beginning of the 20th century. The
visiting parties in the early years were mainly botanists and
naturalists, interested in native vegetation. The group visiting
in 1900 noticed 50 species of plants in flower.
Native grassland sites in the study area were identified as
significant, long before botanical studies of the 1970s-80s
identified sites such as Anderson’s Swamp and the St.Albans
Rail Reserve Grasslands, considered to be of State
Botanist Keith McDougall considered the Sunshine Rail
Reserve Grassland was of national significance, because it
contains the last naturally occurring plants of
also known as ‘the Sunshine Orchid’.
Naturalists visiting the Organ Pipes, 1900

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
St.Albans Rail Reserve Grasslands
Large and significant areas of native grassland at Sydenham and Derrimut were also identified at
this time. All these studies were undertaken in the context of increasing housing development in
the study area and a realisation that less than 1% remained of the State’s natural grassland,
mostly on road and rail reserves.
Appreciating the natural wonders of Australia
The scientific studies have been paralleled by a growing local appreciation of grasslands and
indigenous plants, at local, State and Federal levels. The basalt plains grasslands are an artefact
of climate, clay soils, low rainfall and Aboriginal fire management. They later provided the prime
motive for settlement by pastoralists from Tasmania and others. The State Government has now
provided some protection for the Derrimut grasslands at Anderson’s Swamp, at the southern end
of the study area.
Perceptions have changed and the planting of native grasses and indigenous trees has become an
accepted feature of beautification schemes and of home gardens. This is especially evident in the
plantings along the Kororoit Creek, the Western Ring Road and Ring Path and other new cycle and
walking paths, in the Sunshine-Deer Park - St Albans area. More and more people are coming to
appreciate the area’s waterways.
Derrimut grasslands at Anderson’s Swamp, Sunshine

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
2 Exploring and Surveying
The earliest accounts of the Brimbank area nearly 200 years ago report on the visible evidence of
Aboriginal occupation and technology, the vast grassy plain, the lack of trees, the stony ground
and the fresh water upstream from Braybrook.
Grimes and Fleming
The first people to write an account of the Brimbank area were Charles Grimes, Surveyor-General
of New South Wales, and his assistant James Fleming. They came by rowing boat up the
Maribyrnong River on 3 February 1803, at the height of summer, and reached the rocks near the
end of Duke Street, North Sunshine. James Fleming noted:
We went up the river until we came to some rocks, could not get the boat over; crossed it at a place the
natives had made for catching fish. It was still salt, though a great fall, went about two miles on the hills
[Avondale Heights].
On our return came to the river a little higher up and found it excellent fresh water where it divided and
appeared deep enough for a boat. Just as we got to the boat it began to thunder and rain. Stopped a little
time and came back until we could procure wood to make a fire, and it being sunset we stopped the
Grimes recorded in his diary: ‘traced up the N.W. branch of the river where the land was high it
was covered with stones and where low a swamp - from the top of the hills the country on all sides
presented an open grassy plain - without timber - as far as the eye could reach’. The next day the
expedition proceeded downstream and discovered the Yarra River.
Grimes’ map showing the course of the river, with notes on the country, 1803.

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Hume and Hovell
It was another twenty-one years before other European explorers, Hamilton Hume and William
Hovell and six others, crossed through the area making for a bay which they thought would be
Western Port and turned out to be Corio Bay. They came overland from Goulburn, leaving on 17
October 1824 and passed near Mount Macedon, passing through St.Albans and Deer Park on 18
December 1824. Cairns erected a hundred years later commemorate their journey.
Hume & Hovell cairn, St.Albans, erected for the centenary of Hume and Hovell's journey, 1924.
John Batman
John Batman came walking across the plains in 1835, looking for sheep country and following the
course of the Maribyrnong River for some of the way. Batman too did a map, noting ‘thinly
timbered hills’, in relation to the area which is now Brimbank. His comments were enthusiastic:
When on these plains, and where I now stand writing this, I think I could safely swear that I can
see every way over plains twenty miles distance, with scarcely any timber and covered with
Kangaroo grass eight and ten inches high. This, I think, is the average, most beautiful sheep
pasturage I ever saw in my life.
Batman is thought to have camped for the night at ‘Gumm’s Corner’, Keilor, by the river, just below
Bonfield Reserve. Next day he explored more of the surrounding country and then went eastwards
to make his treaty with the Aboriginal inhabitants.
Within weeks, Batman’s friends and neighbours in Van Diemen’s Land were arriving with their
flocks and passing through the Brimbank area, especially those who proceeded along the
Maribyrnong River and followed one of its branches, Deep Creek or Jackson’s Creek. Within two
years Governor Bourke was visiting the area, crossing the Maribyrnong River at the ford north of
Duke Street, Sunshine, on his way westward.

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By 1840, Surveyor Hoddle and his assistants were drawing the first plans and dividing the country
up into parishes with Aboriginal names. ‘Cut Paw Paw’, ‘Doutta Galla’, ‘Maribyrnong’ and
‘Derrimut’ were the names of parishes with some land in the Brimbank area. The surveyors
divided the parishes up into sections of approximately one square mile each and numbered them.
Within seven years of Batman’s journeyings, some Brimbank land was up for sale.

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3 Peopling the Plains
Convicts and ex-convicts
Those who came to Australia as a punishment are a little-known part of the City of Brimbank’s
story. The earliest settlers included convict servants and their employers. Michael Solomon and his
sister Sarah (wife of her cousin, Joseph Solomon), who were in the Sunshine-Keilor area by the
late 1830s, were the children of a Jewish convict. The words ‘Mr Solomon’s Station’ are marked on
a map by Robert Hoddle, drawn in 1840, in the Kealba-North Sunshine area. According to a son of
Joseph Solomon: ‘The servants gave much trouble. Most of them were convicts, ticket-of-leave
men from Van Diemen’s Land, generally too fond of rum to be depended on’.
Among the servants
of early pastoral settlers in the study area in 1841 were five ‘Ticket of leave’ men and three
‘privately assigned’ servants, working at Watson and Hunter’s headquarters at Keilor.
Ex-convicts were among those who settled in the area and bought land in the district’s first land
sales, including William O’Neil, who bought land in and adjoining Horseshoe Bend, Keilor, in
and Thomas Tomkins, constable at Keilor 1848-1853.
Early migrants
The first migrants to the Brimbank area lived on pastoral leases in the Sunshine-Keilor district
during the late 1830s-early 1840s. From England, via Van Diemen’s Land, came Joseph Solomon
and Michael Solomon, (North Sunshine - Kealba) from 1836. From Scotland came the Hunter
brothers and their partner James Watson in the late 1830s. They gave the Scottish name ‘Keilor’ to
their new neighbourhood, after a property owned by Watson’s father. The word ‘Keilor’ is said to
be Gaelic for ‘plenty’.
Hunter and Watson were soon busy with stations up near Mansfield and the company went broke
in the early 1840s. In 1846 a Scotsman was running the Keilor Inn and two years later, a Scottish
couple, Flora and James Mitchell, opened a second hotel, the present Keilor Hotel, then known as
the Galway Arms.
James and Margaret Pinkerton were early Scottish settlers on the Kororoit Creek, just west of the
area, 1840-48 while James Scales, also from Scotland, had a large holding in the study area in the
Keilor Hotel, opened by Scottish migrants, 1849.
James and Margaret Robertson and their family, (‘Upper Keilor’) arrived from Scotland in 1842 and
became the district’s first long-term settlers. The surviving Robertson homestead, built of

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bluestone at a later period, is an indication of this permanence. From Ireland came W.V.L.Foster
(1840-45) and his brother J.F.L.Foster, members of the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland.
migrants had some capital and took up large pastoral holdings.
In the early years, English and Scottish migrants outnumbered the Irish in the Brimbank area, as
elsewhere in the Port Phillip District. With assisted immigration schemes in the 1840s, the number
of Irish migrant settlers increased and was especially marked in the Brimbank area. Many of the
Irish became servants and labourers, though some took up modest pastoral leases.
Henry Delahey and his wife Mary, her brother, George Dodd, and their sisters, Bridget (later
McIntyre) and Margaret (later Fitzgerald), are examples of assisted migrants who arrived from
Ireland in 1841 and were settled on the Saltwater River by 1851. St.Augustine’s, Keilor, the church
they helped to establish, demonstrates the strength of the early Irish Catholic presence.
St. Augustine’, Keilor, built by Irish migrants, 1863.
Michael and Mary Fitzgerald and their family were also amongst the earliest wave of Irish migrants
and were established in the Sunshine-Deer Park area by the late 1840s. Their name is
commemorated in Fitzgerald Road, near where their son John bought land. Their daughter Mary
and her husband Thomas McMahon ran one of the area’s early hotels at what is now Deer Park.
These early migrants mainly chose land near waterways, such as the Maribyrnong (or Saltwater)
River, one of the first areas in Port Phillip to be settled, or near Kororoit Creek. Initially they had no
security of tenure, but the first land sales of the 1840s and 50s encouraged improvements - the
construction of drystone walls and the building of homes and farm outbuildings. The ruins of
George and Mary Dodd’s homestead and dairy survive near the Western Ring Road and the
E.J.Whitten bridge. Once it was possible to discern the outline of the buildings, reminiscent of Irish
stone cottages, but now the ruins are overgrown, The land, and the adjoining Delahey farm, is now
part of Brimbank Park.

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The Irish-born Foster brothers were the first to purchase land in the Brimbank area, including 712
acres of land between Keilor Park Drive and the Maribyrnong River, in 1842. Opportunities to buy
small allotments came in 1850 when the Government gazetted Keilor as a township and when a
group of Englishmen, Messrs Thorpe, Irish and Marrish, formed an association to purchase and
sub-divide land in the area now known as North Sunshine.
They called the new township ‘Albion’
and only Englishmen could join the association. The English character of the Albion settlement and
the predominantly Irish character of Keilor were reflected in the different denominational affiliation
of the two settlements’ main schools and in population statistics during the next two decades.
The Scottish presence in the Brimbank area was consolidated through land purchase. James
Robertson was able to buy much of his pastoral holding. The Scottish pastoralist, William Taylor,
bought several thousand acres, naming his property Overnewton. His homestead, built in 1849,
was initially a simple one-storey building with verandah, but extensions undertaken ten years later,
after a visit to Scotland, included stepped gables, stuccoed walls and slate roof turrets.
Overnewton, a style not unlike a Scottish castle.
Migrating in the gold rush era
The gold rushes of the 1850s brought thousands of migrants travelling through the Brimbank area
and an increase in the local population. Hotels, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and food supplies were
needed. Two of the famous Caroline Chisholm Shelters or ‘Protection Posts’ were in the Brimbank
area, one in Keilor village and one (‘Keilor Plains’) near the present Calder Thunderdome.
Although the sheds no longer survive, the Keilor site is certainly worthy of archaeological
investigation. Migrants travelling through Keilor in the gold rush days have left accounts of their
experiences. Seweryn Korzelinski described what he saw in November 1852: ‘a small building with
a sign “General Provision House”. Two houses down was a hotel. These three buildings were a
town called Keilor’.
Among the migrants settling in the Brimbank area in the 1850s were people with particular skills.
German blacksmith, Henry Seuling, came to Keilor in 1859. Later his brother Kaspar joined him.
English blacksmiths Alfred Newman and Richard Gibbens set up business near the present
Ballarat Road, Sunshine. Alfred Newman’s house possibly still survives. David Milburn, from

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Yorkshire, England, sold vegetables to passing diggers and developed a successful orchard and
market garden at Keilor, where his great-grandson, John, still carries on market-gardening.
Women brought with them from the old country their dairying skills, so that dairying and butter
making became a major local industry. The bluestone dairy and stables of Thomas and Elizabeth
Opie, Cornish migrants of Deer Park and the Scottish Goudies’ bluestone dairy at Brimbank Park,
still remain.
Many of the newer wave of migrants came to own their own land, though usually in small portions.
Those arriving in the first phase of settlement had obtained the largest portions, with frontages to
waterways. Some migrants were able to buy land after a brief spell at the diggings. Others, like
David Milburn and James Burnside, worked for local landowners before setting up on their own.
Most of the migrants who settled at Brimbank were married with families. They were concerned
about schooling for their children and succeeded in gaining some Government support. By 1855
there were at least three schools in the district - two at Keilor and one at ‘Albion’ (North Sunshine),
at the corner of Duke and Somerset Streets, now a quarry site. The migrant settlers also wanted
opportunities to worship. By 1855 there was a Wesleyan chapel at ‘Albion’ and a Roman Catholic
‘mission’ at Keilor. By 1857 there were 434 people in Keilor village. By 1861, Albion had 181
people living in 35 dwellings.
The Selection Acts of the 1860s brought more migrant settlers into the area, especially in the Deer
Park /St.Albans area. The number of families and children increased and were sufficient to justify a
new State School, No.1434 on the site of the present Deer Park Primary School, opened in August
1874. The coming of new factories to the area and new sub-divisions in the late 1880s had the
effect of increasing the percentage of overseas-born.
Early 20th century British migration
A new wave of British migrants arrived in the early 20th century to work at the new factories in
Sunshine, especially the Sunshine Harvester Works and factories set up by British companies,
such as Nettlefolds and Crittalls. Percy Street, St.Albans, is said to have been called ‘Pommie
Street’, because so many British migrants were living there.
Migrating from Spain and Italy
The proportion of overseas-born decreased in Brimbank, as elsewhere in Victoria, while the
numbers of native-born increased. A small number of newcomers arrived in the 1890s, including
Italians, finding employment in the district’s vast new quarries and at the new settlement of
Braybrook Junction. The Depression halted development and discouraged migration.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Spanish and Italians settled in the district. The most
well-known of these was José Borrell, who successfully developed Borrells’ market garden at
Keilor from 1916, using intensive cultivation methods derived from his native Spain. Other Spanish
market gardeners included Senserricks, who came to Keilor in 1924;
Cuatera; Montasell, who
later had an orchard in Deer Park; Jack Vert; Tony Vargui; the Sayos brothers, who later worked at
Brimbank Farm. In the early days the Spaniard, Rocqua, worked for the Borrells, as well as Italians
such as Gaetano Giorlando, Nicolo Mazzo, Joe Siciliano.

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José Borrell, loading cabbages, Keilor
Migrating from Malta in the 1920s
Maltese settlement in Sunshine began in the 1920s when a number of Maltese were working in the
quarries, especially the Albion Quarry. At one stage they were even living in the quarry, in huts.
One Maltese, Christopher Vella, was working at the explosives factory at Deer Park and was killed
in an explosion in 1921. Joe Camilleri was a skilled quarryman working as the ‘powder monkey’ in
Roberts’ Quarry at Sunshine in the 1920s, now Sunshine Plaza.
Workers at Bill Roberts' quarry, Sunshine,
Joe Camilleri, Maltese quarryman (front right)
‘Maltese’ are listed as entries in the
Melbourne Directory
section on Sunshine. In 1931 there were
several Maltese residences in the Albion-North Sunshine area. According to one writer, there were
so many Maltese living in Derrimut Street at one time that it was nicknamed ‘Maltese Street’.

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Additional entries for ‘Maltese’ are included in the 1936 Directory. However, there seem to be
fewer entries than five years previously, possibly because of the Depression. Many Maltese were
single young men.
However, the Farrugia family was living at St. Albans in the 1930s and Sam
Farrugia’s children were attending the St.Albans Primary School from 1931. The unusually high
number of Maltese in Sunshine, compared with other areas in Victoria, is evident from the census
statistics for local government areas in Victoria.
Migrating after World War 2
In the post-war migration period vast numbers of migrants arrived from Britain and Europe and
were temporarily housed very close to the Brimbank area, notably at the migrant hostels in
Maribyrnong and Brooklyn.
The proximity to relatively cheap land, and to jobs in the region’s industries, encouraged many to
settle in the Sunshine-St.Albans area, which expanded enormously in the 1950s-60s.
New suburbs developed, some with a particular ethnic character. The churches and sports clubs of
each neighbourhood reflect this. In Ardeer the Ukrainians built a Ukrainian Catholic Church and
hall and a Polish soccer club started. In West Sunshine the Greeks and Greek Cypriots built the
Greek Orthodox Church of St. Andrew. At St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church, North Sunshine, the
congregation was predominantly Italian and Maltese.
Immense effort went into building churches, over many years. There were new Catholic churches
in Ardeer, West Sunshine and St. Albans, and Greek Orthodox and Serbian Orthodox churches in
St. Albans. The new migrant settlers also built community hall facilities adjoining each church.
These were important for social events but also for Saturday morning school, and classes in the
languages and dances of each ethnic group. Sports grounds reflected the ethnic affiliation of
particular groups.
Ukrainian Catholic Church, Ardeer
Many migrants of the 1950s built their own houses, beginning often with a half-house or bungalow
and transporting building materials on a bicycle or wheelbarrow. Local government regulations
(especially those of Keilor Council) were sufficiently flexible to permit the construction of half
houses. A few ‘half-houses’ survive in St.Albans and Ardeer.
The early houses were of weatherboard and front gardens were often vegetable gardens. Public
facilities such as electricity, water supply and sewerage were woefully inadequate and conditions
were quite primitive. One migrant family in Ardeer rinsed their washing in Kororoit Creek. Most
houses had septic tanks for many years and roads and footpaths were unmade.

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The existing schools were crammed full to bursting with the new arrivals and the growing
population. Eventually the Education Department built new state primary schools in each
neighbourhood. Secondary schools took longer to establish and invariably began in local church
halls. The Catholic Church began building new schools and colleges in the area.
Migrant aspirations and material success were reflected in Keilor’s expansion in the 1970s-80s
with new suburbs such as Kealba and Keilor Downs. Shops and eating places provided a living for
the migrant settlers and met a current demand. They also began influencing the existing residents’
way of life. Delicatessen shops appeared in Sunshine and St. Albans in the 1960s, followed by
pizza parlours, then Lebanese and Vietnamese shops and restaurants in the 1990s.
Local migrant community groups were still involved in erecting substantial structures for
community use in the 1990s: the Croatian Catholics - a major church complex in Ardeer; the
Coptic Orthodox - a new church in Henry Street, St.Albans; the Turkish Cypriot Muslim community
- a large mosque in Ballarat Road. The number and scale of these buildings is a distinctive feature
of the Brimbank area.
Half-house at St.Albans.

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4 Exploiting Natural Resources
Drystone wall, Station Road, Deer Park
Part of one of the largest volcanic plains in the world, the local landscape still reveals evidence of
its volcanic past. This can be seen in rocky outcrops and cliffs along Kororoit Creek and the
Maribyrnong River and, more recently, in the rock face now visible in the cutting of the Western
Ring Road.
Drystone walls
The European settlers followed the example of the Aboriginal inhabitants in utilising the stone that
was there in such abundance. From the 1850s, after the first land sales, the settlers constructed
drystone walls from the boulders lying around ‘broadcast’ on the ground. A few of these drystone
walls survive, notably at Mount Derrimut, along Boundary Road, Middle Road and at Brimbank
Park. They form a distinctive feature of the region’s landscape, but are fast disappearing.
Early quarries
Quarrying has been a major activity in the Brimbank area for almost 150 years, providing
bluestone for the rest of Melbourne. Some of the earliest quarries were small quarries supplying
stone for a particular structure. Some of these quarries still survive
Dodds’ homestead and
St.Augustine’s Church at Keilor were both built from bluestone quarried nearby.
The construction of the Mount Alexander Railway line in the late 1850s possibly led to the opening
up of new quarries, at Sydenham and in the area of Sunshine below Matthews Hill. Stone was
needed for bridges such as the ‘Black Arch’ over Stony Creek and for culverts, also in crushed
form for the track itself. In the 1860s the main local suppliers of bluestone were Footscray and
Williamstown but T.Glaister, the first contractor for the Alfred Graving Dock, was operating a
quarry just outside the study area, 1862-6, and dispatching seven-ton blocks of stone via a special
temporary track.

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Buildings of bluestone
Many of the early homes, churches and schools in the study area were built of bluestone. In 1854,
the Dean of Melbourne wrote regarding the proposed school at Albion: ‘The people are ready to
Bluestone culvert, Bendigo railway, St. Albans
Stone was the building material used to build chimneys, wells, cellars, farm buildings, foundations
and homes. Some of the early stone buildings were in ruins within 20 years. Following
abandonment, they deteriorated rapidly because of the mortar being only clay. Others were built
by skilled stone masons and contractors. Many of the early stone buildings have gone:
homesteads, schools, hotels and churches.
Surviving examples of stone structures include the ruins of the stone kitchen of Cahills’ (later
Borrells’) house; outbuildings at Mount Derrimut; the cellar of the Hunt Club Hotel ; a sheep race at
Taylors Creek in Green Gully; St. Augustine’s, Keilor; the Court House and police quarters at
Keilor; the bluestone abutments of the ‘Basket’ bridge at Keilor.

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Robertson's homestead, Keilor, built of bluestone quarried on the property
Boom-time quarries
Melbourne’s 1880s boom created a demand for stone, for buildings and especially in crushed form
for roads and railways. The quarries of the Brimbank area became leading sources of stone,
financed by outside investors. Developers such as the notorious Melbourne speculator Matthew
Davis were involved in attracting finance to new companies, for example, the Freehold Investment
Company which opened the large-scale Albion Quarry in 1885.
Using extensive crushing
equipment, it was the first quarry to export crushed stone to Britain. It was turning out vast
quantities of road metal in 1888-90 and was employing about 100 men in 1890.
By 1891, there were a number of quarries at Brooklyn and on the land which had once been part
of McDonald’s farm (adjoining Market Road). Together with the quarries at Maribyrnong and other
nearby quarries, such as Rumpf’s, just outside the Brimbank area, these combined to make
Braybrook Shire the leading producer of bluestone in Victoria in the 1890s.
The expansion of
quarrying probably encouraged development of the Deer Park explosives factory and other powder
20th century quarries
Despite the impact of the Depression of the 1890s, quarrying continued in this area for many
decades. This is evident in an Ordnance Survey map of 1933 which shows several quarries in the
Brooklyn and Market Road area, as well as the large Albion Quarry, north of Ballarat Road. These
quarries were connected by sidings to railway lines to assist transportation of the stone and were
highly mechanised, with their own tramway systems.
Under new management in the twentieth century, the Albion Quarry became the largest road-stone
producer in Victoria. By 1951 it produced more than any other quarry in Australia.
Many years
later it became the Sunshine Tip. The gradual filling of the quarry and the demolition of associated
structures has left little evidence of this important site.

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Smaller 1920s quarries included St.Albans Quarry, near the railway station, and a quarry near
Kororoit Creek in Sunshine run by Braybrook Shire Council (later a Council depot). In the 1930s
the council had a quarry in the North Sunshine area where large quarries were operating in the
1960s-70s. Quarrying is still carried on near Kealba.
Bill Roberts’ quarry at Sunshine, 1920s
Sand and soapstone
Another extractive industry in the Brimbank area was the quarrying of sand, utilising the Silurian
sediments beneath the volcanic cap and only visible in deep valleys. This occurred on the banks of
the Maribyrnong, especially towards Braybrook and on the Avondale Heights side of Clancys Ford,
but also in the Keilor area, near Dry Creek. The firm of H.V.McKay needed sand for its foundries in
the early years of this century. However, sand was never as important an extractive industry in the
area as that of bluestone.
Sand was quarried from caves in the side of Green Gully and used in the making of sandsoap, a
common household product. Later these caves were filled in, following the deaths of two men
collecting sand in the caves.
Timber was never a plentiful local resource since the grassy plains were only lightly timbered,
especially with she-oaks. These were a valuable resource for firewood and fencing but not very
suitable for building. Early settlers such as Joseph Solomon made fences of tea-tree and
Passing travellers cut down native trees. James McIntyre later recalled the trouble
his father had with the diggers and bullock drivers 'who used to cut down the trees on his land for
firewood and feed for their cattle’.
Red river gum trees did survive at Brimbank Farm, along the
banks of the river, because John Dodd wanted them kept.

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Associated Quarries, Market St. Sunshine, one of the more recently-filled quarries

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5 Grazing Country
Grazing stock
Within weeks of Batman’s exploration of the grassy plains, settlers or their agents and servants
were arriving with large numbers of sheep, as well as cattle and horses. A pastoral licence system
operated, but by the early 1840s there was also a system of annual occupation licences which
could be bought at auction.
One of the largest flocks, in the care of one of the Solomons and their agent, E.D.Ferguson, was in
the Brimbank area by the end of 1835, a total of 2,700 sheep. Joseph Solomon’s station was
initially in Kealba-North Sunshine, near the natural crossing later known as Solomon’s Ford.
However, by 1849 his head station was on the land that is now Medway Golf Course, Maidstone.
His son Alfred later recalled some of the dangers - eagles from the ranges taking off the lambs and
the great bushfire of 1851, when many of the terrified stock drowned in the tidal river in their
attempts to escape the fire.
In the flood of 1849 many settlers’ sheep drowned in the swollen
waters of the Maribyrnong River.
Isaac Batey, a settler in the Sunbury area, later recalled: ‘Keilor, being so near Melbourne, not
forgetting it was open country, and well-adapted for sheep, it would be taken up by the end of
Stations changed hands during the 1840s, especially in the recession years 1843-4. It could be
said that by the end of the 1840s, virtually the whole of the Brimbank area was in the hands of
eight or ten settlers, most of these occupying several thousand acres. Batey estimated that one
acre per sheep was needed. Large holdings were necessary for economic viability. Working for the
pastoralists were shepherds, bullock-drivers, hut-keepers, boundary-riders, all part of an important
infrastructure. Watson and Hunter’s station at Keilor included ‘a woolshed, stockyards, a good hut
for the men’, but these no longer remain.
Developing pastoral properties
Francis Anderson was one of the early substantial settlers in the area, occupied in sheep-farming
and dairying on his Glengala Station, in what is now West Sunshine. Anderson purchased most of
the land he had previously leased, but for many years had a station manager or overseer. By the
1890s, Frank Little was the owner, followed by Lachlan Fairbairn, who owned
during the
early years of the 20th century.
Early Keilor: drawing by an unknown artist. Hunter and Watson’s homestead can be seen in the distance.

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Land purchase encouraged improvements and by 1857 there were a number of drystone walls in
the Brimbank area, separating properties and paddocks. A report that year commented on the
parish of Maribyrnong: ‘A few good stone fences the only improvement worth noting’.
These stone fences, the complex of outbuildings at Overnewton and the sheep-race at Taylor’s
Creek, Green Gully, are possibly the only physical structures that survive as evidence of the
extensive pastoral activity that once occurred in the study area, from the earliest days of European
Sheep-race at Taylor’s Creek, Green Gully
The land sales of the early 1850s enabled the big pastoralists to consolidate their grip on large
areas of country. ‘Big Clarke’ and the Chirnsides built up enormous estates, of which small
portions were located in the study area. William Taylor purchased more than 11,000 acres, thereby
joining the select group of landholders in the Port Phillip region whose holdings exceeded 10,000
These pastoral estates were to remain virtually intact for the rest of the century and in fact
increased in size. Clarke in particular, had a policy of buying up land and leasing it to local farmers.
The official statistics for 1855 gives some idea of the pastoral nature of the district, listing the
number of sheep in each parish, including 28,000 sheep in the parish of Maribyrnong, which
makes up a large portion of the Brimbank area.
In 1880, there were 38,351 sheep in Keilor Shire and 9,190 sheep in Braybrook Shire, though
Wyndham had a far greater number - over 86,000. A journalist passing through the region in 1876
noted: ‘the immense estate of Messrs. Chirnside, W.J.Clarke and Staughton, the absence of
roads, houses or life of any kind ... which gives an air of stillness and desolation to the scene’.
some, the pastoral dominance led to a sparse and scattered population and hindered progress.
This view led ultimately to the break-up of the big pastoral estates.
‘Big Clarke’ was well known for breeding mutton sheep, especially the Leicester breed, while other
squatters favoured cross-breeds, but there is no physical structure remaining in the study area
which relates to this activity.
One of the most famous cattle breeding sites in Victoria was at
Mount Derrimut, by the Morton brothers, in the 1850s -1860s. Some of the outbuildings still
survive. The Mortons bred Shorthorn cattle and built up ‘a magnificent herd’, described as ‘one of
the leading herds in the colony’ and reaching astoundingly high prices at sales in 1875.
The Derrimut breed continued in herds in the Western District for years afterwards. Other famous
cattle-breeders at this time were Robert McDougall, whose Shorthorn stud was at Arundel, just
outside the Brimbank area, and Grant and McNab, whose properties are in the City of Hume.

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Wool from the thousands of sheep on the pastoral properties of the area was one of the first local
products to be exported, via agents and wool brokers. The first local livestock to be exported were
horses sent to India in the 1870s, through a trade developed by local dealers, such as Isaac
Gidney and Thomas Derham. Their properties were mainly just outside the Brimbank area.
Unlocking the lands
‘Farmers’ Commons’ were a Government initiative designed to increase or protect access of local
residents to Crown land for grazing purposes. Both the Keilor Common and the Braybrook
Common were gazetted in 1861. The Keilor Common comprised a large part of what is now
St.Albans. It was finally abolished in 1885 and sold in small allotments.
Opportunities to purchase land in the Brimbank area increased following the Selection Acts of the
1860s. These sought to reduce the pastoral monopoly and ‘unlock the lands’. The Amending Land
Act of 1865 (42nd clause) released land for sale, especially between Kororoit Creek and what is
now Station Road (north of Ballarat Road) and in the St.Albans area. It enabled some local
farmers to extend existing holdings.
Those who also had land in the parish of Derrimut would
have made use of fords over Kororoit Creek which still survive.
The most dramatic attempt by Government to increase access to the ownership of land was the
Closer Settlement Act of 1904 and the compulsory acquisition of large pastoral estates, which
were then sub-divided into smaller holdings. 11,336 acres of William Taylor’s Overnewton estate
were sub-divided into 60 holdings. Some of his estate extended beyond the Brimbank area, into
the present Shire of Melton. Statistics published give some idea of the increased population and
workforce and the productivity of the closer settlement farms.
Melbourne Directory
entry for St.Albans in 1910 lists 28 farmers, including 18 who were not
listed seven years previously.
Similarly the entry ‘farmer’ appears frequently in the St.Albans
Primary School registers about 1903 onwards.
The increased number of farms and families in
the area was also reflected in the opening of a new State School, No. 3559, at Sydenham, about
The new farmers faced considerable difficulties - clay soil, a dry climate, lack of water. The
modest size of their holdings was a factor limiting economic viability.
Andersons' farmhouse, Taylor's Road, St.Albans

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6 Farming, Fruit-Growing and Market-Gardening
Cattle crossing the ford from Avondale Heights to North Sunshine
Developing the dairying industry
Dairying was a major activity in the Brimbank area, contributing to the livelihood of many small
farmers, from the 1850s onwards. The separating of cream from the milk and the making of butter
was the main technology of the early years, especially involving women. Dodds’ ruins, the
bluestone dairy at Brimbank Park, the dairy at Overnewton and Opies’ dairy at Deer Park all
represent this early economic activity. Changes in dairying technology affected the mode of
production, for example the introduction of separators and pasteurisation. A creamery was opened
at Keilor in the 1890s and farmers began supplying milk in bulk to the creamery. In later years, milk
was picked up by milk trucks and taken to depots further afield. Cameron’s dairy in Sydney Street,
Albion, operating in the 1920s-30s, still survives. Richards’ dairy was a major dairy in Sunshine for
many years. Other examples may still survive in the St.Albans, Sydenham-Keilor area.

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Developing hay and chaff production
Hay was the main crop of the Brimbank area from the days of the early farmers of the 1850s-60s
until the early twentieth century. Carts carrying hay or stone were a familiar sight on local roads.
Melbourne’s western region was an important hay-producing area, partly because of the climate
and the soil, and the proximity to Melbourne, via the railway. Braybrook and Keilor shires produced
a third of the region’s hay (or 5,819 tons) in 1869, 46% in 1871, 50% in 1873 and 30% in 1880,
when Wyndam was the leading producer. Technological innovations such as hay-cock lifters,
reaping machines, mowers and binders assisted the harvesting process. Production increased in
the early years of the 20th century, reaching 20,978 tons in 1911. This reflected the change in
land-use following the break-up of the big pastoral estates. Haysheds and machinery sheds may
still survive in the study area, representing this significant strand in the local economy.
Most sheds were built of timber and iron, but at least one, at Dodds’ Brimbank Farm, was partly
made of flattened kerosene tins.
The region’s hay-producing capacity was reflected in the number of chaffmills established in the
early 20th century, usually near railway lines with a connecting railway siding. One of these was
the chaff mill at Sydenham, opened in 1919. This no longer survives, except for a railway siding,
Others were at Rockbank, Melton, Diggers Rest, Ascot Vale and Footscray.
Chaff to feed horses
was virtually the fuel which serviced Melbourne’s transport needs, before the advent of motorised
Expanding fruit production
The productivity of the Brimbank area was also reflected in its orchards. These were mainly at
Keilor, where orchardists such as David Milburn and Matthew Goudie used the waters of the
Maribyrnong for irrigation. Donald McDonald, who grew up at Keilor, later described the scene of
his childhood:
In the orchards the cherries redden and ripen; but the glowing clusters must nestle undisturbed ... until
the fields above show nothing but stretches of short stubble, Then the fruits are gathered for market.
An article in the
in 1877 reported that David Milburn’s orchard at Keilor was mainly peach
and apricot trees. Its productivity was due partly to the rich alluvial soil and partly to the hand
watering of trees in summer.
Throughout the 1870s, Keilor was the chief fruit-growing district in
Melbourne’s western region, with the largest area of orchards. An account in 1880 described the
equipment used in one garden, probably Milburn’s.
There are two pumps of very large dimensions one of which brings water up from a depth of 45 ft. and
can water the whole garden with convenience and little labour to the workmen as a horse is employed to
work the pump.
Keilor became famous for its apricots and in 1896, one orchard, again probably Milburn’s,
produced 4,150 cases of apricots, almost the equivalent of the amount produced by 117 fruit
growers in Doncaster that year. Goudie’s orchard on ‘Keilor Hill’, adjoined Dennis Cahill’s orchard
and though smaller than Milburn’s, was immensely productive.

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Apricot harvest at Dodds' Brimbank Farm, Keilor.
Jane Goudie, daughter of Matthew Goudie, carefully documented the sales of the fruit from their
orchard from 1879 to 1893.
The harvest of 1885 was a specially good crop - 1596 lbs of cherries and 2051 lbs of apricots, as
well as pears, peaches, apples and plums.
Jane married John Milburn in 1894 and John Dodd
rented and then purchased the orchard. He sold it in 1914, by which time he had developed an
orchard at Brimbank Farm. Some almond trees still grow on the hill.
Apricot growing at Keilor increased during the first two decades of the 20th century, stimulated by
closer settlement and the demands of the jam factories of Melbourne. Settlers on the sub-divided
Arundel estate, such as J.D.MacFarlane and the three Brown brothers, planted orchards and did
well. This land is just outside the study area. Articles in the
Weekly Times
in the 1920s-early 1930s
described the success of the Keilor orchardists, including the Milburn Brothers, J.D.McFarlane,
J.Dodd and others.

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Stensons' apricot orchard, St.Albans.
Establishing market gardening
Market gardening was already established in Keilor when David Milburn was growing vegetables in
the 1850s-60s. It was not until the early 20th century that intensive production of vegetables
developed on a substantial scale. Melbourne’s growth and improved transport encouraged this
development. The most successful of the Keilor market gardeners in the early years was Borrells’
market garden, run by the Spaniard, José Borrell. (Described in earlier section) His example of
intensive cultivation was followed by others in the district. Milburns and Dodds and other local
producers chopped down their orchards and developed market gardens. Wartime requirements
were also a factor affecting local production. José Borrell was exporting cauliflowers wrapped in
cellophane, to American troops in the Pacific. The Dodds at Brimbank developed facilities for the
controlled ripening of tomatoes and these sheds still survive at Brimbank Park.
Borrell's market garden, Keilor.

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7 Travelling: Roads, Railways and Bridges
Tracks were fanning out from Melbourne across the plains, soon after settlement. The main route
to Portland and to Mount Macedon went through Keilor, at first by a ford, then via a timber bridge
over the Maribyrnong River. Another route was via Solomon’s Ford, from what is now North Road
in Avondale Heights and across present-day Sunshine towards Geelong, or to turn north along the
route of what is now Sunshine Avenue to join up with the Mount Macedon Road.
In 1846, the Mount Macedon Road was ‘the most important highway in the district’, but a serious
flood that year caused problems: Part of a bridge over the Maribyrnong River was carried away
and no bullock drays or heavy carts could pass until the damage was partially repaired.
Main route to the goldfields
100,000 migrants arrived in Melbourne in 1852 alone, often making their way to the goldfields on
foot and pushing wheelbarrows laden with their goods and equipment. A sketch in a London
newspaper in February 1853 depicts the hopeful diggers.
Many gold seekers travelled to Ballarat via Geelong but thousands travelled through Keilor and
across the Keilor Plains, taking the northerly track to Mount Alexander (Castlemaine) and Bendigo,
or the westward track after Keilor towards Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Ballarat.
The Mount Alexander Road through Keilor was soon the main route to the goldfields. It was said
once that more people travelled on this road than on any road in England. The road out of Keilor
was also the most notorious section in winter, a quagmire that carts would be stuck in for weeks.
In 1854, the American firm of Cobb and Co. began running their efficient coaches to the gold fields
at Castlemaine and Bendigo, with Keilor as their first main stop. Their practice was to arrange the
journey in short stretches or ‘legs’, usually about ten miles in length. At the end of each stretch the
coach was supplied with fresh horses. Keilor was therefore a logical stopping point, being ten
miles from town. Cobb & Co. quickly became the largest coaching company in Victoria and later
throughout the whole country.
Most of the early drivers were Americans who were extremely
skilled and were paid very high wages.
So important was the Mount Alexander Road that the Victorian Government spent vast sums on a
new bridge over the Maribyrnong River at Keilor, opened in 1855. This was a timber lattice girder
bridge, on the lines of similar bridges in America. The abutments were of bluestone, 38 feet high,
and the span of the bridge 160 feet. The design was influenced by the factor that the river could
rise 30 feet in time of flood.
The bridge eventually cost £20,000.
The long slog across the Keilor plains, 1853

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Iron bridge, Keilor Road, built 1868
Rough tracks went through the area in the early 1850s, the predecessors of today’s Ballarat Road
and Geelong Road. The Ballarat Road was a possible route to the diggings, via Deer Park, but
seems to have been less used. In the 1850s -60s, responsibility for road construction was handed
over to Road District Boards. In the Brimbank area, the Braybrook Road District was established in
1860 and the Keilor Road District in 1863. The latter contributed to the construction of a new
bridge over the Maribyrnong, the iron bridge at Keilor, built in 1868 and still surviving.
First Government Railway
The coming of the first Government railway in Victoria brought hundreds of workers to the district,
for the construction of the Melbourne, Mount Alexander and Murray River Railway. The contract
was awarded to Cornish & Co. at a cost of £3,356,937. It was the greatest public work in Australia
up to that time.
The firm paid a deposit of £40,000 and started work near Footscray on 7 June
1858. The first stretch of line, Footscray to Sunbury, going through the Brimbank area, was 21
miles. This included constructing a bluestone railway bridge over Stony Creek, at Sunshine, and
bluestone railway culverts in the St.Albans-Sydenham area.
The contractors, Cornish & Bruce, brought out stonemasons from England to work on the bridges
and culverts.
I.K. Brunel, one of Britain’s leading railway engineers, was the Inspecting Officer
supervising the contracts in England, so many aspects of the line’s design, operation and
construction were influenced by British practice and Brunel’s individual railway philosophy, for
example, wide tracks, generous earthworks, solid masonry, gentle grades. It was also very costly.

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Bluestone railway bridge, Sydenham.
Bluestone railway bridge over Stony Creek, Sunshine
The firm made rapid progress and completed work on a single track by 13 January 1859. This was
a day of great celebration, with the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Barklay, on a special train going
first to Williamstown, then through Footscray at 30 miles an hour and on to Sunbury. Two other
trains from Melbourne were delayed and a mounted messenger was sent to look for the trains.
They finally arrived and lunch in the contractors’ workshops began at 4 p.m. Toasts included one
to ‘the working men of the Melbourne & Mount Alexander Line of Railway’.
The Sunbury line was open for passenger traffic on 10 February 1859, with three trains from
Melbourne to Sunbury a day and four trains from Sunbury to Melbourne. By arrangement, the main
coaching companies running to and from Sandhurst, connected with trains at Diggers Rest. The

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Keilor Road station opened for business on 1 March 1859. Another station opened in the Brimbank
area, at ‘Albion and Darlington’, nine miles from Melbourne, on 5 January 1860, but this was
closed at the end of the same year.
Workers completed a second line of rail to Sunbury and a goods service began on 11 July 1859.
By the end of 1859, the new Victorian Railways Department had received £29, 455 revenue from
the Sunbury line, though its expenses totalled just over £27,000. Of the 83,558 passengers who
had travelled on the line, 13,689 had left from Keilor Road.
In October 1862 the line to
Castlemaine and Bendigo was finished and officially opened.
The coming of the iron road to the Brimbank area led to a new group of workers residing in the
area. These were railway employees looking after the lines and the railway gates, and living in
houses owned by the Victorian Railways. A number of women were railway gatekeepers.
It was some years before a railway went through the Brimbank area to Ballarat. Train travellers to
Ballarat went via Geelong on a line opened in 1862. On 2 April 1884 a line between Braybrook
Junction and Melton was opened, a distance of 15.65 miles. During the next three years the
section to Bacchus Marsh was completed, but trains could not go through to Ballarat until
December 1889. In the meantime, a goods line between Newport and Braybrook Junction was
completed by 24 September 1887.
This wealth of connecting railway lines was seen as a key
factor in inducing industries to settle in the area. Railway sidings went off from the main lines to the
quarries and new factories.
‘Braybrook Junction’ was described as ‘the greatest junction in
Braybrook Junction Station opened in 1885 and St.Albans Station in 1887, facilities which helped
to encourage settlement. The St.Albans station resulted from approaches by the Cosmopolitan
Land & Banking Company, who sent a cheque for £700 towards its erection and another £500
towards the cost of a siding.
A suburban train service, with more frequent trains, was introduced
in 1888. According to a timetable of 1889, the St.Albans-Melbourne journey took 30 minutes and
the Braybrook Junction -Melbourne journey, 20 minutes.
Goods and passenger traffic increased with the coming of H.V.McKay’s Harvester Works. In 1907,
the station changed its name to Sunshine. One contemporary photograph shows a stream of
workers leaving the station for the Harvester works. Another photo shows the station platform
jammed with workers waiting for their homeward train. A new station opened to serve the growing
suburb of ‘Albion’ on 24 November 1919, following initiatives by H.V.McKay. Electrification of
suburban railway lines began in 1919, a new electricity sub-station was built at Albion and by 1921
the line between Footscray and St.Albans had been electrified.
With the construction of the Albion-Broadmeadows line and Dynon bypass, the majority of
Victorian country freight services, with the exception of the Gippsland line, ran through Sunshine.

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The quarter mile or Trestle Bridge across the Maribyrnong River

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8 Developing Australia’s Manufacturing Base
For many years, the Brimbank area was on the frontier of the most highly industrialised region in
Melbourne. Most of its early factories were large-scale, the largest and most innovative of their
kind in Australia, utilising overseas expertise and investment as well as colonial skill and capital.
They replaced many previously imported products, thus lessening Australia’s dependence and
increasing her self-sufficiency. Some factories exported their products in huge quantities, and
supplied the Government with essential items for use by troops in World War Two.
Links with meat preserving
In the late 1860s-early 1870s two leading meat preserving companies utilised Brimbank's
paddocks to graze stock before they made their journey to the slaughterhouse. This began a long
term-trend of agisting stock, destined for Melbourne meatworks, in the area. The Melbourne Meat
Preserving Company, based at Maribyrnong, rented over 2,000 acres of Francis Anderson’s
Glengala estate for some years. The Australian Meat Preserving Company, based at Footscray
(1868-1874), rented land from James Delahey at Keilor. The Maribyrnong works was Australia’s
leading meat cannery in the 1870s.
Developing the explosives industry
Tariff changes in the early 1870s encouraged local production of explosives and a number of
ventures began operations in Braybrook, Maidstone, Footscray and Newport. In June 1875 the
firm of Jones Scott & Co. applied to Braybrook Shire Council, stating ‘that they had purchased
Peter Wilkie’s farm of 63 acres at Kororoit Creek Bridge and that they proposed erecting a
lithofracteur factory on the Derrimut side of the creek’.
The factory, ‘a novelty in the southern
hemisphere’, began operations in May 1876 and became the leading producer of explosives in
Australia, of great importance in the mining and quarrying industries. This factory began production
only three years after the British Dynamite Company Ltd. began manufacturing Alfred Nobel’s
patented dynamite at Ardeer, Scotland.
It is very much part of the story of explosives
manufacture in a world context.
The lithofracteur factory at Kororoit Creek was probably the first factory to be established in the
Brimbank area, an interesting example of a joint venture between colonial and overseas interests
and the beginning of extensive explosives production in the Deer Park/St.Albans area.
Possibly the original office of Jones Scott & Co./Australian Explosives and Chemicals, later ICI Deer Park

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Federal Manures, a part of Australian Explosives and Chemicals which used the waste nitric acid from the
nitro glycerine plant to produce superphosphate
Diversifying chemicals production
The company later became known as the Australian Explosives & Chemical Company. In 1897 it
was taken over by Nobels and in 1928 Nobels, Deer Park merged with Kynochs, Footscray and
the Spotswood Fuse Factory to form I.C.I.A.N.Z. During its 120 years of operations the factory has
diversified and expanded, assisting Australia to become self-sufficient in chemical production. Its
subsidiary factories have included Federal Fertilisers (1904), which produced artificial fertiliser,
using nitric acid from the plant and ICI Leathercloth (1928) which utilised the same nitrocellulose
base used in making nitroglycerine explosives. ICI Leathercloth was an unusual example of co
operation between two rival companies, as the American firm Du Pont were associated in
developing the new enterprise with ICI.
In 1939, ICI began manufacturing synthetic ammonia at Deer Park, for the first time in Australia.
Other new sections were zip fasteners and gun ammunition. In 1950, ICIANZ had 2,452
The black powder plant was demolished recently, to make way for the Western Ring
Road, but some early structures remain. The distinctive layout of the factory included an extensive
tramway system and a system of mounds round each building where explosives manufacture was
carried on. Railway sidings connected to the Melbourne-Ballarat line.
Three other explosives enterprises in the area were the Nico explosives factory (St. Albans) and
the Rendite Explosives Company (Braybrook Junction) which operated briefly in the early 1890s,
and the Albion Explosives Factory at Deer Park, established in 1939 and i run by I.C.I.A.N.Z for the
Commonwealth Government, as a wartime annexe.
Albion Explosives Factory was of immense importance in the World War Two period, producing
military explosives and propellants, which included most of Australia’s TNT and much of its cordite.
Subsidiary sections were the nitric and sulphuric acid plants, significant because such acids, once
imported, were now being manufactured in Australia. The factory covered 500 hectares, with
hundreds of buildings widely dispersed, in accordance with an official scale of distances between
buildings containing explosives. Magazines, air raid shelters and tank farms were an important
feature of the site. It later became a Government factory and continued until 1987, when it

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A rather different enterprise was the Phoenix Fireworks factory which began in 1891 at Braybrook
Junction, near the corner of Ballarat Road and McIntyre Road, and continued for many years as
the only fireworks factory in Australia.
Processing animal products
The processing of animal products and by-products was a basic strand in the region’s
manufacturing development from the 1840s onwards. The first such establishment in the Brimbank
area was Parsons & Lewis Horsehair Drawers & Curlers, which came to Braybrook Junction, next
to Kororoit Creek, in 1900. The firm had previously been based at Kensington, but its proprietor,
Edmund Parsons, had been living at ‘the Junction’ since 1891, in Morris Street. The Parsons
family ran this very specialised business until the 1990s, servicing the demand for horsehair
upholstery, medical goods and brushes.
At Brooklyn, a group of meat works began operations in the early years of the 20th century. The
English firm of Thomas Borthwick & Sons established their business south of Geelong Road in
1908, just outside the Brimbank area. The Western & Murray District Bacon Curing Co. arrived
about the same time. By 1924, J.H.Ralph’s abattoirs were processing thousands of pigs per week.
The works still continues to operate on this site under different owners.
Developing metals trades
South Australian and Melbourne firms set up new factories in the embryo suburb of Braybrook
Junction, at the junction of the Bendigo and Ballarat Railway lines, in the boom years 1889-91.
They were expanding or re-locating their business operations in the metal trades and were
attracted by cheap land and the proximity to main railway lines. The suburb’s promoters described
it as the ‘Birmingham of Australia’. Three of these new factories had railway sidings.
Mellor Bros. of South Australia set up the Braybrook Implement Company as an offshoot of their
existing agricultural machinery business and bought 63 acres of land, adjoining the railway. They
used sheds from the 1888 exhibition and these appear in photos well into the twentieth century.
The Braybrook factory produced stump-jump ploughs, strippers and winnowers and virtually had a
monopoly of the stump-jump plough market. These machines went to the Mallee where the land
was being opened up for wheat -growing but the firm wound up in June-July 1904.
bought the site for his Sunshine Harvester works, together with the adjoining site, a works for
treating metals and ores owned by Danks & Barnes, brass and iron founders.
Wright & Edwards, railway carriage manufacturers, built workshops on a site that is now the
J.R.Parsons Reserve. The firm had big contracts for the supply of railway wagons and carriages
and employed a large workforce. The names of the company’s directors, survive in the streets of
South Sunshine (Benjamin, Morris, Couch, Chapman and Wright Streets). The firm went into
liquidation at the end of 1891 and for a time the works continued under the auspices of the
Victorian Railways, to complete orders. However, by 1897 the factory sheds had been demolished
and removed to North Melbourne.

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Sunshine Harvester Works from a post card c.1908, showing the surviving
McKay office in the right foreground.
Early Sunshine Harvester, from a company catalogue
Sunshine Harvester Works
H.V.McKay’s Sunshine Harvester Works became Australia’s largest agricultural implement works,
eventually occupying 80 acres and employing 2,000-3,000 people at peak production times.
McKay was a skilful promoter, marketing his products overseas and setting up branches in every
Australian state, except Tasmania, as well as a large network of agents in country areas.
McKay first developed his harvester in 1884 and later established a factory at Ballarat, where his
Sunshine Harvester Works became one of the largest factories. He bought the Braybrook
Implement Works, near the junction of the Ballarat and Bendigo railway lines, a location which
gave convenient access to the main wheat-growing areas of Victoria, South Australia and West
Australia, and to the port, and gradually re-located his factory. 200 of his employees came with
In 1906 there were 250 ‘hands’ working at the Braybrook Junction factory, but within a year
the works had trebled in size and 1000 men were employed. In 1911, the works covered 27 acres,
with 1600 employees.

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In 1921, the firm became H.V.McKay Pty.Ltd and opened new factory offices and show-rooms at
the works. Some company offices still survive on the south side of Devonshire Road, though the
impressive clock tower of 1921 has gone. In that year the factory installed new plant to produce
reapers and binders. By 1924 the factory was producing the Sunshine auto-header.
By 1926, the
year of H.V.McKay’s death, half the 80 acre factory site was covered with roofed workshop
buildings. That year was also a year of peak production, with the factory turning out over 1,000
harvesters and 3,500 headers.
McKay’s national influence was evident in the ‘Harvester Judgement’ case and his battles with the
unions. He was one of Australia’s leading manufacturers. He had the support of his brothers,
George, Sam and Nathaniel, and his nephews, especially Ralph and Victor, as well as managers
such as D.B.Ferguson and other senior staff such as George Bult.
The Depression affected the firm’s business and many employees were working reduced hours,
but World War 2 transformed production. Munitions manufacture involved production of millions of
spare parts - for guns, rifles, tanks, marine and aircraft engines - and tools. The factory made a
significant contribution to the development of Australia’s aircraft manufacturing industry. The
Government built and equipped a gun ammunition annexe operated by the harvester works, and
this too produced large quantities.
Employees worked day and night during war-time, with long
shifts. A number of women worked at this time, especially in the Annexe and the Core Shop.
A local promotional book in 1947 described the factory as ‘the largest agricultural implement works
in the southern hemisphere ... giving direct employment to 2000 people’.
But within seven years
there were dramatic changes in the company management and a new name, Massey-Ferguson
(Australia) Limited. This completed the part-merger begun in 1930 with the creation of H.V.McKay
Massey Harris. The internal changes under Massey-Ferguson were reflected in the construction of
a new administration block, including a new clock tower, which still remains.
The factory continued to produce traditional items such as the Sunshine self-propelled header, but
also developed the first successful mechanical sugar cane harvesters. Certain lines of production
ceased. Overseas competition and a decline in the market for farm machinery threatened survival
and the firm took drastic action in 1971, sacking 900 people. Retrenchments and winding-down
operations occurred during the next 15 years and the factory finally ceased operations in 1986.
Massey-Ferguson (Australia), now AGCO Australia Limited, continued to use the Sunshine offices.
The Sunshine factory played an important part in developing Australia’s manufacturing capacity
because of the size of the factory, both in terms of physical space and the numbers employed; the
enormous volume of production; the skill, ingenuity and resourcefulness of its workers.
Attracting other industries
The initial success of the Sunshine Harvester Works attracted other industries to the Sunshine
Albion area, but the main reason for the arrival of new factories was probably that H.V.McKay
himself actively encouraged companies to locate in Sunshine and sold land to them. Within two
decades of the establishment of the Sunshine Harvester works, another ten factories had begun
operations in the area. These included: Sunshine Potteries (1916), run by the Drayton Brothers,
who produced large numbers of porcelain insulators for electric power lines from 1922 and the first
electric jug in the world; Sunshine Cabinet Works (1919), run by George Mochrie; A.R.C. (1920);
Darlings’ Flour Mill (1922, burnt down 1926 and re-built the same year); Nettlefolds Pty.Ltd.
producing wood screws (1925); A.G. Spalding Bros., producing sports goods (1925); Wunderlich,
producing cement sheets (1925); Crittal Manufacturing Company, producing metal windows,
(1925); Sunshine Fire Brick Company; Sunshine Ice Company. At least seven of these factories
were on land formerly owned by H.V.McKay.

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World War Two was the catalyst for the opening of new factories in South Sunshine, notably the
Monsanto Chemicals Factory (1939-45), on a 70 acre site in Somerville Road, producing aspirin
and other pharmaceutical items on a large scale, and Drayton Refractories, which began
producing spark plug insulators in Market Road in 1940.
Post-war industries
South Sunshine continued to be a favoured area for new factories in the post-war period, mainly
because of zoning. Les Shea and Tom Connor left the Massey-Ferguson firm and began their own
agricultural machinery business there in 1953, under the name ‘Connor Shea’. This was very
The number of diverse industries in this area increased during the next two decades.
By 1951, Monsanto was manufacturing sulpha drugs, herbicides and powders for making plastics
and was employing 500 people.
Its polystyrene plant is said to have been the first in Australia.
Monsanto chimneys, now Huntsman Chemicals

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Darling's flour mill, Albion
New factories appeared between Albion and St.Albans, beginning with Rubbertex in 1946. North
Sunshine, along McIntyre Road and Berkshire Road, became a centre of small businesses
specialising in particular areas of metal work. This grew during the 1970s-80s. A solitary factory on
its own was the lead factory in Ardeer, which opened in 1951. A number of the old-established
factories closed in the 1980s-90s, including Nettlefolds, Darling’s Flour Mill and Spaldings.
In the 1980s, new industries developed in the Tullamarine area. Honda Australia was the largest of
these, with a big complex in Sharps Road. By the mid 1990s the Brimbank area had approximately
1,989 industrial establishments, using 19% of the land for industrial purposes.
Exporting local products
The great exporter of locallymanufactured products was H.V.McKay’s firm, which is said to have
exported 10,000 Sunshine stripper harvesters to Argentina, from 1909 to 1914.
During World
War One, the factory diversified and manufactured ambulances, general service wagons and
Furphy water carts, to send overseas. In World War Two, exports of agricultural machinery
reached new heights and the factory sent out 20,000 Sunshine drills and cultivators, binders and
disc harrows to Britain and 400,000 shell bodies ordered by the British Government.
Darling’s flour mill first exported flour in 1927 and was a major supplier to the Government during
World War Two. Monsanto manufactured large quantities of sulpha drugs during that war for use
by the armed forces in the tropics.
José Borrell obtained the government contract to supply
cauliflowers to troops in the Pacific. In the post-war period, Parsons & Lewis built up a
considerable overseas export trade for their horsehair products.
Overseas economic links
German and British expertise and investment played a part in the development of the explosives
factory at Deer Park in the 1870s, manufacturing according to a German patent. Krebs Brothers of
Cologne, Germany, signed an agreement with Jones, Scott & Co. in December 1874 to
manufacture explosives at Kororoit Creek and sent out experts to commence operations and train

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
personnel. A new company, the Australian Lithofracteur Company (Krebs Patent) Ltd., was formed
in London, with funds subscribed from three main sources: British (46%), Australian (29%) and
German (25%).
British expertise and investment were involved in the setting up of at least three Sunshine factories
in the 1920s (Nettlefolds, Crittals, Spaldings). The American firm Dupont collaborated with I.C.I. in
developing the leathercloth factory at Deer Park in the 1920s.
The Sunshine Harvester firm ‘enjoyed perhaps half the local market for farm machinery and a
valuable trade name’
and so was attractive to Canada’s leading maker of farm implements, the
Massey Harris company, which was keen to market its tractors in Australia. The two companies
merged in 1930, forming the new company H.V.McKay Massey Harris. It was a merger of two
great industrial enterprises, with a huge overseas export trade. This eventually led to the take
over by the Canadian firm Massey-Harris-Ferguson, in 1955 and a change in name to Massey
Ferguson in 1958.
The factories of Sunshine-Deer Park formed a major part of the most industrialised area of
Melbourne and were also part of world networks. Multinational firms began to play a bigger role in
the area, but parallel with this development was the continuance of small locally-based
manufacturing concerns.
ICI Leathercloth factory, Station Road, Deer Park.

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Wunderlich building products factory - recycled as Westend Market

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
9 Engineers and Inventors
Kororoit Creek aqueduct: Outfall Sewer
Developing an engineering industry
A number of public works undertaken in the Brimbank area have been of state and national
significance. The construction of the Mount Alexander road across the Keilor plains was one of the
first notable engineering works undertaken by the new Victorian Government in the early 1850s.
The ‘lattice’ bridge over the Maribyrnong River at Keilor in 1855 was a major achievement. The
Iron Bridge at Keilor (1868), which still survives, represents another landmark in engineering
The construction of the first Government railway in Australia, the Mount Alexander Railway,
undertaken by the contractors, Cornish & Bruce in 1858 was a further engineering achievement.
The construction of the Outfall Sewer in 1893, including the bridge over Kororoit Creek, was an
outstanding engineering achievement, one of the largest public works projects ever carried out in
Australia. Melbourne did not have an underground sewerage system until the 1890s, after the
Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works was established. Work on the Outfall Sewer, the
largest sewer in the whole system, began in the second half of 1892, going towards the sewage
farm at Werribee and crossing through the southern end of the Brimbank area. The work was
‘carried through with unprecedented speed’ and completed within a year, with the exception of the
Kororoit Creek aqueduct.
Large construction camps were necessary to house the 1,300 men
working on the project. They moved hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of earth and rock and
also planted thousands of trees along the line of the Outfall Sewer.

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The railway trestle bridge over the Maribyrnong river in 1927 was a spectacular feat of bridge
building, an engineering solution to the problem posed by the very deep valley of the Maribyrnong
River. Even today it is one of the highest bridges in Australia. Its recent parallel in the Western
Ring Road bridge provides a contemporary example of a somewhat different engineering solution
to the same problem. The construction of the Western Ring Road was a large-scale public works
project, linking the main freeways out of Melbourne.
Early firms contributed to the development of an engineering and construction industry in the area,
including the firms of Wright & Edwards, Danks & Barnes and the Braybrook Implement Company,
which arrived at Braybrook Junction in 1889-90. The Sunshine Harvester Works was a major
engineering establishment, playing a key role in the development of specialised techniques, and
was an important training ground for apprentices and engineers.
New firms arriving in the 1920s were often pioneers in their field, notably A.R.C, which was a
pioneer in the development of steel-reinforced concrete construction methods that have been
universally adopted in large multi-storey office construction.
In recent years, local firms such as
Deer Park Engineering, have achieved nation-wide recognition and built up an export trade
South Australian inventors became involved with the Brimbank area in 1889 when the Mellor
brothers set up an agricultural implement factory at Braybrook Junction. Their father, Joseph
Mellor Senior, had been one of the first manufacturers in Australia to build strippers embodying the
principles of Ridley’s revolutionary machine.
His sons developed a version of the stump-jump
plough invented by R.B.Smith in 1876 and took out patents for improvements in ploughs,
cultivators, windmills, machines for stripping grain and the roller.
H.V.McKay was one of Australia’s most well-known inventors. His Sunshine Harvester was a
notable invention, but also important are later inventions by his relatives, colleagues and
employees. In 1916, his firm began making ‘header harvesters’, using an invention by Headlie
Taylor., who joined the firm and lived in Sunshine for some years. Also introduced that year were
the ‘Sundercut’, a combination of stump-jump cultivator and plough and the ‘Suntyne’ combined
grain and fertiliser, drill and tyne cultivator. In 1918, the factory’s new Tube Mill became ‘the only
place in Australia to produce solid drawn brass and copper tubing’. Ralph McKay developed this
line of production. The factory at Sunshine was constantly innovative and experimental
Over the years, farmers and factory workers came up with ingenious ideas for labour-saving
devices or for increasing productivity. Seasonal workers at Harry Dodd’s Brimbank Farm would
make tools at their normal week-day workplace to use on Dodds’ apricot trees or tomato plants, at
week-ends. Factory-based inventions were usually patented, while ideas for a better way of doing
things on farms or in market gardens, were often passed on orally.

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
ARC factory, one of the last 1920s industries still operating at Albion

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
10 Working
Experiencing dangerous workplaces
Working at Australia’s leading explosives factory at Kororoit Creek, was a dangerous business, in
the early days. Young employees working with nitroglycerine at the lithofracteur works were liable
to suffer from intense headaches. The Inspector of Explosives reported in 1878:
Every precaution that can be suggested to reduce the chance of accident is at once adopted. Separate
buildings are used for each part of the process of manufacture and the magazines are at a safe distance,
the whole is under the supervision of a competent manager.
Special clothing and detailed regulations were designed to protect workers. However, there were
several fatal explosions in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The first of
these was in 1878. A bad explosion in 1892 killed three people and injured three more.
In 1923,
two separate explosions in the one year killed a total of six workers. At one stage, Deer Park was
known as ‘the blow-ups’. Changes in production and stringent risk-management procedures
helped to reduce the dangers. Some operations were re-located elsewhere and the present I.C.I.
factory has a very good safety record. In World War 2, workers at Albion Explosives Factory were
selected for some tasks according to their tolerance to the headache-inducing fumes.
A short-lived and little-known explosives factory in the Brimbank area, was the Nico Factory,
St.Albans, where an explosion in 1894 killed one man and injured another.
It appears that the
factory closed not long after.
A number of serious accidents occurred in quarries, from explosions, falls of rock, getting caught in
the machinery. The Albion Quarry had some bad accidents over the years and conditions were
very hard. Paul Sultana, a Maltese working there in the 1920s later recalled that his hands ‘literally
bled from loading road-metal onto trucks in the quarry’.
By the 1950s, the quarries were more
fully-mechanised and accidents were greatly reduced.
There were hazards in factories such as the Sunshine Harvester Works. In the Sheet Metal Shop
at McKays, the incredibly high noise level made many of the men deaf. As some workers
remembered later: ‘The machines didn’t have guards and you weren’t considered to be an
experienced machinist unless you had a couple of fingertips off ... there wasn’t one man with ten
Black powder mill, Albion Explosives Factory

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Wrought iron gates made by blacksmith Charlie Pippett, Sunshine Harvester Works.
Organising workers and workplaces
The Sunshine Harvester Works was a very large workplace and its founder had strong ideas on
unions. Many of the rules of the factory proved irksome to the workers, who regarded them as
‘pinpricks’. Lateness and absenteeism were punished. It was the issue of ‘the closed shop’
principle, or enforced unionism, which brought H.V. McKay into collision with his employees and
led to a major strike in 1911. McKay supported 12 of his employees who refused to join a union.
The strike lasted three months, with the union calling out 1,500 members, and ended in defeat for
the union.
There were other strikes in later years, but the metal trades strikes of 1946-7 were probably the
fiercest. These related to demands for increased wages, demands which were refused by the
employers, including Cecil McKay. By October 1946 all iron foundries, including the Sunshine
foundry, had been closed and in November 1946 the whole factory was shut down. Workers did
not resume until May 1947, when the strike was settled in the Arbitration Commission and union
members returned to work, with some pay increase.
The Harvester Factory’s buildings no longer survive, with the exception of the Bulk Store and the
offices. One powerful symbol remains - the wrought iron gates. Thousands of workers passed
through this gate over the years. If a worker arrived late for work and the gate was shut there was
no work that day. If a strike was on, the gates were shut.
Later foundries and factories within the Brimbank area were on a far smaller scale than the great
Sunshine Harvester Works. One foundry in particular, the W. L. Allen Foundry, Hulett Street,
Sunshine, developed very different principles of operation and management. These included
worker ownership of company shares and worker participation in decision-making processes. This
foundry still continues to operate, with Bob Hayes as its Managing Director.

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11 Shops and Shopping Centres
Keilor was the first settlement in the Brimbank area to have shops. Travellers to the goldfields
needed food supplies especially, so the earliest shops included a bakery and a butcher’s shop. By
the late 1970s all the old Keilor stores had gone, as had earlier shops at ‘Albion’ and Deer Park.
Sydenham’s general store is the last remaining country store in the municipality, while Sunshine
has shops and sets of shops 70-90 years old.
Braybrook Junction/ Sunshine
Braybrook Junction had three to four stores in 1891-3, but these did not survive the Depression.
According to a directory listing of 1898, Alexander Robinson had a shop on the corner of
Hampshire Road and Benjamin Street, on the site now occupied by a modern milk bar, possibly
the oldest still-operating shop site in Sunshine.
S.K.Gardener's shop on the corner of Anderson
Road and Fraser Street, built c. 1912 was demolished in 1999 though G.Gamble's shop In Derby
Road, built c.1913 survives..
A whole street of shops opened in McKay’s Sunshine, on the west side of Hampshire Road, within
four years of the factory’s re-location to Braybrook Junction. Most of these shops were on land
owned by H.V.McKay.
Among the first were a bootmaker; draper; iron-monger and timber merchant; greengrocer and
butcher’s. Alexander Robinson set up another grocery store in this section of Hampshire Road
(eastern side) while still continuing his first store on the other side of the railway line.
By 1914 the number of shops in Hampshire Road had increased to fourteen, eight on one side and
six on the other - a reasonably compact shopping centre. During the next 15 years a further ten
shops opened. On the other side of the railway line, a shopping precinct developed in the area
now known as City Place, Sun Crescent and Hampshire Road and this had eighteen shops by the
end of the1920s. In 1925 alone 21 new shops were built in Sunshine and another 12 in 1928.
A shop built c.1912, at the corner of Ridley Street and Anderson Road, was known as the
Sunshine Co-op Store by 1922. Further down Ridley Street, McGraths had a store in 1918, though
by 1922 this was divided into a boot repairer and a fruiterer’s. McGraths also had a large general
store in central Sunshine which is well remembered by older residents. A number of shops
delivered supplies, but Friday night shopping was a special event enjoyed by families. By 1936
Sunshine was very much a town, with a population of 5,000 and 75 shops. 13 of these were corner
stores or little groups of two or three shops in Albion, Sunshine’s only ‘suburb’. Sunshine’s
population had increased to 8,000 by 1947 and it had at least 81 shops, including three service
Grocery shop in Hampshire Road, Sunshine 1939 (building still survives)

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Shops of St.Albans
St. Albans had two stores in the early years of this century. About 1930, St.Albans had a
population of about 150-200 people and six shops. Thirteen years later it had 700 people and eight
shops, which increased to twenty-one shops by 1956. By 1962, St.Albans had a population of
7,000 people and seventy-eight shops.
Post-war shops
The 1950s-60s saw an increase in the number of corner shops, which often took on the name of
‘milk bar’. Strip shopping areas developed in the rapidly-growing suburbs of Deer Park (Ballarat
Road), North Sunshine (McIntyre Road) and Sunshine West (Glengala Road) and on the outskirts
of St.Albans (for example, in Arthur Street). Even Keilor Village had its strip of shops. New types of
shop appeared, as a result of post-war migration: delicatessens; continental butchers; coffee
shops; continental cake shops; wine shops; pizza shops; hot bread kitchens. The indoor Sunshine
Market had ten stalls in the 1960s, including greengrocers, butchers, fishmonger and
haberdashery, but its last stall closed in 1999. St.Albans (‘Big Sam’) had many stalls and is still a
busy market.
American examples probably influenced the growth of supermarkets in the 1960s, at Sunshine and
St.Albans, and the big shopping centres of the 1970s-1980s. Highpoint Shopping Centre, although
not in the Brimbank area, had a major impact on Sunshine retailers, since it drew many residents
away from the local shops.
Sunshine Plaza and the Deer Park Shopping Centre (later re-named
'Brimbank') opened in the 1980s, while Keilor Downs opened in the 1990s. The Watergardens
development at Sydenham and the Marketplace in Sunshine are the newest shopping
development in the Brimbank area.
A parallel development in the 1990s has been the growth of Asian shops, with the largest number
in the municipality being currently in St.Albans. ‘Op shops’, or shops selling second-hand goods,
are now well-established.
Rural store, Sydenham

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
12 Planning and Building New Settlements
Plan of Township of Keilor from the County of Bourke Atlas, 1892
Keilor and ‘Albion’ were the earliest planned settlements in the Brimbank area. Both were close to
crossing places on the Maribyrnong River. In Sydney, the Colonial Secretary’s Office announced:
Notice is hereby given that a site has been fixed upon for a village at the undermentioned place, and that a
copy of the approved plan may be seen at the Office of the Surveyor-General, Sydney, or at the Survey
Office at Melbourne, viz. KEILOR, in the district of Port Phillip.
This announcement was the year before the Colony of Victoria was proclaimed. Town allotments
were offered for sale and people began applying to purchase. Land was set aside for churches
and for a recreation reserve. The simple grid pattern and street-naming system still survives
‘Albion’ began as a square mile of land, in the area now known as North Sunshine, purchased by
Abel Thorpe, J.B.Marris and John Irish bought land from the Crown and then sub-divided and sold,
following a plan prepared by the developers.
The township of ‘Albion’, gazetted in 1851, was to
have an English character and so all its streets were the names of English counties, names still
used today. It was on a simple grid plan, with a number of allotments on the western side, half an
acre in size, but also blocks of five acres, on the eastern and northern side. It was later described
... perhaps the first closer settlement in the colony ... Each person joining the company paid in one pound
for every acre he wished to occupy in the larger area, that being the price fixed for country lands - and he
was to receive an allotment in the proposed township as well.
Abel Thorpe bought a further square mile south of Ballarat Road, which includes much of today’s
central Sunshine.
Albion’s population dropped to 111 in 1871, while neighbouring Braybrook
increased. In the 1881 census, Albion was not even mentioned. These two early settlements are
significant in the Brimbank area because, on the whole, settlement in the early days was sparse

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and scattered. Small farms were separated from each other by large pastoral estates. This was not
planned and made the development of amenities and community facilities very difficult.
Geological Survey of Victoria, 1860, showing townships of Keilor and Albion

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Ordnance Survey map of 1933, showing settlements of Keilor, St. Albans and Sunshine
New suburbs of Melbourne’s boom
Melbourne was booming in the 1880s. It was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world at that
time. The boom had a major impact on the Brimbank area, for the metropolis was expanding
westward, with new railway lines, new or re-located factories and new suburbs. Essendon and
Footscray were the fastest-growing suburbs in Melbourne. Speculators and investors were
responsible for the two new suburbs of St.Albans and Braybrook Junction, centred on railway
lines, rather than the river as in the first two settlements of Keilor and Albion.
St.Albans: architect-designed suburb
The suburb of St Albans developed when the Cosmopolitan Land & Banking Company bought and
subdivided land in the parish of Maribyrnong near the new railway station, opened in 1887. Alfred
Henry Padley was chairman of the company and settled in the heart of the new suburb. His fine
house, ‘Keiglo’, survives as the Catholic Presbytery in Winifred Street, St.Albans, along with some
of the original garden's trees. Many of the streets are named after Padley’s children.

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Percy Oakden, a well-known Melbourne architect, designed the plan for the new township. The St.
Albans History Society believes that the unusual and attractive layout should always be preserved
and has provided the following summary:
The original plan, which today encompasses the St.Albans central shopping and business area is
unusual - and probably unique in suburban Melbourne. The perfect circle, made up of Victoria Crescent
and Alfred Crescent, with their two inner semi-circular Circuses, is bisected by the railway line and is
central to many symmetrically-radiating residential streets.
Padley’s intention was to encourage professional people to settle at St.Albans, travelling to the
City by train each day. The publicity described St.Albans as ‘the healthiest suburb in Melbourne,
only 22 minutes from Town’, with splendid views.
Some people purchased blocks and built
homes, but when the banks crashed and the Depression set in, the dream turned sour. The
Cosmopolitan Land & Banking Company went into liquidation and in about 1902 the Padleys left
the district. In that year there were 32 names listed for St.Albans in the Melbourne Directory.
Advertisement promoting St.Albans
Braybrook Junction: the ‘Birmingham of Australia’
At Braybrook Junction, the pattern of development was rather more complex, with a range of
investment companies and new estates, including the Braybrook Station Estate and the Post
Office Estate. The station opened in 1886 and from the beginning the promoters sought to attract
industries as well as residents. A key attraction was the junction itself, the junction of the Bendigo
and Ballarat lines. It was described as ‘the greatest junction in Victoria’. The lay-out was in the grid
pattern and included allotments which were part of the original ‘Albion’ sub-division of the 1850s .
48 town allotments, 40 ft. by 125 ft., very close to the railway station, were offered at an auction in
1886. A later auction in 1889 included 41 allotments measuring 20 ft. by 60 ft., with an upset price
of £7 per lot on a deposit of £1. This promoted the area as ‘the centre of what is fast becoming the
principal manufacturing centre of Australia’ and emphasised that the land was ‘high and dry’.
Terms ‘suitable for all classes’ were offered. A small sample of the houses built on one of these
estates still remains in Benjamin Street, a terrace of five single-fronted houses. Other early houses
survive in Morris Street.

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Plan of 1898 showing Braybrook Junction, bottom left.
Planning a garden suburb at Sunshine
An outstanding example of planned settlement was that developed by H.V.McKay. Contemporary
reports indicated that he was influenced by British examples, such as Cadbury in Birmingham and
Lever in Port Sunlight. It is possible that he was also influenced by the Garden City movement
then occurring in Britain. His purchase of 400 acres of land enabled him to sub-divide and develop
the area surrounding his factory. In some cases he had houses constructed first and sold them to
his employees on time payment. 200 of his employees moved with him from Ballarat, a migration
which must be unsurpassed in Australia’s social and industrial history. Some of these settled in
Footscray but many did come to live in Sunshine, including several members of the McKay family.
A local newspaper reported in 1916:
Probably on no suburb around Melbourne is there so much building activity as at Sunshine. The big area
made available by Mr H.V.McKay in building blocks just outside Sunshine Station has found eager
purchasers and a number of new buildings are in course of erection.

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Aerial Photo of Sunshine c.1919. Note the triangular block of the harvester works
and the rectangular grid of part of the McKay housing estate.
The journal
Land and Transport
published a major article on Sunshine in 1917, clearly regarding it
as a shining example of what could be achieved.
At Sunshine the principles of town planning have been established for the past seven years. Here is a
population of over 2,000 persons nearly all associated with the Hugh V.McKay Harvester Works living in
homes built and owned, or in process or purchase by the occupants.
The streets are shaded by a vigorous growth of gum-trees planted by Mr McKay when the settlement was
first laid out. The results are all as town-planning theorists proclaim, but at Sunshine theory and practice
have gone hand in hand.
Every villa stands back in its garden on an average allotment of 60ft. frontage by depths of 150 ft. to 230
ft. Everywhere is the evidence of thrift, good taste, and community interest. The gardens are all
delightfully trim, the grass plots and hedges cut, and the flower-beds stacked with blooms.

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Advertisement, Real Property Annual 1916
An off-shoot of H.V.McKay’s plans was the estate of war service homes built in Albion, during the
early 1920s, following approaches by H.V.McKay. Much of this settlement survives.
Some of the most substantial Sunshine buildings were not built until just after H.V.McKay’s death:
the new Presbyterian Church, the Masonic Temple, the Fire Station and the new Sunshine State
School. All these buildings survive and demonstrate the substantial growth of the town 20-25 years
after McKay first arrived. They symbolise Sunshine’s achievement of ‘town’ status.
Planning major new estates
The planning of Sunshine took many different forms in later years. One example was the
Commonwealth Housing Scheme of 1942-43, which provided an estate of over 230 houses for
munition workers and their families, in the area of Devonshire Road, Baker Street and Duke Street,
East Sunshine.
Most were of brick and ‘semi-detached’ in style. Some were of concrete.
In the early 1950s, ‘Operation Snail’ led to several hundred pre-fabricated houses arriving in the
area of Albion - Sunshine, to provide accommodation for Victorian Railways employees and their
families, including 220 occupied by British migrants brought here for employment with Victorian
Railways. Over 400 of these houses had been erected by 1951.
Planning a model estate for workers
The explosives factory at Deer Park provided some worker housing from its earliest days. ICI
Leathercloth built a row of houses in Ballarat Road and Station Road, Deer Park, in the 1920s-30s.
In the early 1950s, ICI launched a large-scale housing scheme. This included subdivision of 188
acres and construction of several hundred timber homes, which were then sold to employees at
the cost price of £2,100 each, on a system of small deposits and time payment for the
The original scheme of 600 houses did not eventuate but the scheme was on the
whole successful.

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Aerial photo, Deer Park, 1952. I.C.I. housing estate, top left corner.
Providing open space
The valleys of the Maribyrnong River and the Kororoit Creek became popular informal recreational
spaces for local people. Donald McDonald’s
Bush Boy’s Book
describes some of his childhood
haunts and activities in the Maribyrnong valley near Keilor.
Keilor Council developed the Lagoon Reserve in Keilor Village, by widening and deepening a
natural lagoon, and planting shrubs around the area. A journalist commented in 1888: ‘the
picturesque feature of Keilor is its lagoon, whose centre is occupied by a flat islet, whereupon
flourishes the willow and other ornamental trees’.
H.V.McKay and the Harvester Works firm created the Sunshine Gardens, an unusual example of
an industrial enterprise providing public open space. The gardens, although small, were well
known for their chrysanthemums, but became smaller over the years, due to the encroachment of
other uses, such as the Bowls Club and the Presbyterian manse.
Nearly all reserves and public open spaces were sports grounds. The exceptions were small areas
of open space developed as children’s playgrounds. One of these is at the end of Cornhill Street,
St.Albans, an unnamed reserve alongside Jones Creek.
The Metropolitan Town Planning Commission report of 1929 set out a comprehensive plan for
Melbourne, which eventually had a major influence on the provision of public open space in the
Brimbank area. This report included the concept of land use zoning, a network of main roads and,
above all, a big increase in recreational space throughout the metropolitan area. A riverside parks
system along the waterways of Melbourne was sketched out in this plan, a vision of linear parks as
‘urban breathing spaces’

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It was 45 years before the concept was implemented in the Keilor - St.Albans - Sunshine area, but
in 1974 the Planning Branch of the Board of Works recommended the establishment of new
metropolitan parks. The areas selected included 233 hectares at Horseshoe Bend on the
Maribyrnong River at Keilor and led to the creation of ‘Brimbank Park’, named after the farm
(bought from the Dodd family) which made up a substantial part of the new park.
50 hectares of
Brimbank Park were open by 1976.
The Australian Bicentennial Authority allocated funds in 1988 to a walking path/bike track along the
Maribyrnong River from East Keilor to Brimbank and towards the development of walking paths
along a Kororoit Creek Linear Trail. A number of Commonwealth employment scheme participants
have worked on local beautification projects along the waterways, in co-operation with local
councils, producing a new aspect in the character of the Brimbank area.
Buckingham Reserve,
Sunshine, is one excellent example of local initiative (‘Friends of Kororoit Creek’), assisted by
employment schemes, and community service work by young offenders. Scattered across the
municipality are examples of small reserves developed and cared for by concerned local residents.

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13 Houses and Gardens
Dodds' homestead, now part of Brimbank Park
Some of the wealthiest men in Australia owned land in the Brimbank area, notably ‘Big Clarke’ and
his son William and the Chirnsides. They did not live in the area but the gracious mansions of
Rupertswood (Sunbury) and Werribee Park reflect their wealth. Within Brimbank, William Taylor’s
house and garden at Overnewton (1849 and 1859) represents the lifestyle of another of Victoria’s
wealthier colonists. James Howatson’s house and garden at Mount Derrimut (c. 1884) gives some
idea of the way of life of a gentleman farmer of that time. The outbuildings at Overnewton and the
buildings which still survive on the former Robertson property are evidence of the housing and
working environment of the servants of the big pastoralists.
The houses and gardens of Keilor village in the 1880s have been beautifully described by Donald
However, much of that village has gone, though some of the exotic plants remain.
'Keiglo,' Winifred Street, St.Albans, built for developer A.H.Padley in 1886, expresses the optimism
of the boom. This house had a fine garden and is now the Catholic Presbytery. Only one other
house of the same vintage survives in St. Albans, in Arthur Street. Much has disappeared in the
last decade.
The speculators of the 1880s boom built a number of homes at Braybrook Junction, but many
were moved in the ensuing Depression, when people lost their mortgaged properties. A significant
and surviving example of workers’ housing is the row of single-fronted brick cottages in Benjamin
Street, Sunshine (c.1891), with their 20 foot frontages and tiny gardens. A few weatherboard
cottages in Deer Park may relate to the same period.
A few surviving weatherboard double-fronted houses were once the homesteads of substantial
farms. The homestead at Brimbank Park, the home of William Goudie and his wife, was built in
1893 in the days when it was known as Brimbank Farm. It once had formal raised beds in the front
garden but these are now gone.

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One of the last remaining farm structures relating to the Closer Settlement farms of the St.Albans
area is the home of J.H.Stevens, in Main Road West, St.Albans, built early this century, with a
wind-break of trees. Another example is Andersons' farmhouse in Taylors Road.
H. V. McKay’s Sunshine
The houses and gardens on H.V.McKay’s Sunshine estate were a basic part of his plans for the
area, a means of fostering a sense of pride. His 400 acres, on both sides of the railway line, were
sub-divided and sold progressively. The main housing estate was that bounded by the Ballarat and
Bendigo lines, stretching from Anderson Road, towards Kororoit Creek. Most houses were 60 ft.
frontage by 150 ft., though the McKay family homes and the homes of leading staff and foremen
were on larger blocks. Many of the houses on these larger blocks have been demolished.
Houses still in Derby Road include a row of houses built by H.V.McKay and sold to his workers on
time payment.
The extended McKay family in Sunshine made up several households in the early days.
H.V.McKay’s own home, ‘The Gables’, a large two-storey timber house with stables and a tennis
court, was in Talmage Street, in sight of the Harvester Works.
H.V. McKay's brother George,
lived next door. By 1913, their brother Sam was living at the corner of King Edward Avenue and
some years later their brother Nathaniel was living in Forrest Street. All these houses have gone,
except for Sam McKay’s house, at 147 Anderson Road. The elder sister, HannahMcKay, lived
next-door at No.145 and nephew Ralph lived nearby in King Edward Avenue (No.11).
The pattern of neat front garden, duly fenced, trees, vegetable garden at the back, fruit trees and a
chook house, was repeated in most of the houses of the new settlement. H.V. McKay encouraged
local gardeners, according to his daughter, Hilda:
Every Sunday my Father would take me with him to visit the employees’ homes for he gave a prize to the
home-owner with the best garden. I hated going with him, but I would do anything for my father.
An aerial photograph showing Talmage Street Sunshine in about 1921

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12 Sydney Street, one of the original McKay estate houses still surviving
The one-storey timber houses, set well back on their blocks, usually had verandahs. Some had
fretwork designs on the wood work. Roofs were corrugated iron. The Harvester Works supplied
electricity to the houses.
The War Service Homes of Albion were on smaller blocks and many did not have fences. All were
of timber and built according to much the same pattern. Nearly all of this settlement still remains.
One of the residents later recalled H.V.McKay urging her to plant trees, especially wattle trees.
Many roads and footpaths were unmade and the heavy mud was especially memorable in wet
Commonwealth housing, Sunshine.
The land beyond Adelaide Street, Sunshine was not sold until the mid 1920s. The compactness of
settlement in Sunshine was probably a factor influencing community life. Timber houses were the
norm until after World War Two. The exceptions were the semi-detached brick houses on the
Commonwealth housing estate in East Sunshine, built in the early 1940s. Later estates and sub
divisions were often on smaller blocks, but Braybrook Shire Council was determined to avoid the
selling of blocks of too small a size

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Post-war housing
The still open paddocks offered relatively- cheap land for young people and for newly-arrived
migrants. Migrants arrived from Europe and Bonegilla with virtually nothing. Bill Bazaluk’s story
gives an idea of their situation:
We didn’t have a penny in our pocket when we come here. We started work and we were working very
hard, shift work. I was working at Olympic Tyre, overtime always. We bought the block of land. I paid two
hundred pounds for my block of land because there were roads already made and there was water laid
on. I started building my house, putting up the frame and the roof, and weather boards around. We
finished a couple of rooms with plaster and a floor. We were living in that for years and years. We had no
stove. We were cooking on a kerosene primus stove. We had no bath ... We were boiling water in the
copper and washing that way.
Many migrants built their own houses, starting with a half-house or bungalow. A very few are left
today. Fr. Reis later remembered: ‘Everyone lived in bungalows. There were no numbers and no
fences. It seemed to be an area of identical and anonymous houses.’ Tony Mochon recalled: ‘The
place was all hammering and banging at the week-end. You went to bed Saturday night and when
you woke up Sunday morning, someone had built a shack next door to you.’
People planted vegetables in their front gardens, as well as in the back in those early days. They
planted fruit trees, deciduous trees or conifers. Grape vines and prickly pear appeared in back
yards. Some of these can still be seen along Kororoit Creek. Eventually most of the half-houses
became three-bedroomed weatherboard or brick veneer houses with attractive gardens.
Some of the later waves of settlers moved into ready-made houses on finished estates. Others
designed their own houses. The houses of Keilor in the 1970s-80s represented a rather different
type of house from those in preceding years - two storeyed, palatial, with balconies, formal
gardens, ornamented with elaborate fences. The Mediterranean influence was strong, reflected in
concrete balustrades and brick arches. There were also houses with gardens which related to the
Australian landscape, with eucalypts, bottle-brush and other native plants.
Rosa Jovanovic in her garden, St.Albans

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14 Providing Services
Water was one of the most rare commodities on the Keilor plains, except in winter. A few settlers
along the Maribyrnong River, such as David Milburn and his neighbours, pumped water from the
river for their orchards and market gardens.
The early settlers dug deep and built brick and/or bluestone-lined wells. A few of these survive,
including one on the former Robertson property, next to the Calder Freeway. Many had corrugated
iron water tanks, but when these were empty the residents had to cart water from the council stand
and this cost money, especially for cartage. Farmers built dams, often a small one in each
paddock. The best-known example is Taylor’s dam, on Taylors Creek, later developed as ‘Taylor’s
Lakes’. The developers of St.Albans built a reservoir on their land in Fox Street in the mid 1880s. In
1950, Keilor Council drained and filled this in, creating Oakden Park.
A section of Taylor's Dam
There was no connection with the Yan Yean water supply until the sub-division of Braybrook
Junction in the late1880s, early 1890s. In the 1920s, Braybrook Shire Council requested an up
graded nine-inch main to replace the inadequate two-inch pipe connection to the Ballarat Road
St.Albans had no connected water supply until 1940. Large water storage tanks were built
in Taylors Road in 1970.
Electricity and gas
Electricity first came to the area when H.V.McKay set up the Sunshine Electricity Supply Company.
This supplied electricity to the Harvester Works and the town of Sunshine, mainly for street lighting.
A major development was the building of the sub-station at Albion in connection with the
electrification of the suburban line to St.Albans. At the end of 1926 the State Electricity
Commission took over Sunshine’s electricity supply. Reticulated gas was extended from Footscray
to Sunshine in 1927.

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St.Albans Progress Association fought for many years to get an electricity supply and finally
succeeded in 1930.
Electric light came to Keilor in 1935, when Keilor and Arundel were
connected to the State Electricity Commission’s supply.
Melbourne gained its underground sewerage system in the 1890s, following the creation of the
Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works. However, it was some years before local residents
received the benefits of the new sewer system. The pan and ‘nightsoil’ collection system, and then
septic tanks, were the norm for many decades. There are still a few examples of Sunshine’s back
lanes, by which the nightman and his cart would reach the rear end of properties and the little
‘dunnies’ set well back from the houses. Deer Park had no sewerage connection until the 1960s.
The sewering of Sunshine was an unemployment scheme undertaken in the Depression.
Fire services
Fire-fighting in the early days was a voluntary business. In Sunshine a fire station opened in 1891,
in Derby Road. By 1914 the fire station was in a new location, near the Harvester Works, in
Devonshire Road.
Sydenham C.F.A Fire Station
In 1927 the Metropolitan Fire Brigade opened a new fire station in Hampshire Road, a substantial
brick building that still remains, now a funeral parlour. The present C.F.A. building in Sydenham is
the last link with the area’s involvement in voluntary fire-fighting.
Post Offices
Keilor and Keilor Road had the first post offices in the area, both run in conjunction with a store.
Mrs Minnie Ely ran the Keilor Post Office for many years while her husband was teaching in local
schools. Kororoit Creek, later Deer Park, got a post office in 1878, run initially from the State
School. The post office at Sydenham (in the store) is probably the oldest in the Brimbank area.
The station master at St.Albans ran the first St.Albans post office. It was housed in H.Harrison’s
general store by 1914 and in Perrett’s general store, 1923-55. During the late 1950s the post office
was in fibro-cement buildings in Main Road West. A modern building was opened in 1967,
extended in 1986 and is now a Duty Free shop. St.Albans main post office is now in Victoria
Braybrook Junction’s post office was in the front room of a house in Hampshire Road, on the site of
the present state school. The first post office building to be constructed in the area was at
Sunshine in 1913, at the corner of Dickson Street and Hampshire Road. This was enlarged in 1950
but is now demolished.

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Four banks opened branches in early Sunshine: the Bank of New South Wales in 1908; the State
Savings Bank of Victoria in 1915 and the National Bank in 1922, the E.S.& A. Bank, in the late
1920s. Modern buildings have replaced earlier structures.
A number of branches opened in the 1950s-60s, including several banks in St.Albans, one in North
Sunshine, Sunshine West, Deer Park. Later branches usually opened within large indoor shopping
centres, as at Keilor Downs Plaza, rather than in separate structures.
Medical services:
In the early days of settlement, doctors came from Footscray or Moonee Ponds to attend the
seriously-ill and the dying and occasionally to assist at births. Local midwives, neighbours and
relatives usually assisted in the delivery of babies and in the care of the sick. Catherine Anderson
was a well-known nurse and midwife in Keilor for many years. The first resident doctor in the area
was the able and highly-regarded Dr. John Adamson, who came to Sunshine in 1912, at the
invitation of H.V.McKay. At first, he lived at 137 Anderson Road, in a house which still survives.
Later he moved to 31 Sun Crescent. By 1929 there were another three doctors in Sunshine.
The first hospitals in the area were privately-run establishments at Sunshine, opened in the 1920s,
at 47 Sun Crescent and at 9 King Edward Avenue, run by the Misses Carruthers. The latter
became the Sunshine and District Community Hospital in 1946 and continued as a public hospital
for many years, but is now demolished.
The first government-built hospital in the area was the
complex in Furlong Road, initially operating as a medical centre in the 1980s, but officially opened
in 1990 and now known as the Western Hospital, Sunshine Campus, being linked to the Western
Hospital at Footscray.
Gross’s pharmacy at 2 City Place, Sunshine, began business in the late 1920s and still continues.
The United Friendly Societies started their own dispensary in Sun Crescent in 1930.
R.K.McDonald’s pharmacy was near the corner of Hampshire Road and Dickson Street from about
Infant Welfare centres
Braybrook Shire Council began an infant welfare centre at the Sunshine Town Hall in 1925. In the
1950s, there was an infant welfare centre at St.Albans provided at the Public Hall in East
Esplanade, replaced by a new building in 1956, and a Keilor infant welfare centre, at the Keilor

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15 Communications and Media
Advocate office, 13 Sun Crescent.
Local newspaper offices
The first newspaper to be produced locally was the
Sunshine Advocate
, which C.G.Carlton started
in 1924. The
office was initially in Devonshire Road, and in 1926 moved over the line to
13 Sun Crescent (still surviving). The printery was at the back, spreading across the rear of three
shop premises.
In 1939 it moved to Dickson Street (premises now demolished).
In 1984 a new newspaper started within the Brimbank area, the
Western Independent,
based at
Westend Market. Later it re-named itself, the
Brimbank Independent,
but has now ceased
3LO’s first radio station was in Braybrook from 1924, only three years after Australia received the
first wireless message from Britain. The A.B.C.’s Radio Transmitter Station, off Sydenham Road,
began transmission in 1938. Its 705 foot-high tower is mounted on an unusually small base, a
steel ball. At the time it was quite a revolutionary design. The machining of the base was
undertaken by a Dandenong engineering firm, Kelly & Lewis, and was mainly the work of Alf Stein
of St. Albans.
The tower is still used as an aircraft guide and should be preserved.
Westend Market in McIntyre Road, Sunshine, became the headquarters for the community radio
station, 3WRB FM, which had started broadcasting in the 1980s from a temporary studio in
Braybrook. The new studios were housed in a renovated building which had once been part of the
Wunderlich factory and still broadcast from there.
In occasional ‘Magic Lantern’ shows of the 1890s local residents first saw pictures on a screen at
local halls in Deer Park and at Braybrook Junction. St.Albans Public Hall was the scene of many
picture shows. From 1918, there were weekly ‘moving picture’ shows or ‘movies’ at the Mechanics’
Institute in Sunshine and at the new town hall in 1925. By that time, a new enterprise, Sunshine
Pictures Pty. Ltd. had bought a large grain store just across Hampshire Road and converted it into
a picture theatre. George Kirby bought this in 1930, the year that ‘talking movies’ came to

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Sunshine. This was the beginning of Kirby’s large and successful cinema empire, which later
became the Village cinema chain. He and his family lived in Sunshine for many years and were
active in the local community.
The Sunshine Picture Theatre was renovated in modern style in
1938. It is now closed but the building survives.
Sunshine Picture Theatre

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16 Educating
Early schools
The schools of the area reflect the pattern of settlement and also the strength of local concern and
lobbying. The first schools began in the 1850s - a Roman Catholic school and a Church of England
school, opening at Keilor in 1853, and a Church of England school at ‘Albion’, which opened in
1855. These three schools received government support and were each given a number, Albion -
No.6; Keilor Church of England No. 345 and Keilor No. 357. Aid ceased to Keilor No. 345 by 1864
and the school closed in 1867.
Several private schools were in the Albion-Braybrook area in the 1860s but local people agreed on
a new site for a government-supported school at Braybrook and contributed funds to a building.
The school that finally opened was State School No. 1102, incorporating the teacher and pupils of
the closed Albion school, on the site of the present Braybrook school.
State School No.1434,
opened in 1874 in a government building at Deer Park, the first State School building in the
Brimbank area.
At Keilor, the Roman Catholic School, next to St. Augustine’s church, became a ‘Capitation
School’ with the Education Department paying the teacher’s salary and rent for the school building.
In response to local requests, the Education Department built a new state school, No. 1578, on the
site that is now Bonfield Reserve. This opened in 1875. Its first teacher, William Savage,
transferred from the Catholic school, with some of the pupils. The Catholic school continued as a
private school, without any government aid, finally closing in 1883.
The school building no
longer survives but the site is of interest as the first example in the area of a Catholic precinct,
including school and church. This was a feature of the area in the period of post-war migration.
At Keilor Road Station (now Sydenham), State School No.1199 opened on leased land in 1873,
but closed two years later, to be succeeded by State School No.1641 in a wooden building erected
by the Education Department. It ran half-time over the next decade and closed in 1886.
No buildings survive from any of the 19th century schools in the area, though the sites are
identifiable and some of the schools themselves continue in rather different physical structures.
The last tangible link with the nineteenth century may be the bluestone in the Deer Park Primary
School chimney, a remnant of the 1874 school re-used in the construction of the 1940s school.
New suburbs new schools
The development of new suburbs at Braybrook Junction and St.Albans inevitably led to a demand
for schooling. In both areas a school began in a leased building before the Education Department
agreed to provide support. St.Albans No.2969, opened 1889, continued in a rented house in
Adelaide Street until 1900. At Braybrook Junction, State School No. 3113 was provided with
portable buildings, one of which was moved when numbers dropped as a result of the 1890s
Depression. St.Albans State School gained a new building in 1900 in East Esplanade, but its three
original classrooms have been demolished. Following the arrival of new settlers under the Closer
Settlement Act, Sydenham No.3559 opened in 1907 in a timber building, now demolished.
The growth of Sunshine, from 1906, resulted in new schools as sub-division occurred. In Albion,
virtually a new suburb of Sunshine, Albion State School No. 4265 opened in 1926, on land bought
from H.V. McKay.

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Albion Primary School, the oldest state school building surviving in the Brimbank area
In 1931, Sunshine State School gained a new two-storey brick building which reflected the town’s
Post-war state schools
Sunshine East No. 4645 opened in 1951, five years after local residents first proposed a school.
This was the first of the post-war schools and was soon followed by another nine schools,
especially in the areas where new migrants from Europe were settling:- Sunshine Heights (1955);
St.Albans East (1956); Sunshine North (1956); St.Albans North, (1959); Sunvale (1957); Ardeer
(1961); Albion North (1961); St.Albans Heights (1968); Deer Park West (1971).
Following further sub-division and development of the empty paddocks, another fifteen state
schools were opened in the 1970s-80s. These were at: St. Albans South; St.Albans Meadows;
Ardeer South; Glengala; Glengala Park; Albanvale; Calder Rise; Deer Park North; Keilor Downs;
Keilor Park; Kings Park; Movelle (Gum Street, St. Albans); Monmia (Copernicus Way, Keilor
Downs); Stevensville (St.Albans); Taylors Lakes.
Secondary schools
The first secondary school in the area was Sunshine Technical College. This originally was
conceived by H.V.McKay as a school for his apprentices (see later section) and opened in 1913,
but very quickly became a junior technical school as well. A girls section opened in 1922. The
original timber building does not survive but the additions of 1937 (a new section for the girls
school) remain. The first high schools of the 1950s invariably started in local church halls or in
portable buildings, the first being Sunshine High (1955), St. Albans (1956), Sunshine West (1960)
and Kealba (1970). New technical schools followed, notably at Sunshine North (1960) and
St.Albans (1962). More recent schools have included Ardeer, Keilor Downs, Kings Park and
Taylors Lakes.
Re-structuring and amalgamation began in the late 1980s and some schools have closed, such as
Sunshine High, while a number of secondary schools have become campuses within the
framework of a larger secondary college, as at Sunshine.
Independent schools
The first Catholic primary school in the area in the 20th century was at Sunshine, under the
auspices of Our Lady’s, Monash Street. This opened in 1919, in a small wooden building which
survived until recently as an art room.
The influx of Catholic migrants from Europe after World
War 2 led to the opening of Catholic primary schools in St. Albans, Albion, West Sunshine, Ardeer,
North Sunshine and Deer Park. The number of schools and the extent of their facilities increased
following changes in Federal and State government policy on state aid to church schools. A
number of Catholic primary schools opened in the area in the 1970s-80s: St.Augustine’s, Keilor;
St.Paul’s, Kealba; Mary McKillop, Keilor Downs; Holy Eucharist, St.Albans South; Resurrection
School, St.Albans West; St.Peter’s, West Sunshine. The first Catholic secondary college in the

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Brimbank area was Marian College, West Sunshine, followed by Catholic Regional Colleges at St
Albans, Sydenham and Keilor North.
There have been few non-Catholic independent schools in the area. A small private secondary
college, the Sunshine Boys’ College, began in King Edward Avenue, Sunshine in 1960, but did not
survive for many years. A small independent Christian school opened in North Sunshine in the
1980s. Overnewton College began in the 1980s at Keilor and has a large complex.
Schools and their communities
Each school is of considerable interest as an example of the interaction between central and local
forces. No school community was the same as another. Each reflected the social, economic and
ethnic character of the neighbourhood. East Sunshine had a substantial component of
Commonwealth housing and the ‘ammo kids’ (children of munition workers brought to the area)
were amongst its first pupils. Sunshine West had a sizeable Greek population and Greek parents
were extremely active in moves to obtain a Commonwealth library, and other facilities, for
Sunshine West High School in 1973-4. Migrants such as Ciro Lombardi (Kealba High School
Council) played a leading role on school councils in the 1970s. Macedonian parents met regularly
at Ardeer High School in the early 1980s.
Schools changed over the years, according to demographic factors. Overcrowding became
common and it was usually years before extensions were approved or a new school opened.
Portable classrooms were a common solution to the problem of overcrowding. Parents often
worked hard to improve physical facilities, through working bees and fund-raising. For example,
the hall at Sunshine High School was mainly the result of community fund-raising. The gardens of
some schools reflect the input of teachers, pupils and parents. The concern and commitment of
parents is not often evident in surviving school structures, but was in fact a very real and powerful
factor in their establishment and improvement.
Workplace skills: training by Germans
The explosives industry initially developed in Germany, and a German firm, Krebs, was involved in
setting up the explosives factory at Kororoit Creek. The patent was a German patent. Skilled staff
came out from Germany to train the local personnel in the new processes and in the operation of
the new machinery. In 1875, schoolteacher R.G. Ely accommodated two of the German experts in
the teacher’s residence. A German family was still living in the residence early in 1876. The
present I.C.I. Factory represents a significant early example of specialised training by overseas
Developing apprenticeship training
Sunshine Technical College, opened in 1913, was the result of an initiative by H.V.McKay. He
approached the Victorian Government with the offer of a gift of land and £2,000, if they would
establish a technical college at Sunshine. This gesture was very much in the tradition of the great
philanthropists who endowed technical education in Victoria - Francis Ormond whose generosity
helped to establish the Working Men’s College and George Swinburne and his wife whose gifts
made possible the Swinburne Technical College. McKay also offered to allow apprentices to
attend classes at the college in work time, an innovative and unusual step at that time. The only
other employers to adopt such a policy were the Victorian Railways and Richardsons, Footscray.

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Sunshine Technical College opened 1913, now replaced by more modern buildings.
The Victorian Government accepted McKay’s offer. Members of the College Council were mainly
senior staff from the Harvester works. 47 apprentices initially enrolled when the school opened.
However, enrolments dropped when the apprentices were asked to pay fees and the school began
to provide classes for junior technical school pupils. ‘Junior Tech.s’ were only just appearing on the
Victorian scene and Sunshine was amongst the first such schools to be opened in the state.
The link between the technical school and the Harvester works was close. Subjects taught in the
senior classes related to trades followed at the factory - moulding, pattern-making, sheet-metal,
fitting and turning, carpentry. Many of the instructors had positions at the factory. Able 'Junior
Tech.' students were likely to be offered apprenticeships and employment at the Harvester works.
Some council meetings were even held at the Harvester works offices. One of the early instructors
was Wallace Anderson, art teacher, who later became a war artist and undertook some major
commissions for the Australian War Memorial, including sculptures and dioramas.
The school ended its existence as a technical school in the early 1990s, when it became the senior
campus for an amalgamated Sunshine Secondary College. It is of major significance as an
example of a leading Australian industrialist’s philanthropy, but also as a rare example of the close
connection between a major industrial establishment and an educational institution.
Self-education: night schools
Two State Schools in the area, Keilor No. 1578 and Derrimut No. 1434 had ‘night schools’ for a
time in the 1870s. Two distinguished pupils of the Keilor night school were Robert Dodd and
Donald McDonald, who both became journalists. At the Derrimut night school, on the site of the
present Deer Park School, the students were ‘mainly Germans from the Lithofracteur and
Dynamite factory, learning English’.
The teacher, R.G. Ely, had an attendance of 20-30 in
September 1875.
Sunshine Technical School had a program of evening classes in technical
subjects from 1913 and extended this to commercial subjects and sewing.
Some of the new residents of Braybrook Junction had a strong interest in self-improvement.
Lectures, debates and social evenings took place in the early 1890s, before the Depression struck

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the little township. Thomas Flynn, the Head Teacher of the new State School, was a moving spirit
in these activities, while living at the Junction. No physical evidence of such events survives in the
area, though the hall where they once took place is now at Bacchus Marsh.
Mechanics’ Institutes
The first Mechanics’ Institute in the area was the St.Albans Mechanics’ Institute and hall,
established by local people in 1906. This became a popular community venue for many years. A
typical event was a Shakespeare night held in June 1907, but there were also concerts and
With the coming of McKay’s Harvester Works and the arrival of new settlers, a fierce
battle developed between the newcomers of Braybrook Junction, renamed ‘Sunshine’ in 1907, and
the more established residents of Braybrook, regarding the location of a Mechanics’ Institute. The
Sunshine residents prevailed and a Mechanics Institute Hall opened in 1908. It soon became a
social, rather than an educational, facility, with socials, dances, bazaars, and billiard tables.
In 1920 Braybrook Shire Council negotiated with the Sunshine Mechanics Institute trustees, to take
over the liabilities of the Institute and purchase the land, hall, billiard room and library, on condition
that the Council erected new municipal buildings and a hall in memory of World War One
By 1951 there were kindergartens in Albion, Deer Park, Sunshine and East Sunshine. The first
kindergarten at St.Albans was in the Church of England Hall and opened in 1959. All these
kindergartens resulted from years of effort by local people.
The first Sunshine library opened in a wooden building in 1912, an extension of the Mechanics’
Institute. By the early 1920s the library was the responsibility of the council and was moved across
the road to Corio Street. The building still survives.
Corio Street Library, Sunshine, built 1912.
A new Sunshine Library opened in the late 1960s in McCracken Street. St.Albans’ first library was
a small room in the Hall (formerly Mechanics’ Institute) fronting East Esplanade. The second
library was a tiny space between two shops in Alfrieda Street. In more recent times, local councils
have funded the construction of Keilor Village library, built in the 1970s; a more spacious library at
St Albans; Deer Park library, opened in 1992, and a new Sunshine Library, in Hampshire Road,
opened 1997.

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Saturday morning schools
Saturday morning schools have been a feature of the area, because of the large population of
migrants from overseas, especially non-English speaking countries. The purpose of these schools
was usually to impart traditional culture to the students, including the language of their forbears
and sometimes traditional skills in the area of dancing, music and needlework. This occurred at the
Ukrainian hall in Ardeer, with the children of Ukrainian parents. In West Sunshine, Greek lessons
were available at the local Orthodox church. The Education Department has organised classes in
languages other than English at venues such as Sunshine Secondary College.
Tertiary Education
An important development in the educational history of the Brimbank area was the opening of the
Western Institute at St.Albans in 1986. Five years later this became part of the Victoria University
of Technology.The large campus at St.Albans is now one of six campuses of this university. The
opening of T.A.F.E. campuses at Sunshine was another expanding strand in tertiary education in
the Brimbank area during the 1990s.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
17 Governing
Court House and Shire Hall, Keilor
Law and order
Thousands of people were travelling to the gold diggings through Keilor during the 1850s.
Inevitably there was a need for a police presence and for institutions such as courts. The first
members of the Victorian police were based at Keilor, in 1853, initially near Sydenham, in portable
iron buildings placed in ‘Mr Robertson’s paddock on Keilor Plains’.
By 1859 the old quarters
were condemned and a new headquarters in the township was in use, on swampy land in the
township of Keilor, adjoining the Maribyrnong River (adjacent to the Caroline Chisholm shelter). By
1862 this base was thought unfit for habitation and the constable had to sleep in the lock-up.
Plans were prepared for a new police station in the 'New Police Reserve', next to the Court House.
Building was under way in 1863. The result was a house of bluestone, an iron stable and small
portable iron buildings which served as watch house and lock-ups. This new police station was
only in use for ten years. In 1873, the authorities closed the police station, removed the iron
buildings and let the house. In 1881 the Department of Public Works sold the police station and
land at Keilor and it has continued ever since as a private residence.
The first St.Albans Police Station was in a weatherboard house and very crowded. A new building
was approved but somehow was built at St.Arnaud instead.
The police station transferred from
Main Road West to a new building at Keilor Downs.
At Braybrook Junction there was a police constable based in Martin Street, in the early years of the
20th century. By 1907 a police station was in Martin Street, but transferred to Clarke Street seven
years later. This station burned down about 1921-22. A police station was at Graham Street during
the 1920s and at the Clarke Street site in the 1930s-40s.
The present police station in Sun
Crescent was built in the 1950s. A policeman was based at Deer Park in the 1960s-80s.
The Keilor Court House, of cement-rendered bluestone construction, was built in 1859, on Crown
land. The Keilor Court of Petty Sessions met here and the Court House was the scene of many
lively disputes between residents, over a period of 33 years. At Sunshine a court met at the Town
Hall in the 1920s-40s. A courthouse was not built in the town until the 1950s, next to the new
police station.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Early municipal meeting places
Hotels were the main venue for municipal events in the early days. Residents of Albion, Braybrook
and Derrimut met at the Shamrock Hotel, Darlington (near present-day Albion Station), in June
1860 to elect representatives to the recently proclaimed Braybrook Road Board.
Thereafter the
Braybrook Road Board met monthly at the Braybrook Hotel. In 1863 the newly-formed Keilor Road
Board began using the Court House building for its meetings. When the Keilor Road District
became the Shire of Keilor in 1872 the Shire Council also used the building as its meeting place.
This continued until 1957, when new Council chambers and offices were opened on the present
Braybrook Shire Council, created in 1871, began using the Kororoit Creek Hotel for its meetings.
This continued until 1885, when the Shire gained its own Shire Hall (opposite the Deer Park Hotel),
a small bluestone building. At that time, Braybrook Shire extended from Maidstone almost to
Melton. In 1918, the Council decided to meet at Sunshine, a move which greatly upset some of the
rural members.
New municipal offices
After negotiation, Braybrook Shire Council purchased the land and buildings owned by the
Sunshine Mechanics Institute and proceeded to erect new municipal buildings and a hall in
memory of World War One servicemen. J. Raymond Robinson designed the Memorial Hall, built in
concrete around the older wooden building, and this was completed in 1922. However it burned
down in 1924 and a new town hall was built which remained for several decades.
The Shire of Braybrook became the City of Sunshine in 1951 and the Shire of Keilor became the
City of Keilor in 1963, but there was no immediate change in their municipal facilities. In the late
1960s the Sunshine Council commissioned designs for new council offices and these were built in
Alexandra Avenue.
With the growth of the City of Keilor in the 1970s-80s, extensions and new
buildings greatly increased the size of the municipal complex.
In 1994, re-structuring of local government and the changing of old municipal boundaries led to the
creation of the new municipality of Brimbank, formed on 15 December 1994 from substantial
portions of the City of Keilor and the City of Sunshine. Three commissioners were appointed for a
term of two years, in place of the former elected councils. Elections for councillors in nine new
wards were held on 15 March 1997.
The total population of the new City of Brimbank was estimated to be 146,738, 45% from the
former City of Keilor and 55% from the former City of Sunshine. The municipality’s area included
24 suburbs, covering 123 square kilometres. The new Brimbank City Council used the municipal
offices of both former councils, with council meetings alternating between the Sunshine and Keilor

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
18 Organising Recreation
Green Gully Soccer Club, Kealba
Recreational activities have been an important part of community life. At first they were perhaps a
channel for the energies of the children of the first generation of migrants, especially the young
men. In the early small and scattered communities they were a means of binding communities
together, a form of social cement. The sporting clubs, in particular, fostered a sense of local
identity for they played in competitions with other clubs from other areas. They became part of
wider networks and some local players eventually went on to represent Victoria and Australia.
Early sports at Keilor
Keilor young people of the 1870s-80s were active in organising recreation for themselves. The
Keilor cricket team was playing other clubs and the local footballers journeyed to places ranging
from Braybrook to Kyneton or entertained visiting teams on the home ground. The Keilor
Recreation Reserve was the venue for both sports, though a football match versus Footscray in
1877 was held at the Braybrook Recreation Reserve.
The Keilor Cricket Club, according to the
local newspaper correspondent, was ‘one of the best country clubs in Victoria’.
Cricket matches
were often played on holidays such as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as well as Saturdays
in the season.
The Keilor Recreation Reserve was also the scene of athletic meetings, such as one held in
January 1880, ‘one of the most successful ever held in the district’.
Local people showed some
interest in the fencing, planting and maintenance of the reserve and at a meeting held at Eagling’s
hotel, a resolution was passed ‘to plough the recreation ground and sow some grass in order to
have the ground in good form for the next cricket match’.
A report in 1888 commented on ‘the
splendid cricket ground, in which is erected a splendid pavilion’ and the ‘fine racecourse’
Coursing was a popular sport in the region, especially on the Rockbank estate of Sir
William Clarke. One typical event was held on Robertson’s estate at Keilor in 1877.
Cricket at Kororoit Creek/Deer Park
At Kororoit Creek a cricket club started in 1882, assisted by an annual Cricket Club ball which
raised funds for the club.
Reports on matches appeared regularly in the Footscray press and
even ‘members of the softer sex’ were spectators at the matches.
Many of the cricket team
players were employees at the explosives factory. This marked the beginning of a close
association between local industries and sporting activities. Later, the explosives factory at Deer
Park had its own cricket team, which played in the local association of industrial cricket teams.

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
An unusual sport in the Brimbank area was deer-hunting. This was not a local sport but a sport for
the ladies and gentlemen associated with the Melbourne Hunt Club. The deer park itself was over
300 acres of land, enclosed by a high fence, on the property of Sir William J. Clarke, adjoining the
present Tilburn Road, Station Road and the Mount Derrimut property.
There were kennels and a
hunting lodge, later moved to another location in Deer Park. The Melbourne Hunt Club leased the
land from Clarke over 13 years, from 1884 to 1897, then moved its deer to Oakleigh. The name
‘Deer Park’ was given to the township, after a vote amongst the electors in 1889.
Braybrook Junction
New sporting groups began when factories opened at Braybrook Junction in 1889-90. At the large
carriage works of Wright & Edwards, the employees formed a football club, ‘erected their goal
posts on a fine piece of sloping land opposite the factory and went into practice’.
This team may
not have lasted long but a new Braybrook Junction Cricket Club was playing in 1891. The
Braybrook Club re-formed following the disbanding of the club at Deer Park.
Such formings and
re-formings were typical in a time of depression and depopulation.
Sport at Sunshine
In the rapidly-growing settlement of Sunshine, a number of sporting associations
started within five years of the suburb’s re-naming. These included the Sunshine Cricket Club, the
Sunshine Tennis Club and the Sunshine Bowling Club. H.V. McKay and his brother George
approached the Railway Commissioners in 1912 regarding a reserve for Sunshine and succeeded
in getting them to hand over the land which had once been the Wright & Edwards factory, now
J.R.Parsons Reserve.
It was some years before this land was developed for recreational
The Sunshine Tennis Club opened in 1909, adjoining the Sunshine Gardens. The local press
commented on ‘Mr H.V.McKay’s munificence in providing so complete a court and pavilion for the
enjoyment of the residents’.
A number of Sunshine churches added a tennis court and had
started their own tennis clubs by the early 1920s.
H.V. McKay was involved in the formation of the Sunshine Bowling Club in 1912, on land owned
by him, in Anderson Road. Within a year, the club had joined the Victorian Bowls Association and
members were successfully competing with other clubs. An official opening of the bowling green
took place in 1918. Many of Sunshine’s leading citizens were involved with the club at this time. A
Sunshine Ladies’ Bowling Club started in 1926.
Sunshine Bowling Green, opened 1918.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Sunshine citizens formed a Rifle Club and developed a rifle range on Fairbairn’s Glengala pastoral
property. The acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Senator Pearce, officially opened the
targets in April 1916.
A miniature rifle range, opposite the Mechanics Institute, was opened in
October 1918, when H.V.McKay, president, said he ‘hoped to see a team of good shots contesting
from Sunshine in both male and female branches’.
A team connected with the Sunshine Harvester Works, playing in the industrial cricket association,
was one of three Sunshine cricket teams in 1924. All these teams played their home games on the
Anderson Road Reserve, later named Chaplin Reserve
The United Friendly Societies formed
their own cricketing association with five teams. During the 1920s, Keith Miller and his brothers
lived in Sunshine and learned to play cricket with improvised gear.
In 1938, cricketers started a
baseball club, using land behind Kirby’s Sunshine Picture Theatre in Hampshire Road as their
home ground. At that time, baseball, cricket and football meetings were held in a room at the rear
of the theatre.
Women’s cricket started in Sunshine in 1938, with its home ground in East Sunshine. The team
won several premierships and had some outstanding players, including two who represented
Australia in teams that toured New Zealand (1948) and England (1951).
The Braybrook Football Club, premiers in 1911, included a number of Sunshine residents. By the
1920s a Sunshine football club was playing games regularly.
The Sunshine club began using the new ground at Selwyn Park, the gift of the McKay firm, as a
sports oval for the district. Its grandstand, built in 1929, was recently demolished.
By the late
1930s, the Sunshine Football Club was playing on Chaplin Reserve and sharing club rooms with
the Lacrosse Club (begun 1932, closed 1941).
The Sunshine Golf Club started in 1924, renting land on the Fairbairn estate, between Kororoit
Creek and Glengala Road.
In the 1960s the land was sold for housing and the club transferred
to Fitzgerald Road. The Keilor public golf course opened in 1981, on the former Robertson
The Maribyrnong River and the Kororoit Creek were local swimming places over many years, with
particular swimming holes at Sunshine, Deer Park and St.Albans being especially popular. Frank
Beaurepaire, Olympic swimming champion, used to train in one of the Sunshine swimming holes.
In the 1920s- 30s, community effort adapted the ‘big swimming hole’ near Forrest Street,
Sunshine, for more formal use, with changing sheds, diving boards and a children’s pool. State
diving championships were held there and the pool became a major community venue. However,
increasing pollution of the creek in the 1940s led to adverse medical reports. Bill Roberts built a
large cement pool for public use near his quarry in Sunshine in 1939. Sunshine had a modern pool
by the 1960s and a major swimming complex opened in Taylors Road, St.Albans, in the 1970s.

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Swimming pool, Kororoit Creek, c. 1930s
I.C.I. and sport
The earlier links between industry and recreation continued at Deer Park. An ICI ladies’ football
team played a special charity match in the 1950s. I.C.I.’s soccer club was very successful, being
premiers on three occasions. A sports oval and a recreation club at Deer Park, including a bowling
green, were both associated with I.C.I.
Country clubs
At St Albans, tennis and cricket clubs were active in 1909 and these multiplied over the years. One
tennis club had a court on Errington Reserve, where the St.Albans football club also played. This
reserve, donated by Mrs Alice Errington, today has a large sporting complex. The Presbyterian
church tennis club played in inter-church competitions, but closed when there was a need to build
on the court.
A tennis club started at Keilor in 1913, near the present municipal offices. The
Keilor Gift footrace was run on the Recreation Reserve, from the 1920s.
Gymkhanas were
sometimes held on the reserve. Keilor cricketers and footballers were playing other country clubs
such as Rockbank during the 1920s and 30s.
The coming of soccer
With the arrival of English and Scottish migrants in the early 20th century, a soccer club was
formed in Sunshine, the first of many soccer clubs in the area. By 1928 it was playing in a local
soccer league, with some success.
A Sunshine United soccer team was playing in 1944. At
St.Albans an early soccer team was Ajax, named after a junior soccer team in Malta, and
registered in 1955. It began playing on a small reserve in Vincent Street and went on to win many
championships, being now known as the Green Gully Soccer Club.
Other early soccer clubs catering for juniors were Olympia, Lions-Sokol United and Sacred
Many new migrant groups in Melbourne formed their own sports clubs. The open spaces
of Sunshine and St.Albans were a likely location and some eventually developed permanent
centres, which were often part of larger community centres. These included: the Albanian Soccer
Club, Macrae Boulevard, Keilor Downs; the Polish Sport and Recreation Complex, Carrington
Melbourne Croatia Soccer Club, Somers Street, North Sunshine. Some clubs used existing
reserves on a temporary basis. The Maltese soccer club, Sunshine George Cross, had their
headquarters in Chaplin Reserve for some years, while the Albion Turk Gucu Soccer club used
Selwyn Park for a period. Other reserves developed in the post-war period were Ardeer Reserve,
Ardeer; Castley Reserve, West Sunshine; Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Downs. In the 1990s there
were more clubs for soccer than any other sport in the Brimbank area.
A new sport to the area was ‘Bocce’ and by the 1990s there were at least three Bocce clubs in the
Brimbank area: the Maltese Bocce Club in Carrington Drive, St.Paul’s Bocce Club, West
Sunshine, and the Italo-Australian Bocce Club in Furlong Road.
New leisure centres
The growth of the leisure industry became evident. Buildings devoted to indoor sports such as
squash, basket ball, indoor cricket and table tennis appeared in the Brimbank area. New
enterprises such as a Ten Pin Bowling Centre, near Albion Station, attracted young people. From
the 1980s onwards large sports complexes were built, notably Deer Park Regional Community
Sports Complex, Station Road; Keilor Park Recreation Reserve, Keilor Park Drive; St.Albans
Leisure Centre, Taylors Road; Sunshine Heights Squash Centre. There were realtively few
attempts to re-cycle industrial buildings for sporting purposes. One example was a roller skating
rink in Wright Street, Sunshine.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Music making
Some of the early settlers had musical skills and used them in local events. Early factories, such
as Wright & Edwards and the explosives factory at Deer Park, had bands. The explosives factory
band was very active in the 1890s and early 1900s.
A Highland Pipe Band started at the Sunshine Harvester Works and H.V.McKay equipped it with
the Black Watch tartan. A Sunshine District Brass Band was formed in 1928 and a Sunshine City
Band continues today, using a small band hall at the corner of J.R.Parsons
Reserve. A band rotunda was in the Sunshine Gardens but has not survived. Bands now play at
the Pollard Gardens, Sunshine and Errington Reserve, St. Albans for events such as open-air
carol services.
Concerts, carnivals, socials and balls were important social activities and were also often a key
means of fund-raising, held at the Shire Hall, Keilor; the hall adjoining the Cricket Club Hotel, Deer
Park; the Mechanics Hall at St. Albans and at Sunshine.
Dancing events of the late 19th century included soirees at Derrimut State School, Deer Park;
quadrille assemblies at Keilor State School;
balls and socials at the Braybrook Junction public
In the early years of the 20th century, Keilor’s Shire Hall was the scene of most local social
gatherings, including euchre nights and dances. The public hall at Sydenham had many local
functions but it was demolished in the 1990s.
In the growing settlement of Sunshine, a hall was one of the first public buildings to be constructed.
For many years, dancing was a frequent activity at the Sunshine Mechanics Institute Hall and its
successor, the Sunshine Town Hall
the venue for the first Shire Ball presentation of debutantes in
1934. Neither of these buildings survive.
Deer Park Hall in Station Road, and the St. Albans Public Hall, built by Keilor Shire Council,
(replacing the Mechanics Hall, demolished in 1956) were valued community resources and still
Church halls were also a location for social events such as dances. The largest and most popular
of these was the hall adjoining Our Lady’s Catholic Church at Sunshine, later known as the
Mariana Hall, and a popular dancing venue.
In the post-war period, the dances of many nations were performed in some of these halls, at
functions such as school speech nights and community festivals. With the growth of the
population, a larger number of places included dancing in their activities, from wedding reception
centres to senior citizens’ clubs. Westend Market, the former Wunderlich factory in McIntyre Road,
now includes an Entertainment Centre.
The ‘Tin Shed’
The ‘Tin Shed’, a community youth club at St.Albans, was (and is) a centre of local sport, arts and
social life, with dances, concerts, classes and groups, involving thousands of young people over
the years. The club revived an earlier pre-war police boys’ club and began in a shed on Errington
Reserve in 1954, opening in a new Nissen hut in 1956. It is recognised by Heritage Victoria as of
local significance.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The Tin Shed, Community Youth Club, St.Albans.
Arts activities
Community arts activity got under way in the Sunshine area in the 1970s, in a railway house
known as the ‘Rainbow Workshop’ (now demolished). Later, the foyer of the old Sunshine
swimming pool was used for activities such as pottery classes. In 1984 some of the City of
Sunshine’s community arts activities moved to the former Hunt Club Hotel building, previously
owned by I.C.I. and now known as the Hunt Club Community Centre. Grants for restoration of the
building made it possible to renovate and re-use the space and a vigorous arts program has
continued ever since.
In Keilor, plans for community arts focussed on the Overnewton Gatehouse, owned by the Council.
A major program of renovation and additional building works has created a valuable community
arts facility. The old restored Shire Hall is now one of the venues within the Brimbank City
Council’s community arts program.
Over the years a number of festivals have included a focus on multi-cultural heritage, especially as
reflected in the performing arts. A growing interest in Aboriginal culture and heritage is reflected in
special performances by Aboriginal artists.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
19 Eating and Drinking
Guiding Star Hotel, at Brooklyn
Refreshment on a main road
Those travelling across the plains needed refreshment places, especially at crossing places of
creeks and rivers. Some of the earliest hotels were in the Keilor area, since the main route to
Portland and to Mount Macedon went this way in the 1840s. Early pastoralist Alexander Hunter
wrote in September 1841, ‘the house at Keilor is let for a hotel at £300 a year’.
It is thought that
this hotel, known as the Keilor Inn, was opposite the present hotel, on the corner of Hunter and
Macedon Streets.
In 1846, a visitor described the Keilor Inn as ‘on the circular plain, near a pool
of water’.
A second hotel was the Galway Arms, opened in 1848, under Flora and James
Mitchell, on land situated between Hunter and Arabin Streets, now the Keilor Hotel.
Keilor hotels and the goldrushes
Thousands of gold seekers were travelling through the area to the gold fields, from 1852 onwards.
Several hotels and coffee houses started business at Keilor and did a roaring trade. Twelve people
were granted refreshment licences for the Keilor area in 1853-54.
Often the refreshment places
were tents or rough shanties, similar to those shown in the sketch by S.T.Gill. Mrs Ellen Clacy
described Keilor as ‘a pretty little
village with a good inn’ in 1852, though her journey was via the punt at Maribyrnong and across
the Keilor plains, rather than through Keilor itself. She did mention that: ‘on entering the plains we
passed two or three little farm-houses, coffee shops etc’.
Tom Bastard noted that Keilor had ‘two
stores, a butcher shop and a restaurant’, on his visit in 1854. In the same year, James Smith took
over the Galway Arms and assured prospective customers of ‘a good table with cleanliness, civility
and attention’. It was probably at his hotel (the present Keilor Hotel) that William Kelly had
breakfast of chop, bacon and potatoes and offered champagne for a front seat on the coach.
Some customers came on coaches. The earliest went through in 1851 between Bacchus Marsh
and Melbourne. Three years later, passengers of Cobb and Co. were calling at Keilor, their first
main stop for a change of horses. Others needing refreshment and shelter were the Gold Escort
from the Mount Alexander goldfields, from 1851 onwards. The troops proceeding to Ballarat to
quell the rebellion at Eureka went through Keilor and camped in a paddock near ‘the principal
This was probably the hotel known as the Red Lion in 1854 and Keilor Hotel in 1860.

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
As the only early hotel in Keilor which has survived, this has very special significance. It has had a
range of licensees, many of them women, and for much of its life has been in the ownership of the
Goudie/Dodd family, beginning with Matthew Goudie.
In 1887 it was described as ‘a bluestone
building containing 21 rooms with a slate roof’, valued at £3,000’.
Early hotels of Keilor included the Old England Hotel, under John Eagling (1859-61) then George
and Martha Crust,
and the El Dorado, at the corner of Arabin Street, opened about 1859, later
re-named the Waggoners’ Arms, and run by John Eagling for 23 years, from 1861. It was in this
hotel that the petitioners for a Keilor Road District met, in 1863. Smaller-scale drinking places were
the beerhouses, such as one run by Mary Hassed in 1868.
Hotels beyond Keilor
A string of hotels and refreshment houses were situated along the road between Keilor and
Diggers Rest, including an inn on Robertson’s land. In 1868 this was Robertson’s Inn, a licensed
house with 640 acres, owned by F. Robertson, and run by Alex Furlong.
A hotel at the junction
of the two roads to Bendigo and Ballarat, was known as the Bluestone or Junction Hotel, on the
site of the present freeway interchange.
This was the first stop on the Cobb & Co. route to Bendigo and the last stop on their return journey
to Melbourne.
Near the Keilor Road Station (now Sydenham), were the Union Hotel, run by Crawford Harvie,
leasing 167 acres and ‘a licensed house’ from William Taylor, and the Railway Hotel, run by James
Tayler in 1860, next to Keilor Road Station and the Mount Alexander Railway. Both these hotels
are mentioned in a gazeteer for 1865, as being ‘close to the station’, but do not survive.
Hotels at Kororoit Creek/Deer Park
The first hotel in Deer Park was the Kororoit Creek Hotel, operating in 1859 on the ‘Great Ballarat
A map of 1865 shows ‘old hotel’ on the site now occupied by the Hunt Club Community
Centre, Deer Park. A note with the map refers to ‘the house on the Ballarat Road formerly known
as the Kororoit Creek Hotel’.
For a time the old hotel took on new life as the Plough and then as
the Barley Mow and was run by the Cunningham family - James, Bridget and son John. Joseph
Harrison purchased it in 1886. When it burned down that year, he built ‘new and commodious
premises’ and re-named them the Hunt Club Hotel, in honour of the activities of the Melbourne
Hunt Club in the local area.
Hunt Club Hotel, Deer Park, built 1886

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Deer Park Hotel, Deer Park
A hotel located immediately adjoining the Kororoit Creek was the ‘new’ Kororoit Creek Hotel. It
became the venue for meetings of the Braybrook Shire council for several years (1872-1885). It
may have been at this hotel that ‘the Melbourne Hunt Club Luncheon at Kororoit Creek’ was held
in 1885.
The Kororoit Creek Hotel became the Cricket Club Hotel, probably in honour of the
local cricket team, and later the Deer Park Hotel. In 1942, it was re-built in the Tudor style,
though a portion of the old building remained within the new structure.
Darlington, Braybrook and Brooklyn
The Shamrock Hotel, at Darlington (near the present Albion Station) was operating in 1861 and
was the scene of meetings to elect members of the new Braybrook Road District Board. Just
outside the Brimbank area was the bluestone Braybrook Hotel, also on the Ballarat Road.
Further south, near a crossing over Kororoit Creek or ‘Tea Tree Creek’, was the Guiding Star
Hotel, at Brooklyn, run by James Bunting in 1858. Miss Hall was the proprietor by 1866.
In 1931
the owners re-built the hotel on a new site. A substantial two-storey building, it still remains.
Social centres for the locals
By the late nineteenth century, hotels had other functions beyond serving thousands of travellers
with food and drink. The railways had diverted travellers to other routes. Several local publicans
obtained bagatelle and billiard licences. Hotels became places of social activity for residents and
workers. Changes in function were often reflected in changes in name. When the Waggoners
Arms burned down, its proprietor, David Yates, named the re-built hotel the Racecourse Hotel,
after the local racecourse. This hotel survived until the early twentieth century.
Hotels of the 20th century
Large numbers of hotels became de-licensed in 1911 and the Hunt Club Hotel was one of these.
Others underwent re-building or extensive re-furbishment, notably the Deer Park Hotel and the
Guiding Star at Brooklyn. The first hotel at Sunshine was only established after three years of
opposition, petitions and a poll. The result was 640 for a hotel and 550 against. The McKay firm
had been very much opposed to the granting of a licence. The Derrimut Hotel opened in Sunshine
in 1929. New hotels opened in the 1960s - St. Albans Hotel; the Highway Inn, Ballarat Road,

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Sunshine; Glengala Hotel, West Sunshine, and morerecently the Kealba Hotel and Taylors Lakes
Family Hotel.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
20 Worshipping
Christ Church, Keilor
Early places of worship
The earliest places of worship were in residents’ homes or in buildings constructed to serve the
dual purpose of school and church. The Roman Catholics of Keilor were probably the earliest
congregation in the Brimbank area, meeting on the Dodd-Delahey property in the early 1850s.
Bishop Goold, who was a frequent visitor to Keilor and usually stayed at the Delahey residence, in
what is now Brimbank Park, recorded their progress. He urged them to move their building to
public land, in order to get government support for the school.
The first Catholic church was a timber structure, but work started in 1857 on quarrying stone for a
new bluestone church. George Dodd was foreman of works. It was hard to raise the necessary
funds but the Rev. James More, later second Bishop of Ballarat, was the priest responsible for
getting the church finally finished. Bishop Goold opened it on 15 November 1863 and it still
survives. At that time Keilor was the headquarters of a large parish extending from Moonee Ponds
and Essendon to Bulla and Broadmeadows. It had two resident priests for many years, but in 1887
the presbytery moved to Essendon.
The members of the Church of England originally met in an iron building, on land near the river,
but built Christ Church Keilor, which opened in 1877 and still survives, a painted brick building.
A Scots Presbyterian Church was at the corner of Hislop and Church Streets, Keilor, from 1852 but
by 1903 it was in a derelict state and the congregation moved elsewhere.
A Wesleyan congregation at ‘Albion’ (now North Sunshine), was meeting in a small bluestone
building, from the 1850s, at the corner of Phoenix and Worcester Streets. Often served by lay
preachers, it had a small but devoted band of supporters, mainly women. In the early years of the
20th century, the building was sold and the proceeds used towards a new Methodist church at

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Churches of the 1890s
In the suburban spread of the 1880s-90s, new Church of England congregations developed - at
Deer Park, St.Albans and Braybrook Junction. They received some assistance from the diocesan
authorities, who saw them as missionary outposts on an expanding frontier of settlement, and
were all part of the parish of St.John’s, Footscray initially.
At Deer Park, Church of England members attended services in Dickson’s Hall, next to his hotel,
from 1886, and worked hard to raise funds for a church building. This eventually resulted in a fine
little timber church in Miles Street, Deer Park, opened by the Bishop of Melbourne in 1891. The
church still survives.
St.John's Anglican Church, Deer Park, built 1891
At Braybrook Junction, the first Church of England services were in the local hall and it took some
years to raise sufficient funds. Finally, in 1895, the Bishop of Melbourne dedicated St. Mark’s
Church of England, a timber building, ‘of very neat and finished appearance’, in Derby Road.
This was moved to Anderson Road in 1914 and survived there until the 1970s.
St.Albans district
The first Church of England congregation at St. Albans met in a rented school room in Adelaide
Street, from about 1889. Later they had services in the Mechanics Hall and bought land at the
corner of East Esplanade and Alexina Street. As elsewhere, it was a struggle to raise the
necessary funds, but in 1910 the church of St.Alban, St.Albans, was complete, a small wooden
building of oiled oregon wood. The church was destroyed by fire in 1966, and replaced by a
modern brick building which is still in use.
The Presbyterians of St.Albans built their timber church in 1912, on the corner of Circus East and
Elaine Street. Later they added a spire and built a church hall. The church still survives, but is now
the Uniting Church, St. Albans. The Presbyterians of Sydenham also built a church at about the
same time, but this fell into disrepair and no longer exists.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Uniting Church St.Albans, built 1912
Churches of McKay’s Sunshine
H.V.McKay was a devout Presbyterian and one of the first public buildings to be erected on his
Sunshine estate was a Presbyterian Church in Anderson Road, in 1907. Here members of the
extended McKay family attended regularly. As Sunshine grew to a town, a more substantial brick
church was planned and H.V. McKay laid the foundation stone, just before he died in 1926. His
widow, Sarah McKay, opened the new church two years later. It is now known as the McKay
Memorial Church.
A Methodist church in Devonshire Road, Sunshine, opened in 1910, and was enlarged in 1927. It
was of timber and had a church hall which was used for Sunday School. It was at first part of the
Footscray circuit but became independent in 1919. The buildings lasted until the 1950s.
In 1913 Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Church opened in a timber building in Monash Street,
Sunshine, after intensive fund-raising.
Priests came from Footscray up until 1927 when
Sunshine became a separate parish, with a resident priest. The original wooden church burnt
down and was replaced by a large brick church in 1941 and this still survives.
Our Lady's Parish Hall, Sunshine.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The pattern of church establishment reflects the pattern of settlement. The growth of Sunshine is
evident in the expansion of church life. In 1918, St Mark’s Church of England purchased an army
hut for a church hall. The Salvation Army was working in the area by 1920, when they had a
meeting place in Clarke Street. After meetings and services held in the homes of local Baptists, the
Baptist Union of Victoria bought an ex-Army hall and this became the Sunshine Baptist Church,
which opened in Sydney Street in 1919.
The Pentecostal Church built a hall in Martin Street in 1925 but moved to Richmond in 1929. The
Albion Methodist Church opened in Derrimut Street in the 1920s, while the Plymouth Brethren had
a timber church in Sun Crescent from the late 1920s to the early 1950s.
The Church of Christ
opened in 1936, in an unusual building with brick front and end and timber sides.
Sunday school and music were important parts of church life. Most churches and their members
had strong views on Sunday observance, and on temperance. These had a major influence on
commercial and social life. Each church had groups for young people, for women and for men.
Post- war churches
By 1949, there were only two Catholic churches in the Brimbank area (at Keilor and Sunshine),
although there was a Catholic Sunday School at St.Albans and a priest came from Sunshine to
celebrate Mass in the Mechanics Institute once a month. There were four Church of England
congregations and nine Protestant churches. Within the next two decades this picture changed
quite dramatically. St. Teresa’s, Albion, a substantial brick building, was opened on 19 August
1951 by Archbishop Daniel Mannix. In St.Albans, over 3,000 migrants arrived between 1952 and
1954. Many of the newly-arrived came from Catholic or Orthodox countries of Europe. The Sacred
Heart Parish opened in 1953 and many of the new settlers were involved in the process of building
a new church and school in Winifred Street.
The first church was built by voluntary labour under the direction of Jim Frazer, who was a builder from
Sunshine. We were a small parish then. The newly arrived migrants did a lot of the work. The church was
made of poured concrete. Jim Frazer used to leave instructions on what was to be done and the work
teams would work after their ordinary work and at week-ends. To see the framework grow really
impressed on me the determination the parishioners had at that time.
(Dan Kavaghan)
Archbishop Mannix, now ninety years old, came out to open the new Sacred Heart precinct, which
included the old Padley home renovated as a presbytery; a new convent; parish centre; church
and school. The Sisters of St.Joseph came out to run the school. This new Catholic church
complex was followed by St.Paul’s, Ivanhoe Avenue, St. Albans East (1968); Holy Eucharist,
St.Albans South (1972); Resurrection, St.Albans West and St. Paul’s, Kealba (1976). A new
Sacred Heart Church in Winifred Street was opened in 1978. Much later, Mary McKillop Parish
Centre opened in Odessa Avenue, Keilor Downs
New Catholic churches opened in the newly-developing suburbs of North Sunshine, West
Sunshine and Ardeer - St. Bernadette’s, North Sunshine, St. Paul’s, West Sunshine and Mother of
God, Ardeer. The Brigidine Sisters settled in a convent in Ardeer and worked in the new Catholic
schools opened in the area. A small timber church between Ballarat Road and Kororoit Creek was
Queen of Heaven, Holt Street. Some years later, the church of St. Peter Channel, Deer Park, was
opened, on the old Burnside property. A number of Roman Catholic religious orders came into the
area, to set up schools and to staff parishes, being based in separate convents or presbyteries or
within church precincts.
In Ardeer, the Ukrainians built a Ukrainian Catholic Church, a landmark for miles around, and a
hall. The most recent Catholic complex in the Brimbank area is the Croatian Catholic Centre in
Whitesides Avenue, on the corner of Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West.
Another big change was the presence of Orthodox churches in the area. In West Sunshine the
Greeks and Greek Cypriots built the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Andrew, while in St. Albans,

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
the first Greek Orthodox church was in Arthur Street, together with a parish hall. In more recent
times, new Greek Orthodox churches have been completed - St.Anthony’s, Armstrong Street,
West Sunshine and a Greek Orthodox church in Marsden Crescent, St. Albans (1991). By 1996
there were at least seven Orthodox churches in the area, including the Serbian Orthodox Church,
Kate Street, St.Albans;
; Coptic Orthodox Church, Henry Street, St.Albans; Macedonian
Orthodox Church, Pecks Road and Sydenham Road, Sydenham.
The Lutherans built a church on the corner of East Esplanade and Sylvester Street, St.Albans,
dedicating it in 1961. The founding congregation was mainly Germanic and services in the early
days were in German.
A Slavic United Pentecostal church is in Vule Street, St.Albans.
The impact of migration has also been felt in the churches which come from a British tradition, for
British migrants were in fact the main migrant group in post-war Australia. St. Mark’s Anglican
Church, Sunshine built a modern church in 1959, reflecting the saw-toothed roof design of many
local factories. The St.Mark’s parish was involved in the construction of another new church -
St.Mary’s Anglican Church, North Sunshine, in the 1960s, It was later sold to the Uniting Church
and later became the Sunshine Christian School.
The Methodist Church built a substantial brick church and hall in Devonshire Road in 1958, while a
new Wesleyan Church, Devonshire Road, was opened some years later. A new Methodist and
Presbyterian church, St. Stephen’s, Church Street, Keilor, was built in 1965.
Serbian Orthodox Church, St.Albans
Sunshine’s Baptist congregation decided to transfer to a new Baptist church in St. Albans in 1968,
and the Slovakian Baptists took over the wooden church and hall in Sydney Street. It is probably
now the oldest church building in the Sunshine area, except for St.Mark’s hall.
A development of recent times was the use of existing churches, by particular ethnic communities
for their own services, for example a Tongan congregation meeting at the Wesleyan Church in
Devonshire Road and a Chinese congregation meeting at the Church of Christ, Sunshine.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
New church centres, with substantial complexes, have opened in the last ten years, including two
Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Halls, one at Sydenham and one at Fraser Street, Sunshine; the
Church of Latter Day Saints, in Neale Road, Deer Park, a Seventh Day Adventist Centre in West
Esplanade and a Westvale Christian Centre at St.Albans.
The first Islamic buildings in the Brimbank area are the Bosnian Islamic Centre, Albanvale, and the
Islamic mosque and centre under construction in Ballarat Road, Sunshine, 1996-99.
Though scattered in a sea of housing, the places of worship of the post-war period have changed
the cultural landscape. Together they are a visible reminder of the diversity of faiths and cultures in
this community and in this metropolis. The people who have built them, like the builders of the
cathedrals of Europe, were making a statement about their beliefs and values. They also built
them in the expectation that they would last for many years to come.
Coptic Orthodox Church, St.Albans

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
21 Forming Associations
In an area where settlement was ‘much spread out’ in the early days, there were few formal
associations. The main exceptions were the Local Committees which set up the earliest schools in
the 1850s -60s and for a time even hired and fired the teachers; the Boards of Advice; the School
Committees and School Councils; as well as parents’ associations and mothers’ clubs. Sporting
associations and the associations for mutual improvement or cultural activity are outlined above.
Local residents organised meetings from time to time, to discuss pressing local issues and to
arrange appropriate action, such as lobbying members of parliament. As the population increased
and services lagged behind, residents of each locality formed progress associations or residents’
associations. These usually met in existing halls, though the residents of the war service homes in
the Albion area had regular complaints meetings in a small grassed area in the middle of the
settlement in the early 1920s.
Masonic Lodge
The forming of a Sunshine Lodge (No. 226) in 1913 was part of the bonding process in what was
almost a new settlement. It was also a continuation of ties amongst Harvester Works employees
from earlier days in the Ballarat district. H.V.McKay was the first Worshipful Master. Initially the
Lodge met in Footscray but by 1926 the Sunshine Masons had erected a substantial Masonic
Temple in Hampshire Road and H.V.McKay was present at the opening ceremony shortly before
he died.
Masonic Hall, Sunshine, built 1926
A number of other lodges formed in the Sunshine area, using the Masonic Temple in Hampshire
Road as their meeting place.
All lodges eventually moved to a new Masonic Centre in West
Scouts and Guides
Sunshine’s first scout troop was formed in 1920, using a shelter shed at the rear of the State
School. Later it moved to a hall in Martin Street (now demolished). The 2nd Sunshine Scout Troop,
attached to St. Mark’s Church of England, Sunshine, began in 1931 and met in St. Mark’s church
hall for many years. About the same time, scouting started in St.Albans in conjunction with another
small troop from Deer Park, and through the work of the Church of England minister, Rev. C.Nash.
This disbanded in 1935, due to the lack of a leader. However a scout ball in Sunshine in 1933 was
seen as the major social event of the year. The 3rd Sunshine Troop was linked to the Methodist
Church in Sunshine.
Scouting revived again in St.Albans in 1955, initially using the Errington Reserve clubrooms. By
1959 the Scouts had their own Nissen hut on Errington Reserve and later built a new Scout Hall
next to it. Keilor’s scout troop was based on the Bonfield Reserve and built a scout hall there.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Women have played an important role in all these scouting activities, as office bearers in the
association, and as leaders, especially with the younger Cubs.
Guiding began in Sunshine in 1931, following a meeting at the home of Mrs Adamson, wife of the
local doctor, and encouragement from Guide headquarters. By 1951 there were three Guide
companies and two Brownie Packs in Sunshine and a Brownie Pack in St.Albans attached to the
Sunshine district.
For some years, the Guides had a hall in King Edward Avenue, Sunshine.
. Returned servicemen after World War One met in Sunshine to form a sub-branch of what was then
the Returned Sailors, Soldiers & Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia (now Returned
Servicemen’s League). They initially had a clubroom at the rear of the municipal hall. By 1947, they
had 400 members and in 1951 moved to two acres of land donated by Cecil McKay, at the end of
Dickson Street. Here they erected two Nissen huts and later renovated and extended their
complex. The St Albans R.S.L. sub-branch functioned for ten years, from 1960.
Youth clubs
Many churches had youth groups or youth clubs of various kinds. It was the St.Albans Youth Club
which gained a distinct identity for itself in its own building in Errington Reserve, Main Road East,
from the 1950s. After intensive fund-raising the club purchased an army hut and developed a wide
range of programs which still continue. The army hut was partially damaged by fire in 1974 but was
re-built and still remains as a popular community facility.
St. John’s Ambulance have run training programs for young people in Sunshine and St.Albans over
the years and now have a base in Hulett Street, Sunshine.
Community associations
Many groups have formed over the years, in relation to particular interests and issues. These have
included the Sunshine Horticultural Society, the Sunshine Beautification Group, Friends of the
Organ Pipes; the Society for Growing Native Plants; the Friends of Kororoit Creek; the Sunshine
International Women’s Group. Such groups have not constructed their own buildings but have had
considerable impact on the local environment and have raised community awareness.
Keilor Historical Society, St.Albans History Society and the Sunshine & District Historical Society
have played an important role in researching, documenting and preserving local history and
heritage sites.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
22 Commemorating People and Events
Remembering the fallen
A cenotaph in Keilor honours the sacrifice of the local young men who served in two world wars.
This is located outside the Municipal Offices, on the Old Calder Highway. Honour boards in the
Shire Hall, Keilor, list the names of the local people who served. The people of Sydenham erected
memorial gates in front of Sydenham’s public hall, but these have disappeared. Sunshine’s
memorial after World War One was a club room for returned servicemen. Trees were planted in
Sun Crescent in 1927, though these no longer survive. 24 men from the Sunshine district were
killed in World War One and 55 in World War Two. Honour boards were once on the walls of the
old Town Hall in Hampshire Road, Sunshine.
Commemorating early explorers
Two bluestone cairns in the City of Brimbank commemorate the journey of the explorers Hamilton
Hume and William Hovell through this area on 19 December 1824. They travelled from the
Goulburn area of New South Wales and intended to make their way to Western Port Bay. Instead,
they went via Mount Macedon and ended up at Corio Bay. Local residents of St.Albans and
Sydenham built a cairn on the corner of Taylors Road and Sydenham Road, in December 1924,
though this had to be moved in 1993 for a road construction scheme. It is now at the top of East
Esplanade. The second cairn is in Deer Park at the corner of Ballarat and Station Roads.
Honouring achievement
Memorial gates in Keilor, St.Albans and Sunshine honour the contribution of former citizens. Gates
at the entrance to Errington Reserve are a tribute to Alice Errington, a long-time resident of
St.Albans who played an active role in the local community and died in 1931. Memorials to Keilor
pioneers included a plaque on the gates of St.Augustine’s, Keilor, commemorating the Fox family,
and the gates to the Keilor Sports Ground, erected 1935, commemorating J.D.McFarlane.
In Sunshine, memorial gates at the entrance to Barclay Reserve, Sunshine, at the corner of King
Edward Avenue and Talmage Street, were erected in 1954 ‘to the memory of H.V.McKay, founder
of the Sunshine Harvester Works’. A Melbourne firm, Caslake, made the wrought-iron gates. The
gates were dismantled but Brimbank City Council has now re-instated them in their original
position. Many reserves and streets are named in honour of local citizens, especially municipal
The only cemetery in the Brimbank area is the Keilor Cemetery, established in 1856, three years
after the Melbourne General Cemetery opened. The Victorian Government gazetted ten acres for
the cemetery and appointed six trustees, including three members of parliament - John L.Foster,
Patrick Phelan and John O’Shannassy.
H.V.McKay memorial gates, Sunshine

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The cemetery has gravestones and monuments going back to the 1860s, commemorating
members of local families. Monuments of more recent times commemorate local people from
many different ethnic backgrounds. An unlocated grave is that of Harriet, an Aboriginal woman,
who died in Keilor in 1869, while journeying with her grandmother. The cemetery is of great
historical significance.
Heritage Panels
The local historical societies have erected a number of pictorial heritage panels in the area, which
commemorate places, people and events on particular sites. Most of these are in Keilor and
Sunshine. One is at Deer Park.
Grave of Bridget Gormon and William O'Neil, Keilor Cemetery.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
23 Transforming the Plains/Conclusion
Cultural landscape beyond Keilor.
The arrival of Europeans had a huge impact on the dispossessed Aboriginal inhabitants. The effect
on the landscape was less visible, according to one observer, William Westgarth, who had visited
friends (Pinkerstons and James Scales) in the vicinity of Deer Park-Keilor in 1858 and who
compared his early impressions with those of 30 years later.
On these vast plains ... the slight and scattered squatting invasion had hardly disturbed anywhere
the indigenous features ... I have a striking contrast in store when I revisit those plains, which now
resound to the traffic of road and railway, and to the busy hum of many towns and villages and of
farming and gardening life
The early migrant impact was in fact reflected in the landscape. The new livestock, especially
sheep and cattle, devoured the
and other native plants. The settlers introduced plants
from the old world - potatoes, mangel-wurzels, and other vegetables; crops such as wheat, barley
and oats; fruit trees and exotic trees such as firs, peppercorns and willows. In 1854, William Kelly
noted ‘the state of high cultivation on each side of the road to and beyond Keilor'.
The pastoral character of the Brimbank area continued until well into the 20th century. One local
resident commented that the people were ‘much spread out’. The shortage of water contributed to
the sparsity of settlement, reflected even in 1933, in an ordnance survey map. Empty paddocks
separated the small settlements of Keilor, St.Albans, Deer Park and the town of Sunshine. Each
settlement developed its own community life and cultural institutions, its own distinct precinct.
Industrial activity changed many areas of the plains, through quarrying and the construction of
factories and the settlement they encouraged. Since many of the factories were large-scale, they
occupied hundreds of acres of land. Now many of the factories have closed, though a few, such as
I.C.I. ( now Orica) Deer Park, remain.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Local government was responsible for the planting of exotic trees such as sugar gums along
municipal boundaries, and pines and gums along highways. Local groups, industries and schools
became involved in beautification projects. Some of these, but not all, have survived.
Most of the old bluestone and timber buildings of the early settlements have now disappeared,
including early schools, churches and halls. A few of the drystone walls remain. The farms of the
1850s-860s settlers and the 1904 ‘closer settlement’ farmers are now covered by suburban
housing and suburban gardens. Commercial developments have taken over some of the old
factory sites. The impact of concrete and bitumen is seen in new bridges, freeways, carparks,
footpaths and bikepaths and the recent Western Ring Road.
Since early settlement, the plants grown in local gardens have reflected the European background
and the desire to reproduce familiar environments. In the last three decades, Australian native
plants have become increasingly evident both in suburban gardens and in plantings along the new
road construction projects.
The waves of settlement have each left their imprint on the cultural landscape. The tide of
development and progress has transformed the plains. Yet there is now a desire to recapture
something of the early pre-contact landscape. There is also, amongst some members of the
community, an awareness of the importance of Brimbank’s cultural heritage and a concern to
preserve it for future generations.
Mature pine trees in the Old Calder Highway, Keilor

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Official Sources
In the Central Plans Office, 2 Treasury Place, Melbourne
Sydney C10A, Parish of Cut Paw Paw, Hoddle, 1839
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In the map collection of the State Library of Victoria
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VPRS 795 School Building Files
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VPRS 1700 Minute Books of the Braybrook Shire Council
VPRS 1920 Index to Inquest Depositions (Microfilm)
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VPRS 3340 Index to Probates and Administration
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Titles Office
Certificates of Titles
Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne
Certificates of Birth, Death and Marriage
State Library of Victoria
Vale Collection
Small Pictures Collection

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Historic Pictures Collection
Government Publications
Census of Victoria
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ICI Circle
Port Phillip Gazette
Sunshine Advocate
Sunshine Review
Victorian Historical Journal
Weekly Times
Williamstown Advertiser
Williamstown Chronicle

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Anderson, Hugh.
Cast in his Mould: W.L.Allen Foundry
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The Lights of Cobb & Co: The Story of the Frontier Coaches
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The Tyranny of Distance
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Discovery and Settlement of Port Phillip
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Romance of the Wool Trade
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The Land Boomers
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Around and About St. Albans
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A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-3
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Queensberry Hill Press, Melbourne, 1980.
Clarke, Michael,
Clarke of Rupertswood 1831-1897: the life and times of William John Clarke,
First Baronet of Rupertswood
. Australian Scholarly Publishing, Kew, Victoria, 1995.
Davison, Graeme,
The Rise and Fall of Marvellous Melbourne.
Melbourne University Press, 1978.
Dennis, Christine,
Landscapes Recycled: the changing environment of Melbourne’s West.
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Melbourne, 1991.
de Serville, Paul,
Pounds and Pedigrees: The Upper Class in Victoria, 1850-1880
. Oxford
University Press, Melbourne, 1991.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Dingle, Tony & Rasmussen, Carolyn,
Vital Connections: Melbourne and its Board of Works 1891-
Penguin Books Australia, Melbourne, 1991. Douglas
du Cros, Hilary,
The Sydenham Corridor: A Cultural Heritage Study.
Victoria Archaeological
Survey, Occasional Report No. 26, Melbourne, 1990.
du Cros, Hilary and Golding, Megan,
The Western Ring Road Archaeological Study Stage 1: An
Archaeological Survey of the Metropolitan Ring Road from Laverton North to Tullamarine
. vic
roads, Melbourne, 1989, within
Environmental Effects Statement, Western Ring Road Sunshine
to Keilor Section. Supplementary Report No. 6: Archaeology.
Ebsworth, Walter,
Pioneer Catholic Victoria
. Melbourne, 1973.
Evans, Angela and the Keilor Pioneer Research Collective,
Keilor Pioneers:Dead Men DO Tell
St.Albans History Society, St.Albans, Victoria, 1994.
Farrer, K. T. H.,
A Settlement Amply Supplied: Food Technology in Nineteenth Century Australia.
Melbourne University Press, 1980.
Faulkner, Rod and Mitchell, Jenny (eds.),
Go West Young Woman: Munitions Diary 1985
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Melbourne, 1984, reprinted 1988.
Faulkner, Rod,
Duty Nobly Done: Sunshine Harvester Diary 1987
. Melbourne’s Living Museum of
the West, Melbourne, 1986.
Finn, Edmund (‘Garryowen’),
The Chronicles of Early Melbourne 1835-1852
, 2 vols. Melbourne,
Footscray Advertiser,
Footscray’s First Hundred Years
, Footscray, 1959.
Footscray and Braybrook Publicity Committee,
Forging Ahead.
Footscray, 1947.
Freeland, J. M.,
Architecture in Australia: a history
. Penguin, Melbourne, 1974.
Freestone, Robert,
Model Communities: The Garden City Movement in Australia
. Thomas Nelson
Australia, Melbourne, 1989.
Garran, Andrew (ed.),
Australia: The First Hundred Years. Facsimile of the Picturesque Atlas of
, vols. 1 & 2, originally published 1886-8. Facsimile edition, Ure Smith, Sydney,
Gill, Edmund D.,
Melbourne before history began
. ABC, Sydney, c.1968.
Gregory, J. W.,
The Geography of Victoria: Historical, Physical and Political.
Whitcombe &
Tombs, Melbourne, 1903.
Grigg, Gladys,
Somerset to Saltwater River.
Self-published, Box Hill, Victoria, 1984.
Haby, Peter (ed.),
Sunshine Technical School 1913-1991: A Scrap Book.
Sunshine Technical
School Council, 1991.
Harrigan, Leo J.,
Victorian Railways to ‘62
. Melbourne, n.d.[1962?]
Henderson, Alexander,
Henderson's Australian Families: A Genealogical and Biographical
vol. 1. A. Henderson, Melbourne, 1941.
Hastewell, Anne (ed.),
Albion Primary School No. 4265: Golden Jubilee.
Melbourne, 1976.
Hibbins, G. M., Fahey, C., and Askew, M. R.,
Local History: A Handbook for Enthusiasts.
Allen &
Unwin, Sydney, 1985.
Hills, E. Sherbon,
The Physiography of Victoria: An Introduction to Geomorphology.
1940 and later editions.
Historic Buildings Council Victoria,
Victorian Heritage Register
. Melbourne, 1995.
Howes, Michael,
Organ Pipes National Park: Teacher's Guide.
National Parks Service, Melbourne,
Howitt, William,
Land, Labour and Gold.
2 volumes. Longman, Brown, Green & Longman,
London, 1855; republished Lowden Publishing Company, Kilmore, 1972.
Jennison, Susan (comp.),
City of Keilor: Collation of Historical Record Series - Record No. 1,
Bibliography and List of Sources of Keilor History.
City of Keilor, Keilor, 1987
Jennison, Susan (comp.),
City of Keilor: Collation of Historical Record Series - Record No. 2, The
Keilor Village Walk,
City of Keilor, Keilor, 1987.
Jennison, Susan (comp.),
City of Keilor: Collation of Historical Record Series - Record No. 3,
History of Keilor Hotel,
City of Keilor, Keilor, 1987.
Jennison, Susan (ed.),
Keilor's Heritage
. Keilor Historical Society, Melbourne, 1997.
Johnson, Nicola and Purcell, Lesley (eds.),
Yarns; Stories of Creative Women in Melbourne’s
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Melbourne, 1985.
Johnston, Chris/Context Pty.Ltd.,
Victorian Gardens Inventory
. Melbourne, 1988.
Kerr, J.,
The conservation plan: a guide to preparation of conservation plans for places of
European significance.
National Trust of Australia (New South Wales), 1985.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Keilor Centenary Celebrations Committee,
Keilor Centenary Celebrations1850-1950
. Keilor 1950.
Keilor City Council,
City of Keilor Centenary Souvenir, 1863-1963
. Glenroy, 1963.
Kelly, William,
Life in Victoria
, 2 vols. London, 1858. Reprinted, Kilmore 1977.
Kiddle, Margaret,
Men of Yesterday: A Social History of the Western District of Victoria 1834-
Melbourne University Press, Melbourne,1961.
Knights, Peter S. (comp.),
The Caroline Chisholm Shelter Sheds
. Keilor Historical Society, 1992.
Korzelinski, Seweryn,
Memoirs of Gold-Digging in Australia.
[Cracow, 1858] Trans, and ed.
Stanley Rose, Brisbane, 1979.
Lack, John,
A History of Footscray
. Hargreen Publishing Company & City of Footscray,
Melbourne, 1991.
Lack, John and Ford, Olwen,
Melbourne's Western Region: An Introductory History.
Living Museum of the West, Melbourne, 1986.
Lambert. G. D. (ed.),
Back to St.Albans: 80th Anniversary 1969
. Melbourne, 1969.
Land Conservation Council, Victoria,
Melbourne Area, District 1 Review
. Melbourne, 1985.
Land Conservation Council, Victoria,
Melbourne Area, District 1 Review: Final Recommendations
Melbourne, 1985.
Lanigan, John,
On their shoulders we stand.
St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Moonee Ponds.
Melbourne, 1988.
Laskowski, Chris,
Overnewton: 1849-1999
. Keilor Historical Society, Keilor, 1999.
Levi, J. S. & Bergman, G. E. J.,
Australian Genesis: Jewish Convicts and Settlers 1788-1850.
Rigby, Adelaide, 1974.
Lewis, Nigel and Associates,
Former Hunt Club Hotel, Deer Park: Conservation Analysis and
Conservation Plan.
Melbourne, 1985.
Linge, G. J. R.,
Industrial Awakening: A Geography of Australian Manufacturing, 1788-1890.
Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1979.
McConville, Chris,
Rising in the West: from Western Institute to Victoria University of Technology,
. Western Institute (Vic.), St.Albans, 1991.
McDonald, Donald,
The Bush Boy’s Book.
Sydney J.Endacott, Melbourne, 1911.
McDonald, Donald,
Gum Boughs and Wattle Bloom
. Melbourne, 1887.
McDougall, Keith,
Sites of Botanical Significance in the Western Region of Melbourne.
McGoldrick, Prue,
When the Whistle Blew: A Social History of the Town of Sunshine, 1920- 1950
Gippsland Printers, Morwell, 1989.
McGoldrick, Prue,
My Paddock
An Early Twentieth Century Childhood
. Gippsland Printers,
Morwell, 1994.
McGuire, Paul,
Inns of Australia
. William Heinemann Ltd., Melbourne, 1952.
McKay, M. J.,
The Phoenix Parish: Twenty-five years at Christ the King, Braybrook.
Press, Melbourne. 1977.
McKay, Marjorie,
It Wasn’t all Sunshine
. Melbourne, 1974.
McNeil, Dorothy and the McKay family,
The McKays of Drummartin
, Melbourne, 1984.
McPheat, William Scott,
John Flynn:Apostle to the Inland.
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1963.
Milner, Peter & Churchward, Matthew,
The Engineering Establishments in Victoria in the period
1842-1945: Technology Reports
. Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering,
University of Melbourne, 1988.
Murray, Esther,
The Plains of Iramoo.
Murray, Werribee, 1974.
Newnham, W. H.,
Victoria Illustrated, 1857 & 1862: Engravings from the original edition by S.
T.Gill & N. Chevalier
. Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1971.
Nguyen, S. T. & Mitchell, Jenny,
Changing Places: Vietnamese Women in Melbourne’s West.
Melbourne's Living Museum of the West, Melbourne, 1985.
Parsons, Peter,
The Drawers and Curlers: Parsons & Lewis 1887-1988
, Footscray 1988.
Peck, Harry H.,
Memoirs of a Stockman
. Stock and Land, Melbourne, 1942, 4th reprint, 1972.
Peel, Lynette J.,
Rural Industry in the Port Phillip Region 1835-1880
. Melbourne University Press,
Popp, Edith,
Glimpses of Early Sunshine.
Sunshine & District Historical Society, Melbourne, 1979.
Presland, Gary,
The First Residents of Melbourne’s Western Region
. Self-published, Melbourne,
Presland, Gary,
Aboriginal Melbourne: the lost land of the Kulin people
. Melbourne, 1985, new
edition, 1995.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Rigg, Tom,
The Genesis of a Railway Station: Ginifer Railway Station.
St.Albans History Society,
Melbourne, 1990.
Rigg, Tom,
Sunshine Signal Box
. Self-published, Melbourne, 1998.
Ronald, Heather,
Hounds are Running.
Kilmore, 1970.
Rosengren, N.J.,
Sites of Geological and Geomorphological Significance in the Western Region of
. Melbourne, 1986.
Rusden, G. W.,
The Discovery, Survey and Settlement of Port Phillip
. Melbourne, 1871.
St. Albans History Society,
Settlement, Struggle, Success: The Development of a Suburb
Reflected through its School Register
. St. Albans, 1989.
St. Albans Railway Centenary Committee,
St.Albans, the First Hundred Years.
St. Albans, 1987.
St. Mark’s Book Committee,
The Junction: St. Mark’s, Sunshine 1895-1995.
St.Mark’s Anglican
Church, Sunshine, Melbourne, 1995.
Scott, John (ed.),
Sunshine High Reflections, 1954-91
. SunshineHigh School Reunion Committee,
Melbourne, 1991.
Serle, Geoffrey,
The Golden Age: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1851-1861.
University Press, 1963.
Serle, Geoffrey,
The Rush to be Rich
. Melbourne University Press, 1971.
Shillinglaw, J. J. (ed.),
Historical Records of Port Phillip
. Melbourne, 1879.
Smith, J. (ed.),
The Cyclopedia of Victoria
, Cyclopedia Publishing Company, Melbourne, 1903-5.
Spreadborough, Robert & Anderson, Hugh,
Victorian Squatters
. Red Rooster Press, Melbourne,
Starr, Joan,
Melton: Plains of Promise.
Melton Shire Council, n.d. [1985].
Stevens, John,
Melbourne’s Great Outdoors.
The Age, Melbourne, 1993.
Sullivan, Martin,
Men and Women of Port Phillip.
Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1985.
Sunshine City Council,
The New Municipal Offices: City of Sunshine.
Melbourne, 1967.
Sunshine Harvester Press,
The Story of Seventy Years Development of one of Australia’s Great
. Sunshine, 1954.
Sutherland, Alexander,
Victoria and its Metropolis Past and Present
. 2 vols. McCarron, Bird and
Company, Melbourne, 1888.
Vines, Gary,
Built to Last: A Survey of Dry Stone Walls in Melbourne’s Western Region.
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Melbourne, 1990.
Vines, Gary,
Chaff Mills of Melbourne’s West
. Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West,
Melbourne, 1987.
Vines, Gary,
Keilor Regional Centre Archaeological Survey
. Report to Moull Zemsky Pty. Ltd.,
Vines, Gary,
Western Region Industrial Heritage Study,
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West,
Melbourne, 1989.
Vines, Gary & Ward, Andrew,
The Albion Explosives Factory Heritage Study. Draft report to the
Ministry for Planning & Environment,
Walker, Meredith, Johnston, Christine & Boyce, Carmel,
Evidence of History: Melbourne Western
Region Heritage Study.
Melbourne Western Region Commission, Melbourne, 1986.
Westgarth, William,
Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria.
Melbourne, 1888.
Fascsimile, 1970.
Westgarth, William,
The Colony of Victoria: Its History, Commerce & Gold Mining; Its Social and
Political Institutions, Down to the End of 1863.
London, 1864.
Wheelhouse, Frances,
Digging Stick to Rotary Hoe
. Melbourne, 1966.
Wilson, Glanville and Sands, Peter,
Building a City: 100 Years of Melbourne Architecture
. Oxford
University Pess, Melbourne, 1981.
York, Barry.
The Maltese in Australia.
AE Press, Melbourne, 1986.
Articles and Papers
Baker, Derek N.,‘Eighty Years of Postal Service at St.Albans’. 1968.
Duncan, Stuart, ‘In the steps of John Batman: a geographical excursion', Melbourne, 1988.
East, L. R., ‘Pioneers of irrigation in Victoria’,
, May 1962, pp. 141-153, also short article,
‘Victoria’s first irrigator’, pp.153-55. ‘
Ford, Olwen, 'Women of yesterday: A preliminary inquiry into the history of women in the
Sunshine District' in Goedecke, G., (ed.)
Women of the West: A Survey Report on the Needs of

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Sunshine Women and their Families.
Sunshine International Women's Year Committee, 1975,
Freestone, R., ‘Garden Suburbs of Melbourne’,
Victorian Historical Journal,
vol. 56, no. 4, 1985,
pp. 31-37.
Howes, Michael.
Organ Pipes National Park: Teacher’s Guide.
National Parks Service, Melbourne,
J. N. C.’, Victoria’s first irrigator’,
, June 1959, pp. 189-192.
Kendall, F. J., ‘H. V. McKay - A Pioneer Industrialist’,
Victorian Historical Magazine
, vol. 43,
August 1972, pp. 893-99.
Kenyon, A. S., ‘‘The Port Phillip Association’,
Victorian Historical Magazine
, vol.16, no.3, 1937,
pp. 112-20.
MacKinnes, J. D., ‘The Hunter Brothers at the Devil's River’,
Victorian Historical Magazine
, vol.
14, no. 52, 1931-32, pp. 57-71.
Murray, M. J., ‘Early Victorian Railways’, in
Victorian Historical Magazine
, vol.6, 1917-18.
Richardson, Edward, ‘Keilor Bridge’,
Transactions and Proceedings of the Victorian Institute for
the Advancement of Science
, 1854-55, pp. 149-155.
Sturman, Barry, 'A Chat with Sadie Parsons, pyrotechnist', in
(United Kingdom), No.18,
September 1990, pp.5-8.
York, Barry. ‘The Maltese in Melbourne’,
Victorian Historical Magazine
. vol. 60, September
1989, pp.3-23.
Austin, Geoffrey, ‘Sunshine: an antipodean Bornville?’. Honours thesis, University of Melbourne.
Beever, Alan, 'A history of the Australian meat export trade 1865-1939'. Ph.D.thesis, University of
Melbourne, 1968.
Brimbank City Council.
Social and Demographic Profile (ABS 1991)
. Melbourne, 1995.
Ford, Olwen, ‘Voices from Below: Family, School and Community on the Braybrook Plains, 1854-
1892’. M.Ed. thesis, University of Melbourne, 1993.
Lack, John, 'Footscray: an industrial suburban community', Ph.D. thesis, Monash University, 1976.
Parsons, T. G., 'Some aspects of the development of manufacturing in Melbourne, 1870-90'. Ph.D.
thesis, Monash University, 1970.
Popp, Edith, 'The development of the manufacturing industry at Sunshine'. M.A. prelim. thesis,
University of Melbourne, 1972.
Reports and unpublished works
Borrell, Joe, (comp. Olwen Ford),
The Story of the Borrell Market Garden, Keilor, and the Borrell
,. Melbourne, 1984.
Burness, Jill,
H. V. McKay Memorial Gardens: Conservation Analysis and Management
Melbourne, 1994.
Dodd, Harry, (comp. Olwen Ford),
Brimbank Story: recollections
. Melbourne, 1983.
Faulkner, Rod (comp).
Massey-Ferguson Site Study, Stage 1: Draft Report.
Living Museum of the West, 1985.
Faulkner, Rod (comp).
Massey-Ferguson Site Study, Stage 2Report.
Melbourne’s Living Museum
of the West, 1987.
Flynn, Thomas,
A History of the Braybrook District
, 1906, typescript. In the collections of the
Sunshine & District Historical Society and Melbourne's Living Museum of the West.
Ford, Olwen,
“Borrells”: An Interim Report.
Report for MMBW, Melbourne, 1983.
Ford, Olwen,
Borrells: Historical Report on the former Borrell property, Keilor
Report for
Melbourne, 1984.
Ford, Olwen,
Mente et Maibus: the establishment of the Sunshine Technical School
. 1987.
Ford, Olwen.
The ‘Hunt Club Hotel’ Building in Ballarat Road, Deer Park
. Melbourne, 1981.
Jennison, Susan,
Building Study: Old Dodd Homestead, Brimbank Park, Maribyrnong Valley
Metropolitan Park
. 1992.
Laskowski, Chris (ed.)
Keilor Historical Society Newsletter
, 1991-1995.
O'Hare, E.,
St.Albans Church of England: a Short Outline of the Church's History
. Typescript, n.d.
Raworth, Bruce and du Cros and Associates,
Albion Explosives Factory: Conservation Analysis
and Review
. Report prepared for the Urban Land Authority, Melbourne, 1997.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Corporate archives
Melbourne Parks & Waterways
Massey-Ferguson Archives
University of Melbourne Mt. Derrimut Field Station
Scienceworks, Museum of Victoria: H.V. McKay Archives
ICI Deer Park Archives, including the following:-
ICI in Australia: A short history of its beginnings at Deer Park
, compiled Melbourne’s Living
Museum of the West, 1986. (Includes recollections of John Howlett, Wally O’Brien, Arthur
Huggins, Ethel Driver, Albert Evans, Vin Carr)
The explosives industry in the 1880s: newspaper cuttings of the time
. 1994.
J. K. Mercer,
The History of Industrial Explosives in Australia
, paper presented at the
International Mining History Conference, Melbourne, 1985.
Three killed at Deer Park:
Contemporary reports of an explosion on 16 January 1923, at the
Deer Park works of Australian Explosives & Chemical Company Limited, 1994
ICI Deer Park, 1870-1939
. (Thought to be part of a draft history by Geoffrey Blainey.)
The Australian Lithofracteur Company, Krebs Patent, Limited 1881-1885:
transcriptions of
newspaper reports of the period.
A detailed description of the location, plant, operations and working conditions at the
Australian Explosives & Chemical Company at Deer Park, in 1920.
Reproduced 1994.
Inquest into the death of John O'Shannassy in an explosion at the factory of Australian
Explosives & Chemicals Co.Ltd, Deer Park,
1 August 1897.
A Menace to White Australia
: issued in 1921 by Australian Explosives & Chemical Company at
Deer Park, Victoria, original in National Library of Australia, Canberra.Reproduced by ICI Deer
Park Site Operations, 1995. (Includes contemporary photos of the works)
The History of Nobel’s Explosives Company Limited 1871-1926
: extracts relating to
I.C.I. Australia’s predecessors at Deer Park. Reproduced 1995.
ICIANZ Ltd. Synthetic Ammonia Plant, Deer Park:
Monthly Reports 1939-40.
Local collections
Information and/or archives held by :-
Keilor Historical Society
Keilor Village Branch Library
Our Lady’s Catholic Church, Sunshine
St.Albans Branch Library
St.Albans History Society
Sunshine & District Historical Society
Sunshine Branch Library
Other collections
National Trust (Victoria) Files
Cemetery Records
Footscray and Keilor
Cemeteries - inscriptions on tombstones
Kenyon Index: Early Pastoralists. La Trobe Collection, StateLlibrary of Victoria.
Miles Lewis Australian Architects Index, microfilm copy, La Trobe Collection, State Library of
R.K. Cole Collection of Hotel Records. La Trobe Collection, State Library of Victoria.
Sunshine Advocate
Index, Sunshine Library.
Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne,
The Victorian Pioneers Index

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Research notes & photocopied archival material held by
Sharon Barnes, Joan Carstairs, Bob Hayes: Grimes journal photocopy.
Personal communications
Judy Bilszta; Norm Catlton; the late Harry Dodd; Tamara Jaworski; Keith Hebb; Maureen Lane;
Fay Meehan; the late Bob Parsons; Tom Rigg, Don Webster.
Courtesy of: Joe Borrell; Carlton family; Joan Carstairs; Dodd family; Melbourne’s Living Museum
of the West; Museum of Victoria; St.Albans History; State Library of Victoria; Sunshine & District
Historical Society.
Gardens of Sunshine Harvester Works
, copy held by the Sunshine & District Historical Society.
Keilor Historical Society,
Keilor: Our Heritage,
Keilor, 1994.
he above bibliography is not exhaustive or complete. A number of primary source
references have been omitted, but are indicated elsewhere.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Appendix A: AHC Principal Australian Historic Themes
1. Tracing the evolution of a continent’s special environment
1.1 Tracing climatic and topographical change
1.2 Tracing the emergence of and development of Australian plants and animals
1.3 Assessing scientifically diverse environments
1.4 Appreciating the natural wonders of Australia
2. Peopling the continent
2.1 Recovering the experience of Australia’s earliest inhabitants
2.2 Appreciating how Aboriginal people adapted themselves to diverse regions
before regular contact with other parts of the world.
2.3 Coming to Australia as a punishment
2.4 Migrating
2.5 Promoting settlement on the land through selection and group settlement
2.6 Fighting for the land
3. Developing local, regional and national economies
3.1 Exploring the coastline
3.2 Surveying the continent and assessing its potential
3.3 Exploiting natural resources
3.4 Developing primary production
3.5 Recruiting labour
3.6 Establishing lines and networks of communication
3.7 Moving goods and people
3.8 Farming for export under Australian conditions
3.9 Integrating Aboriginal people into the cash economy
3.10 Altering the environment for economic development
3.11 Feeding people
3.12 Developing an Australian manufacturing capacity
3.13 Developing an Australian engineering and construction industry
3.14 Developing economic links to the rest of the world
3.15 Struggling with remoteness, hardship and failure
3.16 Inventing devices to cope with special Australian problems
3.17 Financing Australia
3.18 Marketing and retailing
3.19 Informing Australians
3.20 Entertaining for profit
3.21 Lodging people
3.22 Catering for tourists
3.23 Selling companionship and sexual services
3.24 Adorning Australians
3.25 Treating what ails Australians
4. Building settlements, towns and cities
4.1 Planning urban settlement
4.2 Supplying services - water, power and gas
4.3 Developing urban institutions
4.4 Living with slums, homelessness and as outcasts
4.5 Making towns to serve rural Australia

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
4.6 Remembering significant phases in the development of towns and suburbs
5. Working
5.1 Working in harsh conditions
5.2 Organising workers and workplaces
5.3 Caring for workers’ dependent children
5.4 Working in offices
5.5 Trying to make crime pay
5.6 Working in the home
5.7 Surviving as Aboriginal people in a white-dominated economy
6. Educating
6.1 Forming associations, libraries and institutes for self-education
6.2 Establishing schools
6.3 Training people for workplace skills
6.4 Building a system of higher education
6.5 Educating people in remote locations
6.6 Educating people in two cultures
7. Governing
7.1 Governing Australia as a province of the British Empire
7.2 Developing institutions of self-government and democracy
7.3 Federating Australia
7.4 Governing Australia’s colonial possessions
7.5 Developing administrative structures and authorities
8. Developing cultural institutions and ways of life
8.1 Organising recreation
8.2 Going to the beach
8.3 Going on holiday
8.4 Eating and drinking
8.5 Forming associations
8.6 Worshipping
8.7 Honouring achievement
8.8 Remembering the fallen
8.9 Commemorating significant events and people
8.10 Pursuing excellence in the arts and sciences
8.11 Making Australian folklore
8.12 Living in and around Australian homes
9. Marking the phases of life
9.1 Bringing babies into the world
9.2 Bringing up children
9.3 Growing up
9.4 Forming families and partnerships
9.5 Growing old
9.6 Mourning the dead
9.7 Disposing of dead bodies

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Appendix B: Historical Themes for the City of Brimbank
Asterisk indicates new or additional themes
Tracing the evolution of a continent’s special environment
1.1 Tracing climatic and topographical change
Studying key sites:- Silcrete cave, Taylors Creek; the Organ Pipes; Maribyrnong
River Terraces; Green Gully Terraces; Lava flow section, Taylors Creek; Kororoit
Creek valley form and escarpments; Anderson’s Swamp
1.2 Tracing the emergence of and development of Australian plants and animals
Studying grasslands and local fauna
1.3 Assessing scientifically diverse environments
Studying Keilor Plains flora; remnant grasslands
1.4 Appreciating the natural wonders of Australia
Monitoring the Sunshine White Diuris orchid site; preserving grasslands sites
2. Peopling the continent
2.3 Coming to Australia as a punishment
Ticket of leave’ servants on early pastoral properties, Ex-convicts who settled in the
area and bought or rented land, e.g. William O’Neil (Horsehoe Bend, Keilor), James
Joy (Deer Park).
2.4 Migrating
Taking up pastoral leases: European settlers 1835-1850; migrating with government
assistance; travelling to the diggings at Castlemaine, Ballarat and Bendigo;
servicing the needs of diggers; establishing communities and institutions; building
public halls ; making the landscape more familiars: introducing plants from the Old
World; Spanish, Italian and Maltese migrants 1900-1940; migrating after World War
2; migrant hostels; new communities, new suburbs and new community centres;
migrants from Asia and Africa.
2.5 Promoting settlement on the land through selection and group settlement
Selecting land following Land Acts of the 1860s; Farmers’ Commons; closer
settlement schemes on the big pastoral estates 1894-1904.
2.6 Fighting for the land
Displacing Aboriginal people; initial contact with Aboriginal occupants
3. Developing local, regional and national economies
3.1 Exploring the coastline
3.2 Surveying the continent and assessing its potential
Looking for pastoral country; contemporary comments on grasslands, 1803, 1835
onwards; laying out boundaries
3.3 Exploiting natural resources
Quarrying the plains: extracting stone for buildings, roads and railways; crushing
the stone; extracting other minerals, e.g. sand; constructing drystone walls; cutting
down timber

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
3.4 Developing primary production
Grazing stock; breeding animals, especially cattle; developing agricultural
industries, including the dairying industry, hay and chaff production, fruit
production, vineyards and market gardening; building and improving pastoral
properties; developing transport and storage facilities, e.g. sidings, grain silos.
3.5 Recruiting labour
Recruiting labour and expertise from overseas; selling land & or houses to
employees; providing worker housing and other services, e.g. company housing
schemes, Commonwealth Government housing (1940s), railway housing(1950s);
Victorian Housing Commission; RAAF housing.
3.6 Establishing lines and networks of communication
Mail services and early post offices; radio communication
3.7 Moving goods and people
oads; fords and bridges; coach services; railways and railway
infrastructure: railway stations; sidings to quarries and factories; level crossings;
gates; gatekeepers; accommodating the car - overpasses, carparks, freeways.
3.8 Farming for export under Australian conditions
Developing agricultural and market gardening techniques; building and improving
farms and market gardens; experimenting with crops and farm management;
developing the infrastructure of agriculture
3.10 Altering the environment for economic development
Regulating waterways; building dams and channels; irrigating land; clearing
vegetation; damaging soils; draining swamp; building freeways and shopping
centres; reutilising quarries for waste disposal.
3.11 Feeding people
Producing, processing, storing, transporting and distributing foodstuffs: dairies,
creameries; meat works; flour mills; grain silos, bakeries.
3.12 Developing an Australian manufacturing capacity
Laying the foundations of Australia’s self-sufficiency in the production of explosives
and chemicals ; utilising animal by-products and agricultural products to develop a
range of industries; relocating key industries formerly based elsewhere; developing
the production of agricultural machinery on a large scale; supporting the war effort
by adapting and extending factory facilities for war-time production; expanding the
metals and synthetics industries ; researching and experimenting.
3.13 Developing an Australian engineering and construction industry
Training engineers; expanding foundry production; developing new building
products- reinforced concrete, cement sheeting, steel windows; plastics; paints.
3.14 Developing economic links to the rest of the world
Encouraging overseas firms to commence operations in the area; developing export
trade; encouraging overseas investment; mergers and multinationals.
3.15 Struggling with remoteness, hardship and failure
Dealing with a dry climate and difficult soil; dealing with hazards and disasters such
as floods and explosions.
3.16 Inventing devices to cope with special Australian problems
Mello Bros.’ stripper machine and stump jump plough; H.V.McKay’s Sunshine
Harvester; Headlie Taylor’s adaptation of a Sunshine Header Harvester.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
3.17 Financing Australia
Local banking
3.18 Marketing and retailing
Shops; commercial strips; shopping centres; warehousing
3.19 Informing Australians
Newspaper offices; radio stations
3.20 Entertaining for profit
Cinemas, theatres
3.21 Lodging people
Hotels; boarding houses; hostels; Caroline Chisholm shelter
3.22 Catering for tourists
Cafes, milk bars, blacksmiths, service stations
3.24 Adorning Australians
Hairdressers, beauty parlours, jewellers
3.25 Treating what ails Australians
Health centres; infant welfare; hospital service; doctors’ surgeries; clinics;
4. Building settlements, towns and cities
4.1 Planning urban settlement
Selecting township sites; planned sub-division; setting aside land for public
facilities; town and street lay-outs: grid, linear; new housing estates; speculating in
Melbourne’s boom (1880s); ‘crashing’ in the Depression; implementing the Garden
City concept; land zoning
4.2 Supplying services - water, power and gas
Constructing a sewerage system; distributing electric power
4.3 Developing urban institutions
Parks and gardens
Reflecting the environment
Building in bluestone; shapes and form of buildings
Zoning for different land use
Zoning land for noxious trades
Developing community identities in new neighbourhoods
New estates for new migrants
Transforming rural townships into modern suburbs
Developing old sites for new uses
Transforming the plains
Planting trees on the plains, e.g. sugar gums on Boundary Road, Sunshine;
recovering an indigenous landscape: private gardens; community plantings;
employment projects
5. Working

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
5.1 Working in harsh conditions
Reducing the hazards of dangerous workplaces
5.2 Organising workers and workplaces
Holding strikes; controlling the workforce
5.3 Caring for workers’ dependent children
Providing childcare facilities
5.4 Working in offices
Working for the private sector; working for government
5.5 Trying to make crime pay
Illegal gambling: ‘two-up’ meeting spots
5.6 Working in the home
Changing technologies; changing lifestyles
6. Educating
6.1 Forming associations, libraries and institutes for self-education
Establishing a mechanics’ institute; opening libraries; developing courses and
further education programs in community centres
6.2 Establishing schools
Early schools; State schools; Catholic schools; Independent schools
6.3 Training people for workplace skills
Developing a system of apprenticeship training; establishing evening classes;
training of company staff; links between industry and education
6.4 Building a system of higher education
Experimenting and research at the University of Melbourne’s School of Agriculture
Field Station (Mount Derrimut); establishing the Western Institute and the Victoria
University of Technology
6.6 Educating people in two cultures
Establishing Saturday morning schools; ethnic community centres
7. Governing
7.2 Developing institutions of self-government and democracy
Participating in local government: elected local councils; changes in municipal
7.5 Developing administrative structures and authorities
Local government: shire halls, town halls and municipal offices; defending
Australia: drill halls, regimental buildings; policing Australia: police stations;
dispensing justice: court houses; incarcerating criminals: gaols; providing services
and welfare: Commonwealth and state offices;
8. Developing cultural institutions and ways of life
8.1 Organising recreation
Sports grounds and pavilions; deer park (Melbourne Hunt Club); golf courses;
bowling greens; RSL clubs; skating rinks ; indoor bowling centres; amateur theatre;
musical activities; dances and balls

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
8.4 Eating and drinking
Hotels, cafes, restaurants
8.5 Forming associations
Masonic Lodge; Scout and Guide halls
8.6 Worshipping
Religious institutions; places of worship
8.7 Honouring achievement
H.V.McKay memorial gates; naming reserves
8.8 Remembering the fallen
War memorials
8.9 Commemorating significant events and people
Monuments to explorers
8.10 Pursuing excellence in the arts and sciences
Developing community arts programs; art exhibitions and collections; art gallery
8.12 Living in and around Australian houses
Establishing houses and gardens
9. Marking the phases of life
9.1 Bringing babies into the world
Health services: doctors’ surgeries; hospitals
9.2 Bringing up children
Kindergartens; playgrounds; play groups
9.3 Growing up
Youth clubs
9.4 Forming families and partnerships
Wedding reception venues
9.5 Growing old
Retirement villages, hostels; nursing homes; senior citizens’ clubs
9.6 Mourning the dead
Memorials in cemeteries
9.7 Disposing of dead bodies
Funeral parlours; cemeteries

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Appendix C: Summary of themes by chapter
1. Valuing a special environment............................................... Theme 1
2. Exploring and surveying......................................................... Theme 3.1, 3.2
3. Peopling the plains..................................................................Theme 2.3, 2.4, 2.5
4. Exploiting natural resources....................................................Theme 3.3
5. Grazing country.......................................................................Theme 3.4
6. Farming, fruit-growing and market gardening........................ Theme 3.4
7. Travelling: roads, railways and bridges.................................. Theme 3.7
8. Developing Australia's manufacturing base............................ Theme 3.12, 3.13, 3.14
9. Engineers and inventors...........................................................Theme 3.13
10. Working................................................................................. Theme 5.1, 5.2
11. Shops and shopping centres...................................................Theme 3.18
12. Planning and building new settlements....................................Theme 4.1, 4.3, 4.6, 4.7
13. Houses and gardens................................................................Theme 3.5, 8.12
14. Providing services....................................................................Theme 3.6, 3.17, 3.25, 4.2, 9.1, 9.2
15. Communications and media...................................................Theme 3.6, 3.19, 3.20
16. Educating............................................................................... Theme 6
17. Governing.............................................................................. Theme 7
18. Organising recreation.............................................................Theme 8.1 , 8.10
19. Eating and drinking................................................................ Theme 8.4
20. Worshipping........................................................................... Theme 8.6
21. Forming associations.............................................................Theme 8.5, 9.3
22. Commemorating.................................................................... Theme 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.6, 9.7
23. Transforming the plains........................................................ Theme 4.8

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Appendix D: Report on Community Consultation
Brimbank City Council was aware that local involvement in the Cultural Heritage Strategy was
crucial to its success. Community input was sought in five main ways: press publicity; community
consultation sessions; a Brimbank heritage survey; local comments on draft versions of the
environmental history and the list of sites; contact with local residents requesting specific
In addition, Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West prepared a photographic display relating to
Brimbank’s Heritage, based on work by Chantal Brens. This was presented at Brimbank’s multi
cultural festival at the Errington Community Centre, St.Albans and at the Visitor Centre,
Pipemakers Park, Maribyrnong. Two members of the Study Team took part in a Historical Bus Tour
of the City of Brimbank organised by the three local history societies of Keilor, St.Albans and
Press publicity
Two issues of
Around Brimbank,
a Council publication which is distributed free to all households in
the municipality, promoted the Post-contact Cultural Heritage Strategy and invited community
input. A number of phone calls and letters and one oral history interview with an Ardeer resident,
Mrs Tamara Jaworski, resulted from this publicity.
Community sessions
Community consultation sessions were arranged at three venues: St.Albans Library; Municipal
Offices, Sunshine; Municipal Offices, Keilor. A small travelling display presenting aspects of
Brimbank’s heritage accompanied these sessions. Each of the three local historical/history
societies gave time to the Heritage Strategy at their meetings and many members provided input to
the heritage survey.
Local comments on draft versions of the report
Representatives of each of the three local history societies kindly read draft versions of the
environmental history and the preliminary list of sites and made detailed comments or
Contact with local residents requesting specific information.
Individual members of the community were contacted in relation to specific questions. Members of
churches, clergy, community groups, were very helpful in providing information or suggesting
further contacts. A number of local people also co-operated in giving permission to have their
properties photographed.
Brimbank Heritage Survey
Local residents were asked to complete a survey form to suggest sites that they felt were important
to Brimbank’s heritage and to expain their reasons. Responses to the survey were forwarded via
libraries, Council staff, historical societies, through the post and on the telephone. The total number
of respondents was 40. A few people listed more than four sites. Two people provided information
by phone. 25% of respondents were from St.Albans, 33% from Keilor, 40% from Sunshine and
Deer Park, 2% from outside the municipality but with family connections to the area. On the whole,
respondents tended to name sites in their immediate neighbourhood, rather than across the
municipality of Brimbank.
Responses to the Brimbank Heritage Survey listed over 90 sites that people felt were the most
significant to them. Sites listed by more than four people included: the Hunt Club Community
Centre, Deer Park; St.Augustine’s, Keilor; Overnewton; Keilor Cemetery; the McKay Factory site
and its last remaining building; the ‘Tin Shed, St.Albans Community Youth Club.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
The following list indicates the sites nominated by people. Asterisks refer to the number of times
listed. Sites in square brackets are sites just outside the municipality of Brimbank.
1. The ‘Tin Shed’ (St. Albans Youth Club), St.Albans *****
Built by St.Albans residents. A great asset to
St.Albans and only one of a few Nissen huts that
2. Errington Reserve and Gates
One of the few remaining parklands left in
3. Hume & Hovell monument, St. Albans
4. Stevens’ farmhouse, St.Albans
It’s part of our history and I love it.
Very few old farmhouses of this era (1910)
left in St.Albans.
5. Serbian Orthodox Church, St.Albans
Unusual sight in Melbourne
6. Original site plan of St.Albans
Designed by Percy Oakden, a famous
Melbourne architect
7. H.V.McKay Gardens, Sunshine
**** }
Because of their original links
8. Darling’s Flour Mill
**** }
to the growth and settlement of
9. Original drystone walls
* }
Brimbank. Because they are visual
10. Keilor Village, including old Shire hall, hotel and
} ‘
packages’ which could be used to
associated tracks, trails and bridges
* }
promote and define the area.
11. H.V.McKay factory site & Bulk Store
Important for its post-war era
12. Bulk Store, Harvester site, Sunshine, the last
Last factory building of the company
remaining factory building
Big part of Sunshine's history.
13.H.V.McKay office block, Sunshine
Significant because used by H.V.McKay and
successors. Built 1906-20. Attractive building on
thoroughfare to new retail area. For many years
Printing Department.
14. Sydenham Railway Station
It has great historical importance to the area
15. St.Albans Hall, East Esplanade
For its historical importance in St.Albans
Old Mechanics Hall/Picture Theatre
16. Green Gully
Important for archaeological findings and
Aboriginal history.
17. Keilor Cemetery
Surely a sacred site. Headstones record the
of the area. Of strong local significance
18. Railway footbridge, Sunshine
It’s been part of Sunshine for so long, it
has historical
19. Presbyterian Church, Sunshine
20. 145 Anderson Road, home of Hannah McKay
21. 147 Anderson Road, home of Dr. Tonkin
22. Matthews Hill Reserve
A sense of neighbourhood
23. Trees in Parsons Street
About 50 years old. A nice feature of the street
24. Reserve off Monash Street, Sunshine
Reserve with playground, but no name
25. St. John’s Anglican Church, Deer Park
Built 1891 by voluntary labour and served as
place for other denomination from time to
26. Burnside Park, Ballarat Road, Deer Park
A council watering place (and public reserve) from
earliest days for travelling stock.
Sheep held on
or shearing in Burnside sheds.
27. Hunt Club Hotel
Impressive and important 19th century building
Shows heritage and explanation of name of Deer
Park -
area used for deer hunting.
28. Corio Street Library
Reading Room of Mechanics’ Institute from
Possibly oldest Council-owned building in central
29. Sunshine Picture Theatre
30. Signal Box at Sunshine Station
Early railway history played a big part in the
growth of
Braybrook Junction.
31. I.C.I. complex - early buildings
32. Bluestone (railway) bridge, Sunshine Road
33. Arundel Bridge

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
34. Uniting Church Op. Shop, Devonshire Rd. Sunshine *
Originally Jackson's ToolWorks (built 1939) It is
possibly the only original Sunshine factory
east of the
town centre.
35. Hampshire Road strip of shops
Most of these shops are pre 1940.
36. Sunshine Primary School
37. Deer Park Primary School
38. Bluestone bridges
39. Mt.Derrimut homestead and stables
Reminder of much cultural history
40. Selwyn Park
41. Parsons Reserve
42. Terrace houses, Benjamin Street, Sunshine
Recalls early history of Sunshine
43. Brick houses, Duke Street, Sunshine
Commonwealth housing
44. Quarries, Sunshine district
45. Quarter mile trestle (railway) bridge
46. Railway culverts Sydenham-St.Albans
47. ABC Radio Tower
48. Ring Road
49. Padley’s old house, now Catholic presbytery, St.Albans *
50. Masonic Hall, Sunshine
Used by many of Sunshine's Masonic members
and was
a social centre for family members.
Members were
influential in Sunshine. Built in 1928 and
sold when new
Masonic Centre was acquired in Ardeer in
the 1980s.
51. R.S.L. Hall, Sunshine
Headquarters for an interesting and effective group
a great history.
52. Fire Brigade building
53. Overnewton
54. Iron Bridge, Keilor
55. St. Augustine’s, Keilor
Of strong local significance
56. Christ Church, Keilor
57. Keilor Hotel
58. Organ Pipes
59. Site of Hunter & Watson’s station
60. Robertson’s homestead
61. Site of Caroline Chishol shelter shed
62. Sports ground, Keilor
63. Old Shire Hall, Keilor
64. Aboriginal sites, Keilor
65. David Milburn’s irrigation attempts
66. Maribyrnong River valley
67. Harricks’ homestead
68. Overnewton Gatehouse
69. [Arundel Farm]
70. Site of Sarah McKinley’s lolly shop, Keilor
71. Site of Borrells’ market garden
72. Senserricks’ house, Keilor
73. Site of old toll house
74. Lagoon fomerly in Keilor village
75. Trees in Keilor village
76. Milburns’ market gardens
77. Opies’ dairy, Deer Park
evidence of ordinary people’s history
78. Brimbank Farm homestead
important for its association with early pioneer
and as evidence of early 20th century lifestyle. Old
79. [Braybrook Hotel]
Though not in the City of Brimbank, is of
importance to
Brimbank’s heritage, recalls a great deal of
the history of
the area which later became Sunshine.
80. Maribyrnong River
81. Kororoit Creek
82. Yabbie Creek, named by Des Johnson
(small tributary of the Maribyrnong, near Stenson’s Road)
83. Sunshine Technical School
Significant in history of education in Victoria
84. Matthews Hill Estate, bounded by St.Albans Railway *
line, Stoney Creek, Duke Street and Monash Street

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
85. All significant trees in the area
Not only of historical value but aesthetically
valuable to
the community
86. Portable iron building, Calder Freeway, Sydenham *
87. Bluestone ruins, former Robertson’s property, Sydenham*
88. Scout Island, Maribyrnong River
89. Lutheran Church, East Esplanade, St.Albans
90. Ukrainian Catholic Church, Forrest Street, Ardeer *
91. St.Albans Presbyterian Church, East Esplanade, St.Albans *
92. Albion Explosives site
Comments on sites
Not all respondents included comments on the sites they listed, often because of time
constraints. Some responsed to the survey given during meetings. There was evidence
that some people care greatly about the Brimbank' area's cultural heritage and are very
concerned that it be preserved. The following give some idea of local interest :-
People’s history - participation
Landmarks in a flat windy landscape
They are all part of our history so should be saved
The ‘Tin Shed’ (St. Albans Youth Club), St.Albans has a special place in its local
Good community spirit and an area where people can congregate and meet new peoiple ... helps
young people and older people with no regard to how you look or how old you are. Friendly personnel with
an ear for a talk
and always time to spare to help everybody
Some St. Albans people expressed great concern that the name of St.Albans should be
retained. One resident pointed out the importance of place names:-
I hope the Brimbank Heritage study will give very high priority to not changing our historic names, not
just St.Albans, but also Keilor, Sydenham, Sunshine ( unless they are prepared to revert to Braybrook
Junction) etc. etc. Perhaps you could put this to Council before the Study is fimnalized.
Darlings' Flour Mill
Several residents commented on Darlings' Flour Mill
A prominent icon for Sunshine.
One of the very few remnants of Sunshine's industrial history.
Trees of special significance need to be maintained, especially to enhance the image of sunshine
and improve its appearance. Sunshine an area not renowned for being aesthetically pleasing, needs as
many beautiful, old growth trees as possible.
Buildings that reflect Brimbank's multi-cultural heritage
One example is the Ukrainian Association Hall at the corner of Alexina Street and Arthur Street,
Gardens and landscapes
Stenson Road, north side of Brimbank Park, in Kealba. Stenson Road is named after an important
local resident and councillor. This road should be made into a boulevard in his honour and not
industrialised and filled with more housing estates than it already has. Currently this road is the worst
in Brimbank.
Preserve some of the old houses
A number of local residents expressed appreciation of the area's waterways, especially the
Maribyrnong River, but also the creeks. At one of the community consultation sessions,

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Des Johnson brought along several albums of photographs he has taken. He has taken
over 4,700 photographs of sites in the area, mainly along the creeks in the area.
Aboriginal sites
A number of residents ( especially in Keilor) stressed the importance of the Aboriginal sites
in the area. One resident pointed out that Harrick's homestead property has a number of
Aboriginal artefacts.
February March 1997 issue of
Around Brimbank

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Heritage Survey form

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Extract from a local resident’s letter on heritage issues in Brimbank
The best house I have seen in Sunshine was the one that was across the road from the Derrimutt
Hotel which was pulled down for the car park. It was lovely inside with a
varnished staircase (it was two storey) in the hallway and built in timber sideboard in the dining
room as well as all the other features one gets in a Federation house (lead
light fretwork etc .. ). I thought that it was terrible the way the council approved the
demolition of all the best houses in the area for flats and car parks. Most of what is left is rubbish
compared to what has gone. They also let them "chip" the palm trees outside what was I believe H
V McKay's own house in Talmage St. We saw them doing it. We couldn't believe that they would
do that when they were worth about $5,000 each to other councils. It was only in the last IO years,
I can't remember which year, but there was no excuse for that type of destruction when everyone
was starting to renovate and conseive things of value. Different in the 60's and 70's.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Appendix E: Notes on place names
In the period 1850-1900 denotes the area of North Sunshine. However,
there was briefly (1860) a station called ‘Albion’ on the Bendigo line, not
far from the present Albion station. The present suburb of Albion is
bounded by Ballarat Road, Forrest Street Kororoit Creek and Anderson
Braybrook Junction
Name given to station and new township at the junction of the Bendigo
and Ballarat lines, 1886.
Braybrook Shire
Municipality established 1871, comprising Maribyrnong, Maidstone,
Braybrook, area of present day Sunshine and Deer Park, and stretching
as far as the Toolern Toolern Creek, near Melton, until 1916. Continued
until 1951 when Braybrook Shire became the City of Sunshine.
The City of Brimbank takes its name from the Brimbank farm later
Brimbank Park at Keilor. The new municipality comprises the major parts
of the former Cities of Sunshine and Keilor.
Deer Park
Before 1889, this settlement was known as ‘Kororoit Creek’ (see below)
The original village of Keilor was established at the crossing of Mt.
Alexander Road over the Maribyrnong River in the1850. It later gave its
name to the Shire of Keilor which became the City of Keilor in 1963.
‘Kororoit Creek’
The Kororoit Creek Hotel was in existence in the 1850s on Ballarat Road
near the creek of the same name. A small township was established
nearby by the 1870s. In 1889 a referendum amongst local ratepayers
resulted in the re-naming of the township ‘Deer Park’.
The township at Braybrook Junction adopted the name ‘Sunshine’ from
the Sunshine Harvester works and its major product the Sunshine
Harvester in 1907. The Shire of Braybrook was renamed the City of
Sunshine in 1951.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
20 21
30 31
32 33 34 35
Sources of
illustrations and maps
Map, courtesy of Brimbank City Council.
Victorian Naturalist
, vol. 17, 1900, reproduced from Michael Howes,
Organ Pipes National Park:
Teachers’ Guide
, National Parks Service, Melbourne, 1980.
St.Albans Rail Reserve Grasslands, reproduced from
Environmental Weeds Poster,
1996. Western wetlands, photo by Chantal Brens, 1997, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the
Map by Charles
Grimes, courtesy State Library of Victoria.
Hume and Hovell monument, photo by Gary Vines, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the
Keilor Hotel, reproduced by courtesy of the Dodd family, copy i
n the
collection of Melbourne’s Living
Museum of the West.
St.Augustine’s, Keilor, photo by Peter Haffenden, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the
Overnewton, Keilor, photo by Peter Haffenden, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
José Borrell, Keilor, reproduced by courtesy of the Borrell family, copy i
n the
collection of
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Quarrymen, Sunshine, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Ukrainian church, Ardeer, photo by
Peter Haffenden, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the
‘Half-house’, St.Albans, photo by Chantal Brens, 1997, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of
the West.
Drystone wall, photo by
Chantal Brens, 1997, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Bluestone culvert, St.Albans, photo by
Chantal Brens, 1997, collection of Melbourne’s Living
Museum of the West.
Robertson’s homestead, photo by Gary Vines, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Bill Roberts’ quarry, Sunshine, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Quarry, Sunshine, photo by Gary Vines, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Early Keilor, courtesy National Gallery of Victoria, reproduced from Beverley Brocchi (comp.),
History of Early Keilor: compiled from early records
, Keilor City Library Services, Melbourne, 1990.
Sheep race, Taylor’s Creek, photo by Gary Vines, collection of Melbourne’s
Living Museum of the
Andersons’ farmhouse, St.Albans, photo by Chantal Brens, 1997, collection of Melbourne’s Living
Museum of the West.

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West
Ford over the Maribyrnong River, from the collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Apricot harvest, Brimbank Farm, reproduced by courtesy of the Dodd family, copy i
n the
of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Stenson’s orchard, St.Albans, reproduced by courtesy of Mrs Emily Hall, copy i
n the
collection of
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
orrells' market garden, Keilor, courtesy of the Borrell family.
Across the Keilor Plains, from
Illustrated London News
, 26 February 1853, from the La Trobe
Collection, reproduced courtesy State Library of Victoria. (Engraving by J.A.Gilfillan)
Iron Bridge, Keilor, photo by Chantal Brens, 1997, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the
Bluestone railway bridge, Sydenham, photo by Des Johnson, Sunshine.
Bluestone railway bridge, Sunshine, photo by Des Johnson, Sunshine.
Railway trestle bridge, photo by Gary Vines, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
I.C.I. office building, photo by Gary Vines, collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Federal Manures, copy in the collection of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Sunshine Harvester Works: copy of original postcard in the collection of the Sunshine & District
Historical Society.
Sunshine Harvester, courtey of the Mu