by Susan Pierotti @1997, rev. 2013, 2016
Maps can reveal many things about a place. For instance a weather may can chart rainfall and pressure systems to indicate future weather patterns. A topographical map can show watercourses and hills that allow better urban planning. A spiritual map uses historical events to indicate the sins against God in a city. We can locate the strongholds that are barriers to revival and give clues as to a city’s divine destiny.
1. First People
Before 1835, in an area covering Greater Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges, the Mornington Peninsula and Westernport Bay, there lived various tribes of Aborigines connected to each other with a similar language. Very little is known of their spiritual life except that their spirits were “one” with the spirits of the land and all that was in it. They acknowledged “Bunjil” as the life-giver eagle totem who was the creator and gave gifts to humans for living. Soon after he made men, a serpent spirit (not the Rainbow Serpent) destroyed the land and tempted man, but Bunjil rose to the sky as the wedge-tailed eagle and hovers over the land to protect his people. However in 1789 and 1830 they were decimated by smallpox epidemics travelling overland from Sydney and when Europeans arrived, it is estimated that there were only 7,000 left. The site settled by Europeans was precisely the spot most favoured for their inter-clan gatherings by the “Kulin”, the name the natives call themselves, meaning “the People”. The gatherings took place around hill sites and watercourses, such as Richmond Hill and where the Myer Music Bowl now is and were for trading and exchanging marriage partners, involving much spiritual activity. White settlement severely disrupted such activities. Much violence among natives was witnessed and even encouraged, but whether it was inherent in their culture or caused by the stress of dislocated lives is not known. They began gathering in Melbourne and Geelong as centres for food, blankets etc., many turning to drink and prostitution. As they were being massacred by individuals in the country for “trespassing” and stealing or through disease, ironically the official government position was one of curiosity, kindness and justice. On the whole, they were treated fairly by the judicial system when accused (there were many accusations), but they were never in a position to wage successful prosecutions. Eventually the care of Aborigines was placed into local government or church hands, which fed and educated them. The Wesleyan Methodists had a school in the Drysdale area and a mission outreach at Birregurra in the 1830s, long before there was a sizeable white settlement in Melbourne. A school for Aboriginal children was also established on the Merri Creek where it flows into the Yarra River. However by 1850 the native population was reduced to half of what it had been in 1835. After the goldrush period (1850-60s), Aborigines were worse off than ever. Government recognition of their plight lessened and well-meaning churches and individuals took over, saving the people’s lives at the expense of their culture. The government appointed a Protector of Aborigines who recognised the predicament they were in: keep them in their own language and culture groups and have them die out by the end of the century, or herd them together and teach them skills to live in the modern white world. As a result, they were encouraged to live at Coranderrk (meaning “Christmas Bush”) outside Healesville. A long and arduous migration is recorded from over the Great Dividing Range to Coranderrk in winter by chief Barak and his son Wonga, both of whom died many years later honoured as Christians who sustained their people through their nation’s most traumatic upheaval (i.e. white settlement). At Coranderrk they learnt weaving and tobacco-growing. They were forbidden to speak in their own languages, so English became the norm as their own tongues died out. They were now a people without foundations. Many white amateurs tried translating the Bible into existing dialects but an imperfect grasp of the language and their spiritual beliefs (e.g. “God” was translated as “Bunjil”, the eagle totem) estranged Aboriginal-white relations further and greatly hindered evangelism. By 1901 there were only 271 full-blooded Aborigines left, and almost nothing was recorded of their language for the next 60 years. There was a national government policy of assimilation: children were taken from their families and brought up as white, not always knowing their true origin till much later, resulting in many disturbed half-caste fringe dwellers. The Aborigines’ way of coping was to adopt measures of deliberate separation.
For instance: the few native words remembered by them were incorporated liberally into their spoken English as a barrier to white comprehension. their social occasions (marriages, birthdays, schools, etc.) were exclusively black. Whereas in other parts of Australia, de facto relationships are the norm, Melbourne Aborigines tend to marry, and marry in church. The head of the family is usually an older woman, because the fathers don’t exert authority and have little to do with child-rearing. By 1982, a third of Victoria’s Aboriginal population lived in Melbourne. Most Melburnians are unaware that there are Aboriginal people in Melbourne (about 7,000 in a city of 4 million). They live mainly in Healesville, St Kilda, Dandenong and the poorer northern suburbs. There is now more help from Federal government, e.g. small moves in Healesville to return land, schools tailoring their curriculum to their Aboriginal student population, and less patronising academic attitudes resurrecting research into languages and culture.
2. Establishment of Melbourne Prior to 1835, there had been a few aborted attempts by European to settle in the Port Phillip area, but the first permanent settlement began with the discovery of two rivers, the Yarra and the Maribyrnong, flowing into the bay. It is an ideal port city, having access to fresh water and the sea, though the bay of Port Phillip is extremely shallow in places. Many Tasmanian settlers were looking for fresh pasturage for their sheep and cattle and the fertile land and water supply of Melbourne and its hinterland was so attractive that in 1835, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner sailed from Launceston and exchanged some blankets, knives, flour, handkerchiefs, mirrors, etc. for 245,000 hectares of land with the local natives. Although he ruling government (of NSW) officially cancelled this transaction because it was illegal, so many Europeans came to take up land that the government was forced to admit the legitimacy of the settlement and in 1836, a few soldiers and convicts were sent with a surveyor and other officials. The surveyor, Robert Hoddle, named the newly laid streets after the Royal Family and resident colonists, while the Aborigines were still living on the site.
3. How Melbourne describes itself
From the beginning of white settlement, Batman and Fawkner praised the potential of the site because of its abundant water and fertile land. Melbourne was named after a Prime Minister noted for his conservatism and guidance of the new young queen of England, and after being made the capital of the new colony of Victoria in 1854, theses values were seen in its reputation as a place of conservative values, respectable and upright. Melbourne was preferred over Sydney to be the capital of the new nation of Australia from 1901-09, after which the site of Canberra was selected. Melbourne remained the Australian capital till 1927. It was chosen not necessarily because of its wealth, but because of its reputation for rectitude. Melbourne is the most southerly city of multi-millioned peoples in the world and the motto on the city coat-of-arms is Vires acquirit eundo: we gather strength as we go. After World War II, there was a great influx of migrants and refugees. In the 1980s there were more varieties of ethnic cuisine in Melbourne restaurants than any other city on Australia. Melbourne is the 3rd largest Greek city in the world (after Athens and Salonika) and the largest Italian city outside Italy. It was one of only three Australian cities to have a hostel set up specifically for refugees (at Springvale). Melbourne has Australia’s largest Jewish population, more Holocaust survivors per head of population outside Israel, and more Maltese outside Malta than anywhere else in the world. The Vietnamese surname Nguyen is the second most common name in the phone book. A city of “first” and “largest” The first slogan chosen for car numberplates around Melbourne was “Victoria, the Garden State”. Victoria produces more fruit and vegetables than any other state in Australia. In the 19th century, the British government was the first government in the world to set aside council rates and lands for public parks as a response to over-industrialisation, that is, spaces not converted from palaces, town walls, private pleasure grounds, etc. The government gave permission in 1844 for Melbourne to have land set aside for public parks, a year earlier than in the UK. The Fitzroy Gardens were begun in 1867, followed by the Treasury Gardens and Albert Park, to name but a few. Australia’s first stock exchange was opened in Melbourne in 1861, due to the wealth of gold discovered. The miners joined forces with the labourers to march for an eight-hour day, the first time anywhere in the world this protest was heard; it is now home to the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Due to the miners’ concerns, Victoria was the first place in the world to have ‘manhood suffrage’ (1859) – all adult males allowed to vote, regardless of income, and was one of the first places in the world to have a secret ballot (same election). In the 1880s Melbourne was the richest city in the world, the largest city after London and had the world’s 3rd tallest building. It still has 5 out of Australia’s 6 tallest buildings. It has frequently won “World’s Most Liveable City” and has been ranked in the top ten Global University Cities and the top 20 Global Innovation Cities. It has Australia’s busiest seaport and the world’s largest tram network. In 1927, Flinders St Station was the busiest commuter railway station in the world and its tram network was the world’s largest in the 1940s, much of this boom coming from the need to transport war materiel and personnel quickly and cheaply. It also has one of the world’s highest lengths of road per capita. In 2008, Melbourne was the second city after Edinburgh to be named a UNESCO City of Literature. The 1880 Exhibition Buildings are a World Heritage Site. Its laneways, arcades and alleys were voted by Lonely Planet readers as Australia’s top cultural attraction. Melbourne was ranked 4th top university city in the world and has Australia’s largest university (Monash). Melbourne University was ranked first among Australian universities in 2010. Both universities are ranked in the top 100 in the world. Melbourne is often referred to as Australia’s cultural capital. It has Australia’s first public art gallery with the biggest art collection in the country (hence the name, National Gallery of Victoria), its Botanical Gardens are renowned worldwide, and in the 1980s it had more theatres, theatre-restaurants, dance companies and freelance music activity than any other city in Australia. It is the birthplace of Australia’s first Impressionist art movement (the Heidelberg School), Australian television, the world’s first feature film (The Story of the Kelly Gang, 1906) and the world’s religious movie epic (Soldiers of the Cross, 1900). The Australian Ballet and Australia’s largest film production company, Village Roadshow, have their headquarters in Melbourne. It was also the first place in the world where McDonald’s opened a McCafé. Melbourne has twice been proclaimed as the “World’s Ultimate Sports City”. Sports were played in Melbourne from the earliest days: horse racing, cricket, golf (1847), rowing and regattas. It is the home of Australia’s indigenous football code, Australian Rules Football, codified in 1859. It has the largest cricket ground and the longest horse race in the world. It hosted the first Olympics held in the southern hemisphere in 1956, and the Commonwealth Games in 2006. In 1959 the MCG attracted the largest numbers of people for a single venue in Australia—for the Billy Graham crusade. Sydney – Melbourne rivalry The Port Phillip District was originally part of NSW and was administered by its government. It had not been an officially planned settlement and was 800 kms from Sydney so that NSW was often unable to appreciate the local concerns of the settlers in Melbourne. (Sydney regarded it as an upstart, Melbourne felt overlooked: these attitudes are still entrenched.) As the settlers were not convicts but men of enterprise (farmers, shopkeepers and so on), they were conscious of what supplies should be provided by government and were alert to unfair treatment. For instance, land sales for the Port Phillip district were held, not in Melbourne, but in Sydney. The monies raised were intended for assisted immigration to assist the desperate labour shortage in the Port Phillip district, but they and the immigrants themselves went instead to Sydney. The Sydney Botanical Gardens received twice the funding of the Melbourne ones. The NSW government cut the promised building grant of St Francis Catholic Church nearly in half. Other funds needed for basic infrastructure were halved, withheld or delayed. Squatters were refused security of tenure. When finally the district was allowed three representatives on the NSW Legislative Council, they had to travel to Sydney to exercise their office, and the representatives did not even need to have lived in Port Phillip. In disgust, the Port Phillip District in 1848 elected Lord Grey, the English Secretary of State for the Colonies. Needless to say, he never travelled to Sydney, let alone sat in the Council, but his election prompted him to look into the District’s grievances, and in 1851 the District was separated from NSW and given its own governing bodies, becoming a state in its own right three years later. The British government was concerned about the welfare of the natives but the NSW government was more interested in opening up lands to squatter farmers. They were encouraged to take whatever land they wanted, resulting in the death of almost all of the original inhabitants so soon after settlement. Thereafter, the officially appointed Protectors of Aborigines were hamstrung in their efforts to provide proper and effective protection by the very government that had appointed them. Even though Melbourne was Australia’s biggest city from 1865-1900 and was the financial capital till the 1970s, the national capital was built much nearer to Sydney than Melbourne.
4. Principles of government establishment Melbourne was founded by individual enterprise.
Many initiatives backed by private funds have been birthed in Melbourne.
Some of the initiatives premièred in Melbourne include: 1847: the first hospital in Australia to use anaesthetic, less than a year after the technique was discovered in England 1856: one of the world’s first free libraries 1882: the world’s first commercial combine harvester 1889: the electric drill 1917: Aspro 1932: the world’s first Blood Bank, headed by a woman 1958: air flight black box 1973: first IVF pregnancy achieved in the world 1979: cochlear ear implant 1986: one of the world’s leading avant-garde music ensembles founded.
Before the goldrush there were 23,000 Europeans in Melbourne and by 1846 it had been declared a city. Serving a farming hinterland, Melbourne was a place of factories, shops and small industry. Conflicts often occurred in the workplaces, the origins of future private enterprise/working class clashes. The relationships in society were primarily economic, emanating from private ownership of property and its control over education, religion, entertainment, etc. In other words, many churches, schools, newspapers and mechanics’ institutes were founded by the wealthy as a means of controlling the labouring classes.
In 1851 gold was discovered in NSW and Victoria, with the Victorian goldfields yielding by far the richest deposits. Geelong advertised its deep port as a suitable place for disembarkation but Melbourne officials convinced the authorities with distorted maps to choose Port Melbourne instead. Geelong has suffered economically ever since, resulting in strong resentment. Though there has been recent economic investment in Geelong, it still continues to suffer hardship in industry and manufacturing. The influx of gold diggers was so great—the population trebled in three years—that Victoria was made a separate colony only three years after gaining independence from NSW and the transportation of convicts was stopped. By 1861, Melbourne’s population had swelled to 130,000, making it Australia’s largest city for the next 30 years. The mix of people at the goldfields (who subsequently returned to Melbourne to bank their finds and settle) was such as to level out most class and race distinctions, except for the large population of Chinese who were regarded with suspicion and hostility, even though they established what has become the longest continuously occupied Chinese settlement in the Western world (in Little Bourke Street). The constitution set up for the new state government was, at the time, considered to be an incorrupt, wise and fair one. John Pascoe Fawkner, one of the city’s founders and an active member of the Congregational Church, was in the first state government.
5. Christianity Evangelical foundations
In the time that Australia was first colonised to the beginnings of settlement in Melbourne, the evangelical wing of the Church of England had gained prominent political power, due to being instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade in the UK. From when Sydney was founded to when Melbourne was settled, there had been the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and riots due to increased mechanisation and poor harvests. The British Government and churches now recognised a responsibility towards social welfare. The evangelicals looked for a new focus: the plight of native peoples in colonised lands was one issue that came to its attention.
The first Anglican archbishop of Melbourne, Charles Perry, was nominated by Henry Venn, the Secretary of the Clapham Sect that had dominated the anti-slavery movement and whose most famous member was William Wilberforce. Perry’s wife, Frances, had been brought up a Congregationalist in Hull, the centre of the evangelical movement. (In fact, the first 4 out of 5 wives of Anglican bishops sent to Melbourne came from Hull!) Hull was a port city, like Melbourne: ports attract industry and the idea of new worlds and societies, as well as many evils and people who question authority. Perry, the son of a ship builder, and his wife could relate to all these things. The first superintendants of the Port Phillip district, Lonsdale and La Trobe, were committed Christians, the latter a member of the Moravian Brethren who had a vision for Melbourne as a community that was Christian, moral and well educated. He was the chairman of the local Society Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK). His vision was supported by Frances Perry who started public philanthropic works, including hospitals and care for Aborigines. The first recorded white burial, of a child in 1836, was the instigation for Melbourne’s first church building, an interdenominational church. Two years later, however, the Church of England archbishop in Sydney declared the building closed to all except Church of England worshippers, a move greatly resented by the other Christians at the time. However, lands were made available for other denominations for buildings. Early days Denomination First Church Built First Minister Arrived Church of England 1839 700-800 members Presbyterian 1838 A big rift in Scotland split the church 3 ways in Melbourne; it was healed in 1859. They set up a school for Aborigines. 1837 Independent (Congregational) 1838 – the earliest permanent church building Fawkner closely associated Wesleyan Methodist 1839 First sermon preached by Rev. Joseph Orton in Melbourne 1835 Roman Catholic 1840 1839 Church of Christ Split from Presbyterians 1843 Baptist 1845 First service in 1838 in Collins St; in 1839 about 4,000 members 1840 Quaker 1837 Jewish 1847 The whole white community including the churches made contributions towards the first synagogue By 1840 the denominations were as follows: Anglicans over 50 % Irish Catholics 25% Presbyterians 17% Other Protestants less than 8% The fragile amity between denominations was shattered by the 1843 Legislative Council election. The animosity between Catholics and Protestants, brought over from the UK, was intensified in public life; after the election there were riots in the streets due to the perceived advantage of one group having a majority of members. The first Roman Catholic church (St Francis, still on its original site) had its foundation stone stolen by a militant Protestant. In 1848 Archbishop Perry, the first church of England archbishop appointed to Port Phillip, was greeted on his arrival in Melbourne by a Roman Catholic priest. He, however, repulsed him, which added to the sectarian hostility. Although Perry built up the church in the city, suburbs and country with pastoral work, he regarded Catholics as “victims of a Satanic delusion, an apostate and idolatrous church”. By 1850 there were 8 priests and 18,000 laity. Perry complained about the substandard quality of clergy being sent out (an attitude perceived by the locals as similar to the dumping of convicts). The clergy, meanwhile, found that people, especially in the country, were grossly ignorant of basic doctrine, morally lax, cold and indifferent regarding their immortal fate. Life was hard and materialistic; spiritual things were of lesser importance. Although many church buildings sprang up, attendance was low; many observed the secular enlightenment of the 18th century, replacing traditional religious beliefs with romantic and liberal overtones. In 1849 a Presbyterian minister said, “What is the Sabbath in our large towns but a day of recreation, mirth and revelry?” Nevertheless more traditional observance brought about better morals and quality of life. All denominations were instrumental in furthering social work. Even the Freemasons in 1841 provided social communities for middle-class men who arrived without family. The churches played a conspicuous role in charitable movements, establishing charities for the sick and destitute, and were one of the forces behind building the first public hospital, on the site of the former Queen Victoria Hospital, in 1847. They also donated funds for building the first synagogue as the government grants to build places of worship were for Christians only. Though tiny, it was said to have the most tasteful interior in Melbourne. In 1858 the Legislative Assembly moved to include Jews in state aid. From the beginning, the churches were concerned about education. They strongly resisted the push to have only government schools where the Bible was merely read aloud with no explanation. So, though the government objected to schools of different denominations, supported by the Church of England archbishop, who considered that corrupt forms of the Christian faith would be taught, schools of varying denominations proliferated. The four Christian schools of 1840 increased in number to 61 eleven years later, with two-thirds of eligible children in attendance. In 1851 there were 14 Anglican, 15 Roman Catholic, 8 Presbyterian and Methodist, and 4 schools of other denominations. Evangelicals also founded a school for Aborigines on the confluence of the Merri Creek and the Yarra River. Goldrush to the end of the century The Church of England alternated between evangelical and liberal intellectual tendencies. This resulted in a duplication of theological education (Trinity and Ridley Colleges) and social work (Mission to Streets and Lanes, Mission of St James and St John, and the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence). However both traditions espoused education and influenced much of the tone of the city’s culture, even though the proportion of Anglicans in the total population was significantly less than in most other colonies. Presbyterianism was supported by rich squatter families and has always had more influence in the country than in Melbourne. However Ulster Presbyterians have held major educational roles in Melbourne, including the founding Master of Ormond College, the Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, the first Principal of Ormond College Theological Hall, the patron of the university’s Wilson Hall, and as governor of Victoria. Francis Ormond, a member of the Legislative Council, was the founder of Ormond College, the Working Man’s College (RMIT) and the Ormond Chair of Music at the University of Melbourne. However in the 1890s Presbyterianism suffered a loss of prestige because many of its leading laymen were implicated in the disastrous financial crash. Melbourne’s social reform movements, its excellence in education, the city’s wowser image and suburban culture, have all been significantly influenced by Methodism. The Methodists were in Melbourne from the earliest days. Initially their presence in Melbourne was because of concerns for the Aborigines. The first recorded revival was led by a soldier in 1843. By 1850 they numbered 5000. The goldrush attracted Cornish miners who were largely Methodists. Methodist prayer meetings for revival were usually held world-wide in the month of January, but few Australians weathered the intense summer heat to attend them: numbers increased markedly when they were transferred to May. As in the Church of Christ, women lay preachers and prayer leaders were involved from the 1860s and small revivals were recorded throughout the 1850s, and ‘70s across Melbourne from Brighton and Keysborough to Eltham and Brunswick. The special prayer meetings were interdenominational: Catholics, Anglicans and Baptists joined with the Methodists in public meetings to pray for an increase in holiness and a better society. As a result, the Baptist congregations increased from 7 to 27, there was outreach to Chinese miners and support for the Temperance Movement. The main concerns were people giving money but not time, worldly attitudes, and faulty preaching full of formality but not feeling. Things improved when the leadership realised that copying what happened in the UK and USA for revival didn’t work; meetings in May, native preachers (not overseas big names) and greater involvement of laymen and women—that is, a home-grown pattern—did. The Temperance Society began in the 1850s. The Christian Women’s Temperance Society had great influence in the eastern suburbs, being responsible for a referendum in the 1920s calling for a “dry” zone. Today the “dry” zone of Ashburton and of Whitehorse Rd from Kew to Nunawading is largely still in place, with licensed restaurants only permitted in 1999. Towards the end of the 19th century, many churches had street processions. Between 1890 and 1915, Indian Muslim street hawkers also held parades for Ramadan. Marching down the streets of the CBD, they chanted, “God and Only One God, Mohammed his Prophet”. 20th century In the 1900s the Pentecostal movement arrived in Melbourne. There had been healing ministries in the 1880s and in 1902 the Exhibition Buildings were booked out when R. A. Torrey, a disciple of the evangelist Dwight L. Moody, preached. Attendances totalled a quarter of a million at a time when the entire Victorian population was a mere million! The meeting had been preceded by prayer and unity among the churches, a pattern that seemed to apply to all local revivals. The first Pentecostal experiences were recorded at a Keswick convention at Belgrave Heights in 1908. From 1909-1935 in North Melbourne the first organised Pentecostal assembly in Australia was led by a woman. It produced the “Good News” monthly magazine that circulated throughout Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa, the USA and the UK. It was largely influential in the spread of the Pentecostal movement around Australia. A Pentecostal revival broke out in Sunshine in 1925, attracting people from across the nation. At this time Sydney was compared unfavourably to Melbourne in its weakness to a committed spirituality. One Baptist minister who had trained in America said that a Melbourne Methodist Convention he went to was the greatest spiritual force he had ever experienced. The first Pentecostal Bible college in Australia was established soon after this in 1926 in Melbourne a year later and in the same year the largest Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God, met in a converted theatre in Richmond. In 1998 the Richmond Temple was the mother church of 873 churches across Australia, 186 of them in Victoria. However Melbourne’s reputation for conservatism extends into its Christian practice; traditional denominations far outnumber charismatic ones. There seems to be evidence that churches are willing to break down barriers, especially when congregation numbers fall or when under financial stress. The ministers of Toorak’s Roman Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches were holding bi-annual combined services for over a decade in the 1980s and some suburbs have combined Good Friday marches through their streets. In 1974, Melbourne was the place where Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists agreed to amalgamate, becoming the Uniting Church. (However a section of the wealthier Presbyterian Church refused to join; the split was over land and money.) Melbourne was also a focal place for the movement for the ordination of women in the Anglican Church. The Roman Catholic diocese of Melbourne now has non-clergy doing functions that have been exclusively done by priests for 1,500 years, returning to a priesthood of all believers. Melbourne’s denominations have held governments to account on social issues and reached out to migrants in providing welfare and services in their own languages. The migrants in turn have assisted in breaking down traditional sectarian barriers, e.g. Catholic churches do not predominately equate their faith with Irish problems or the ALP. Generally the Christian church in Melbourne has maintained a more liberal attitude to controversial issues, and developed a reputation for considerable tolerance of diversity. However this century has seen a proliferation of non-Christian institutional practices. Freemasonry entered before the goldrush era. In 1916 the Theosophists (beliefs based on Buddhism) built their headquarters in the CBD; the building won an architectural prize! The present building of 1937 is decorated with occult symbols and once housed the largest library on the occult in the southern hemisphere. The Melbourne City Council owned the building in the 1970s as part of the City Square project, but the Theosophists still have a book shop there, even though they have new premises elsewhere. Melbourne’s Alfred Deakin was the 2 nd Prime Minister of the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia, holding that office twice more. He was a Theosophist, one of many intellectuals, government officials and leaders in the movement. Though there had been Hindu and Moslem Indians in Melbourne since the 19th century, due to the federal government’s multi-cultural and immigration policies in the 1970-80s, there has been a marked increase in Buddhist and Hindu temples and Islamic mosques. Approximately 40% of Australia’s Moslem population now lives in Melbourne, with more than 70 groups represented. There are more than 25 mosques and five Islamic schools in Melbourne which also is host to Australia’s first Islamic financial institution (the Muslim Community Cooperative of Australia). New Age shops, porn shops, and gambling venues as well as events such as Chinese New Year festivals, Halloween and the Gay and Lesbian parades are also present. The “high places” of Melbourne used to be churches and town halls but now they are buildings containing business, gambling and entertainment, e.g. the TV towers of Mt Dandenong, the Eureka Tower (the southern hemisphere’s tallest building), the Shrine (on a man-made hill and shaped like a ziggurat, honouring the dead). One of Melbourne’s tallest buildings, the Casino, sits on a strategic point where the fresh water of the Yarra used to meet the tidal water of the Bay and where a number of roads meet on a rise–the most strategic place in the city. Bunjil is depicted in sculpture on Wurunjeri Way at the entry to Docklands. 6. Physical disasters and traumas that affected the community Melbourne was originally settled because of its fresh and abundant water supply. Ironically it suffered devastating droughts, exacerbated by bad land management. Through better stewardship of resources (dams and water restrictions) this now happens infrequently. Melbourne however is surrounded by large areas of bushland. There have been at least four major devastations: 1851 (most amount of land burnt), 1939 (Black Friday), 1983 (Ash Wednesday) and 2007 (Black Saturday,178 lives lost). Victoria had very few convicts transported directly to Melbourne. However the goldrush introduced large numbers of freed and escaped felons. They brought with them a legacy of attitudes, including anti-authoritarianism, inferiority, rebellion, mateship, fatalism, contempt for doing good, opportunism, disdain for thinkers, and a wary respect bordering on fear for the landscape. Some ways of coping were drinking, gambling, homosexuality, hardening of heart (the “silent battler” image), hopelessness, harsh sense of humour and the “tall poppy” syndrome. Many of these attributes have been enshrined in the culture as things to aspire to! People’s greed on the goldfields led them to ignore small diggings while trying bigger ones. After a few years when gold yields and labour prices fell, many Chinese were prepared to work the smaller diggings, sending their earnings back to families in China. Though the goldfields tended to iron out racial differences, there was overwhelmingly bad feelings towards the Chinese, encouraged by the government’s fear of being overrun by the “Yellow Peril”, that led in places to massacres. Though the Chinese were reportedly forgiving, they were still unjustly accused of making the Europeans look lazy, for not contributing to the wealth of the country, of immoral lives and crimes of major proportions.
7. Greed in the economic system
The Victorian goldfields, and Melbourne, were seen as get-rich-quick places. Melbourne was the financial capital of Australia from 1850 to the 1970s. The architecture of Melbourne was opulent, a city to impress with its wealth. In the 1880s it was the 2nd biggest city in the British Empire. However in the 1890s there was a big economic slump triggered by a run on finance in Melbourne, reputedly worse than the 1930 Depression. Sydney then became Australia’s largest city. Melbourne’s population numbers did not catch up until the beginning of the 21st century. In the late 1980s there was another worldwide economic recession. Due to the greed of certain directors and the incompetence or unwillingness of the state government at the time, the State Bank and the Pyramid Building Society (based in Geelong) collapsed, leaving 100,000s of people financially stranded at a time when many people were unemployed. Melbourne’s small business and manufacturing base was adversely affected. State governments now prefer to underpin Victoria’s economy with profits from the Casino, the Grand Prix and big events like the Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games (2006). Melbourne’s economy is strongest in finance, manufacturing, research, IT, education, logistics, transportation and tourism. Melbourne employs one third of the continent’s ICT workforce. In 2008 Melbourne earned more money than Sydney from tourism. It is headquarters to 5 out to 10 of Australia’s largest companies based on revenue, 4 out of 6 companies based on market capitalisation including the world’s largest mining company (BHP Billiton), and two of the “Big Four” banks (NAB and ANZ). It is the leading centre for superannuation (pension) and industry super funds. As the centre of Australian industry, it has the automotive headquarters and design centres. CSL, one of the world’s top biotech companies, and Sigma Pharmaceuticals are also headquartered here: they are Australia’s largest listed pharmaceutical companies. Conclusion God’s redemptive purpose for Melbourne: a non-racist environment for all ethnic groups, a land of wealth and abundance, a place of initiative and enterprise, a city where churches are united. Suzette Hattingh (1997): Is 60:1, “Arise, shine for your light has come” – a light to the nations. Barriers to Revival: Strongholds National: convict legacy debt to Aborigines: restoration of health, families, language, land Melbourne: controlling government greed for money racism against Asians spiritual pride of churches
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