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Maroondah’s cultural heritage

Bill Patterson Motors, Maroondah Highway, Ringwood ; Wolfgang Sievers 1913-2007.jpg
Courtesy State Library Victoria: Bill Patterson Motors, Maroondah Highway, Ringwood ; Wolfgang Sievers 1913-2007 photographer.;1959

What is heritage?

The term ‘cultural heritage’ or ‘heritage’ refers to places and other heritage assets that reflect or embody valued aspects of our history and cultural identity that we wish to retain for the benefit of current and future generations.

Heritage encompasses both the best of every era, as well as places of historical significance that have shaped our City.  It extends to all parts of the built environment, from the houses we live in, the places where we go to school, work and shop, to those where we come together for commemoration, worship and leisure. In some cases, the uses of these places have changed and the buildings adaptively reused, such as former churches and factories.

Going beyond the built environment, heritage includes natural assets like landscapes, home and market gardens and trees, and intangible heritage such as the memories of long-established families, devotion to local sporting teams, and the traditions and ceremonies that bring us together.

The community’s understanding of what constitutes heritage continues to evolve and expand over time.

Why do we need to protect heritage places and assets?

Heritage places provide a sense of connection to the lives and experiences of the people who have lived in Maroondah before us.

These heritage places and objects:

  • Form part of the historical record as well as an important part of the community’s identity.
  • Tell us about who we are and the events that have shaped the world we live in.
  • Enrich the life of the community and are irreplaceable once lost.
  • Add character and interest to our neighbourhoods and help to create the sense of ‘place’ that is so important to Maroondah’s residents.

Heritage is of such importance that it is recognised and protected through the planning system. This involves using planning controls in the Maroondah Planning Scheme to protect known heritage assets from inappropriate development. In Victoria, all three levels of government - Federal, State and Local - have different roles in identifying, managing and protecting heritage places.

To find out more about how heritage assets are protected under Maroondah Planning Scheme please visit the Heritage Planning page

More about Maroondah's cultural heritage

Maroondah Council has adopted the Maroondah Heritage Action Plan. The Heritage Action Plan is a clear statement of Council’s commitment on heritage protection, priorities and allocation of resources. 

This document sets out the Council’s heritage vision:

The City of Maroondah will become an example of best-practice heritage conservation. Heritage places of diverse types and eras are valued and celebrated in Maroondah. Council understands the values of the local community and the needs of heritage-place owners and supports them effectively and efficiently. Council values heritage and integrates it into all planning and decision-making, thereby harnessing its power to enhance sense of place, increasing the desirability of Maroondah’s suburbs as locations to live, work and play.

Find out more about the Maroondah Heritage Action Plan

The Maroondah Thematic Environmental History has been undertaken by Built Heritage Pty Ltd focusing on the development of the municipality since 1945. 

The Thematic Environmental History (TEH) is not intended to be a chronological history of The City of Maroondah, rather it is intended to provide a snapshot of how various themes have shaped its physical environment over a period.  The Thematic Environmental History Post WW2 supplements the Thematic Environmental History prepared for Maroondah Heritage Study Stage 1 (2003)

While sparse suburb development in Maroondah only began at the coming of the railway line in the 1880s and later intensified during the 1920s with the electrification of the railway line; the majority of suburban development in the municipality took place after World War II.   It is this post war period that most strongly characterises Maroondah’s residential areas and activity centres.  The TEH found that while some parts of the City of Maroondah provide physical evidence dating back to 1870s, most of the municipality is characterised by twentieth century development and in the cases of areas such as Heathmont, Bayswater North, Warranwood and Croydon Hills, by post WW2 development.

The TEH is divided into 9 main themes which are in line with Victoria’s Framework of Historic Themes adopted by Heritage Victoria in 2009 as follows:

  1. Shaping Victoria’s Environment (e.g. responding to fires; floods developing nature reserves: for example, former Croydon Fire Station)
  2. Peopling Victoria’s Places and Landscapes (e.g. creating migrant communities such as factories employing British migrants- former British Nylon Spinners)
  3. Connecting Victorians by Transport and Communications (sub-theme the influence of motor car in Victoria's way of life, e.g. Ringwood Motel)
  4. Transforming and Managing Land and Natural Resources (sub theme: developing Victoria’s poultry industry after 1945, poultry sites and egg producers association)
  5. Building Victoria’s Industries and Workforce (e.g. Cadbury Schweppes Factory)
  6. Building Towns, Cities and the Garden Estate (sub theme creating public landscapes- e.g. HE Parker Reserve, 1962)
  7. Governing Victorians (sub theme Maintaining law and order: e.g. Ringwood Police Station, 1961)
  8. Building Community Life (sub theme educating people: e.g. Heathmont East Primary School, 1962, oldest survivor of post war state schools).
  9. Shaping Cultural and Creative Life (enjoying indoor leisure activities after 1945, e.g. Croydon Leisure Centre)

Adopted copy of Maroondah’s Thematic Environmental History Post WW2

Maroondah Thematic Environmental History Post WW2 Report Vol1 Oct2021  (pdf, 9MB)

As part of the ongoing implementation of Maroondah Heritage Action Plan,  a number of special heritage events and initiatives are being developed.

Becoming Home: Stories of Chinese-Australians

Taking the history of one of Maroondah’s significant local public places as a starting point, Becoming Home explores connections to the Chinese-Australian community through a creative collaboration between project participants Jenny Zhuang, Fiona Wu, Jiawen Lin, Leo Ren, Lesley Lowe (nee Cheong) and Paul Cheong; and curator Tammy Wong Hulbert, contemporary artist Siying Zhou and sound artist Ai Yamamoto.

See more about Becoming Home: Stories of Chinese-Australians

A public forum with presentations by the artists and architectural historian Natica Schmeder will take place on Saturday 5 March. More detail about the forum will be available soon.

Further information

For further information please contact Council's Strategic Planning team on 1300 88 22 33 or visit our offices at Realm, 179 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood.

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