Fishermans Bend

Social History

Fishermans Bend Taskforce (Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning)

Fishermans Bend, Victoria

Is Fishermans Bend simply a forgotten corner of the city? It has often seemed apart from the city, hard to get to, wind-swept, remote and yet so close to the central business district. Today, Fishermans Bend is a focus of attention as a significant urban renewal project covering around 480 hectares close to the heart of Melbourne.

Context (now GML Heritage) prepared a social history of Fishermans Bend for the Fishermans Bend Taskforce as one of the background reports designed to support the Fishermans Bend Framework, and it is now available to download here. The scope of the task included examining social aspects of the Fishermans Bend story, and considering factors such as race (ethnicity), gender and class, with the objective of a democratic and inclusive study of the people and society of a place.

The social history is not chronological. Rather it explores eight broad historical themes, each designed to illuminate an aspect of the interwoven stories that meld people, place and time together. The research and analysis methodology used a layered approach, shaping the history by exploring some of the stories reflected by historical themes, the identified precincts, and a ‘people and place’ narrative. As well as undertaking extensive historical research, the project team held workshops with key people to help shape these themes and stories.

The social history is deliberately concise. It offers a sketch of possibilities that might be explored by others in the future. To this end, a companion volume to the social history provides a guide to history resources that are available to researchers and interested community members.

As part of the Fishermans Bend Framework, the social history provides a touchstone for future place-making and interpretive initiatives.