Ever wondered about the history of places in the state of Victoria (Australia) that you know, want to visit or research? This public website produced by Monash University, in association with the University of Queensland, creates an authentic, reliable and scholarly website that will answer your questions. The website combines original research with newly digitised historical sources and unique images to give a comprehensive view of each place and its history.
More than two decades of research and writing have now gone into Victorian Places. Commenced in the mid-1990s as a project based in the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University funded by the Australian Research Council, the project has been updated and adapted to take advantage of the Places database model developed at the University of Queensland. Based on the successful and popular Queensland Places (www.queenslandplaces.com.au) website first published in 2009, Victorian Places now makes Victoria only the second state to have such a comprehensive database available on its many settlements.
Victorian Places aims to provide an historical and current assessment of all settlements in Victoria and addresses both metropolitan and regional growth issues in a readily useable fashion. It includes over 1600 entries (headwords) on Victorian settlements that now have or once had populations of 200 or more at any census. The entries include cities, towns, villages, suburbs and shires both old and new. It includes suburbs not only for Melbourne but for regional cities as well. The entries weave the story of place using extracts from gazetteers and handbooks and are illustrated with a wide range of images including historical postcards, recent photographs and tourist promotional material.
These entries reflect the European occupation of Victoria from the nineteenth century. The cities, towns, villages and suburbs in this database are largely the creation of European settlers, but of course many of the settlements appropriated Aboriginal lands. The origin of many place names throughout Victoria relies heavily on Aboriginal naming and we have drawn on Daniel Bunce, Language of the Aborigines of the Colony of Victoria (1859) among other sources for these. We do not attempt to outline the Indigenous history of the landscape before European occupation, a vast area of rapidly advancing scholarship, but we point to a number of sources that readers can consult about this, including the Atlas of Indigenous Australia (2005) and the Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia (1994), Sue Wesson, An Historical Atlas of the Aborigines of Eastern Victoria (2000), Richard Broome, Aboriginal Victorians: A history since 1800 (2005) and Gary Presland, First people (2010). We include entries on all the Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) throughout Victoria and we attempt, where current sources allow, to comment on Indigenous/European relations, especially in those towns that were near missions.