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Melbourne is often described as one of the ‘world’s most liveable cities’. What makes Melbourne such a vibrant city and how did it get there? Did you know that the siting of the Melbourne CBD is actually related to ancient volcanic eruptions? The geology and natural environment around Melbourne provided the Indigenous clans of the eastern Kulin nation access to fresh water and proximity to the coastal and wetland resources that were central to their annual cycle of movements around their ancestral homeland for at least 30,000 years. These resources also made the area an ideal “Site for a Village” by European settlers who ‘founded’ the city in 1835. Since that time, Melbourne has undergone profound changes in its population, prosperity, cultural diversity, infrastructure and natural resources. Establishment of the city had a devastating impact on the Indigenous inhabitants and also became almost unliveable during periods of its history. What is happening now, or is being planned, to recognise this history and ensure the sustainability of our city into the future?
This subject will take you on a journey across the city of Melbourne in space and time, exploring the natural, cultural and constructed development of this thriving city. A range of disciplinary perspectives will provide you with an awareness of how this city, and our University within it, have evolved to the present day, and what plans there are to sustain them both into the future
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students will be able to:
- Recount the geological events that created the ideal site for the city of Melbourne and describe how the development of biodiversity corresponded to these different geological environments;
- Describe the importance of the "Melbourne" area to the people of the eastern Kulin nations and identify the challenges faced by Indigenous populations and their culture through time (past, present and future);
- Identify key stages of immigration, why they occurred and how these led to the cultural diversity of the city;
- Identify how the industrialisation and changing economy of Melbourne is reflected in the present‐day cultural and architectural diversity of the city.
- Collect, collate and synthesise information to reveal the interconnections between the geological, Indigenous and immigration history of the city, and how these link to the business, economic and architectural development of Melbourne
- Outline the challenges faced by the city and plans to ensure its recognition of Indigenous history, its long‐term sustainability and how Melbourne can retain its reputation as one of the world's most 'liveable' cities.
- An ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a small group
- An ability to set goals and manage time and priorities
- A heightened self‐awareness and sensitivity regarding cultural diversity
- Enhanced confidence in working across disciplinary boundaries
- An understanding of and respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture and values
Last updated: 31 January 2024