When We Think About Melbourne

When We Think About Melbourne
the imagination of a city
Jenny Sinclair

My friends believe my interest in Melbourne is more of an obsession than a passion but at the same time, they then go on to tell me all about "their Melbourne". Honestly speaking, I reckon I am a bit of a nutcase (a Melburnut) when it comes to my collection of anything and everything Melbourne like books, magazines, films, photograghs, post cards, the list goes on.

Here I was thinking I was the only person on the planet that thought this way about my marvellous Melbourne until I read a fabulous book by Jenny Sinclair.. When We Think About Melbourne.

I don't ever remember reading a book from cover to cover but I devoured all 221 pages. Here I was reading a book that I could have written. It was me, my thoughts, my experiences, my Melbourne.. she seemed to be inside my head.

I choked them back when I read.. "Maybe that's why I can't get enough of Melbourne and Melbourne art, trams, books and bike rides. Because I love the place, and you can't get enough of something you love" on a page entitled "The City Inside Our Heads"

She had me hook, line and sinker.. and I read on, and on, and on..

It dawned on me a few days later that she had answered a question about this web site (OnlyMelbourne) that I had never been able to answer, and that is "why OnlyMelbourne"? I had never really known why I started the OnlyMelbourne web site but now I do.. it gives me a vehicle to tell people about my marvellous city... just as Jenny does in her book.

So, for anyone who doesn't understand, why Melbourne, or why Melburnians love Melbourne, or just don't get it then read this book!

Here is a review of the book found on readings.com.au..

Considering most Melburnians remain as steadfastly loyal to their city as they do their chosen AFL team, Jenny Sinclair is not alone in her love of Melbourne. When We Think About Melbourne charts the geography of Melbourne by exploring the historical and cultural significance of its landmarks and suburbs. Each section is accompanied with images and maps, which make for an interactive reading experience.

Sinclair’s interest lies in the way people make sense of their surroundings and come to call a particular area home. She does this through analysing the importance of maps, whether they are grand-scale drawings, something found on Google, or lines scrawled on notepaper. She also explores the potent effects of Melbourne on its artists – from Paul Kelly to Helen Garner – and how their works shape our own view of this ever-evolving city.

Sinclair’s book should resonate strongly with anyone who has ever spent time in the windy city, or needs reminding why Melbourne truly is marvellous.

Jenny Sinclair


Jenny Sinclair is a Melbourne writer. She has been on the staff of The Age and The Melbourne Times. She now studies and teaches at the University of Melbourne.

When We Think About Melbourne: The Imagination of a City

When we think about Melbourne


the imagination of a city
Jenny Sinclair
Buy Online

What makes Melbourne unique? And where does it get its x-factor? Journalist Jenny Sinclair goes in search of the answers and discovers that it’s all in our head – or, more precisely, our collective imagination.

When we think about Melbourne is a wry and whimsical survey our city’s creativity. It observes with a keen and appreciative eye the evolution of the city through its music, art, literature, film, maps and transport. Featuring a wealth of visual material, including original photography, the book presents many defining features that have shaped Melbourne’s opinion of itself.

Footnote: Jenny mentions many publications in her book of which I have a copy of every single one.. Whats even spookier, is the number of times we must have crossed paths without actually meeting.. we must live within a stones throw and cycle the same routes.

And finally, I could never have written this book..

Red Helmet




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