Yarra: Stories of Melbourne's River

Yarra: Stories of Melbourne's RiverYarra: Stories of Melbourne's River

Melbourne's Yarra River looks placid most of the time, but it is a river with a turbulent past.

An exhibition at Melbourne's Old Treasury Building explores the chequered history of the stream we call the 'city's river'.

The river banks are tranquil now, but 186 years ago they were the site of the first struggles between First Nations people the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung, and invading Europeans.

It was all over within five years, with the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung effectively banished from the village of Melbourne by Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe in September 1840.

This was to be a story repeated over and over again throughout the catchment areas of the Yarra.

We were not kind to the river in those early days. Within a few years noxious industries lined the banks, dumping their effluent in the water, while the growing city used the Yarra as both well for drinking water and sewer for the city.

Before long water-borne disease was rife. It would be the late-1890s before the city fathers could agree on building a proper underground sewerage system, by which time 'Marvellous Melbourne' was often described as 'Marvellous Smellbourne'!

It took many years, but eventually Melburnians came to see their river as an asset. The river banks have been transformed since the 1960s, to create a contemporary urban playground.

This free exhibition at the Old Treasury Building is rich in stories and illustrations of our river past and present. It was developed in consultation with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and in partnership with Public Record Office Victoria.

Entry to the museum is free, bookings are recommended due to crowd restrictions.

Yarra: Stories of Melbourne's River is a permanent exhibition

❊ When ❊

Happens: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday

Times: 10am-4pm, Sunday to Friday (Closed Saturdays)

❊ Where ❊

Old Treasury Building View Venue
20 Spring Street Melbourne Victoria 3001 Map
Old Treasury Building℅ Naarm
20 Spring Street, Melbourne, 3001, Victoria✆ Venue: +61 (0) 3 9651 2233 | Event: (03)9651 2233 or [email protected]

❊ Web Links ❊

Yarra: Stories of Melbourne's River


Disclaimer: Check with the venue (web links) before making plans, travelling or buying tickets.

Accessibility: Contact the venue for accessibility information.

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