Avondale Heights is a suburb 11 km north-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
- Area:5.409 km2
- Elevation:40 m
- Local Government Area:Moonee Valley City Council
Avondale Heights is a suburb 11 km north-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its local government area is the City of Moonee Valley. At the 2016 Census, Avondale Heights had a population of 11,633.Avondale Heights is located on a plateau bounded by a large bend of the Maribyrnong River to the east, south, and west, and to the north by Buckley Street.
The suburb derives its name from the Avondale Estate. Originally known as Maribyrnong West, when the Council undertook to change the name, postal authorities drew attention to the existence of Avondale in Queensland. The suburb was therefore called Avondale Heights to distinguish it from the Queensland town.
Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin prepared plans for part of the area: Milleara Estate in the north (also known as City View) in the 1920s. One objective of their design was to remake suburbia and society. They did this through creating internal gardens where communities could both physical and socially bind together. They imagined children's playgrounds, social centres, nature reserves and links with an intricate system of pedestrian ways. Interviewed in Melbourne in 1913, Griffin spoke of internal reserves as
...favourite playgrounds. Here all the children from the different houses can play together, where their mothers can see them, and where they are safe from the motor traffic in the streets. The streets are designed in a curvilinear way typical of the Griffin's design, often following the topography of the land.
There is only one main road - Military Road which runs from Canning Street and Maribyrnong Road, then becoming Milleara Road. There are about 40 shops at the Canning Street end (including Raglan street) and 20 at the other end, near the St Martin De Porres Primary School.
Prior to European colonisation of Melbourne, the Wurundjeri Aboriginal people of the Kulin nation moved through the area. Evidence has been found of human occupation for at least 18,000 years. On 10 October 1940, Mr. James White dug up an ancient human skull, (now known as the Keilor Cranium) on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. This skull has been found to be more than 8,000 years and less than 15,800 years old.
In 1803 Charles Grimes, the New South Wales Surveyor General, sailed up the Yarra River in the Buffalo and sent a rowing boat to explore the 'Saltwater River', as the Maribyrnong was then called. The rowing boat reached a place now known as Solomon's Ford, and could go no further.
In 1835 with the initial settlement of Melbourne, Edmund Davis Fergusson and Michael Solomon established a pastoral holding in the Avondale Sunshine area. On Solomon's sheep station the ford now near the west end of Canning Street soon became known as Solomon's Ford. This was the lowest crossing point on the Saltwater (Maribyrnong) River, and was for many years the only way from Melbourne to Geelong and further west.
During World War I the Canning Street bridge was known as Cordite Bridge as it led to the Department of Defence Explosives Factory. A password was necessary to cross the bridge during the war. During World War II a night curfew was imposed on the river and a boom was put into place to hinder access.
During the 1930s the district was subdivided into small dairy and cattle farms, with some poultry farming. Even into the 1960s market gardens and small dairy farms operated in the area. In the late 1960s housing development changed the area into a residential suburb with views of Melbourne city from the plateau. Avondale Heights Post Office opened on 9 December 1957 as the suburb developed (A Maribyrnong West office had been open between 1943 and 1947).It was announced in 2008, that Avondale Heights was set to experience its largest urbanisation initiative since the formation of the area as a suburb. This was due to the sale of the old Kangan Batman TAFE site to private investors, to develop medium density housing. On 26 May 2015, Moonee Valley City Council issued a planning permit for 135 new homes.
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