Frankston is a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, in the local government area of the City of Frankston.
- Area:19.779 km2
- Elevation:15 m
- Local Government Area:Frankston City Council
Frankston is a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, in the local government area of the City of Frankston. It is located 41 km south-east of the Melbourne city centre, north of the Mornington Peninsula. Due to its geographic location, it is often referred to as "the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula".
European settlement of Frankston began around the same time as the foundation of Melbourne in 1835—initially as an unofficial fishing village serving the early Melbourne township. Prior to its settlement, the Frankston area was primarily inhabited by the Mayone-bulluk clan from the Bunurong tribe of the Kulin nation. The official village of Frankston was established in 1854, with its first land sales taking place on 29 May. It has subsequently given its name to the broader Frankston local government area since 1893, and serves as both its activity and administrative centre.Situated on the eastern shoreline of Port Phillip, Frankston has been a popular seaside destination of Melbourne since the 1880s. Frankston Beach is still one of the most frequented in Victoria, and is recognised as one of the cleanest in Australia. It is also home to one of the largest exhibitions of sand sculpting in the Southern Hemisphere.Localities in the suburb (within its postcode 3199) include: Frankston Central Business District (CBD), Frankston East, Frankston Heights, Karingal, Long Island, Mount Erin and Olivers Hill. The independent suburb of Frankston South also shares the same postcode as Frankston. At the 2016 Census the suburb of Frankston recorded a population of 36,097. The demonym for someone from Frankston is a Frankstonian.
### Indigenous history
Prior to the foundation of Melbourne by Europeans in 1835, the area surrounding Port Phillip was originally populated by Indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years. Particularly, the Frankston area was inhabited primarily by the Mayone-bulluk clan from the Bunurong tribe of the Kulin nation.The tribes of the Kulin nation were a nomadic people with no sedentary settlements. As a result, there is minimal physical evidence of their past. The Bunurong tribe in particular were mainly hunter-gatherers that maintained an ecologically sustainable tradition of travelling between areas of seasonally abundant resources. For the Mayone-bulluk clan; Kananook and Sweetwater creeks and the former swamps and wetlands of the Frankston area were rich sources of fish and eel as well as summer fruit and vegetables. An important meeting place for the Bunurong tribe clans of the greater Mornington Peninsula region was the present site of the Frankston Mechanics' Institute, at 1 Plowman Place in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD), which was used for corroborees and as a trading place.Bunurong territory, of which Frankston is a part, stretches from the Werribee River in the western metropolitan area of Melbourne east to Wilsons Promontory in Gippsland and was referred to as marr-ne-beek ("excellent country") amongst the Kulin nation tribes. According to the Indigenous Australian mythology of the Dreamtime, the Bunurong territory was created by the ancestor spirit Lohan. Patrilineally, all Bunurong tribe members are considered direct descendants of Lohan. The creator of the Kulin nation-proper was the deity eaglehawk spirit Bunjil, and the protector of its waterways and keeper of the wind was the trickster crow spirit Waa.Bunjil and Waa are the two moiety totems that govern the kinship system of the Kulin nation tribes. The Mayone-bulluk clan of the Frankston area was closely linked through marriage to the Wurundjeri-balluk clan of the Melbourne city centre area, from the neighbouring Woiwurrung tribe, based on this system. Two wooden sculptures of eagles, inspired by Bunjil, by artist Bruce Armstrong; a 5-metre version on Mayone-bulluk clan land, erected on Young Street in Frankston in 2001, and a 25-metre version on Wurundjeri-balluk clan land, erected on Wurundjeri Way in Melbourne Docklands in 2002, are representative of this link.
The earliest recorded encounter of the Bunurong tribe with Europeans in the Frankston area was in early 1803, when Captain Charles Robbins sailed his ship the Cumberland into Port Phillip on the surveying expedition headed by Charles Grimes. On 30 January, Grimes went ashore at Kananook Creek in search of fresh water and made peaceful contact with "around 30 of the natives"—most likely members of the Mayone-bulluk clan.Another possible encounter of the Mayone-bulluk clan with Europeans in 1803 was in late-December, with three convicts that had escaped from the failed settlement by Captain David Collins at Sorrento on the southern Mornington Peninsula. Among the escapees was William Buckley, who later lived with the Wadawurrung-balug clan from the neighbouring Wathaurong tribe of the Kulin nation for 32 years. After travelling north up the Mornington Peninsula for two days, Buckley describes coming to a creek that ran "near to the bay"—most likely Kananook Creek and Long Island in the Frankston area—where they encountered a "large tribe of the natives...armed with spears" but did not make direct contact.The number of Bunurong tribe members at the time of contact with Europeans in the 1800s was estimated to be 300. James Fleming, a member of Charles Grimes' surveying expedition in early 1803, reported observing smallpox scars on members of the Kulin nation tribes he had encountered—indicating that an epidemic had affected them prior to 1803. Smallpox arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788 and reached the Port Philip area in 1790, via the first European settlement in Australia at Port Jackson, claiming at least half the population of the combined Kulin nation tribes.Following permanent European settlement in 1835, another smallpox epidemic reduced the number of Bunurong tribe members to 83 by 1839. An influenza epidemic during the 1840s further reduced their number to 28 by 1850. The last full-blood member of the Bunurong tribe, Yam-mer-book, also known as Jimmy Dunbar (from the Ngaruk-Willam clan, which was geographically close to the Mayone-bulluk clan) who lived to the north of Frankston near Mordialloc, died of natural causes in 1877.
### European settlement
Fishermen were among the earliest Europeans to unofficially settle the Frankston area following the foundation of Melbourne on 30 August 1835. Living in tents and wattle and daub huts on its foreshore and around the base of Olivers Hill, they would travel by boat to the early Melbourne township to sell their catches.James Davey arrived in the Frankston area in 1840, gaining a 640 acre pre-emptive right to land license over what are now the suburbs of Frankston and Frankston South from Olivers Hill south to Daveys Bay. Davey built the Cannanuke Inn in the mid-1840s, which was the first permanent building in the Frankston area, and was located on the site of the present Frankston Mechanics' Institute at 1 Plowman Place in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD). He built the first permanent wooden house in the southern Frankston area located near Daveys Bay on Olivers Hill in 1851—which was originally known as "Old Man Davey's Hill".In 1843 Frank Liardet, the eldest son of the early Melbourne settler Wilbraham Liardet, took out a 300-acre depasturing license for what is now the Frankston locality of Karingal. Liardet built the first permanent wooden house in the eastern Frankston area in 1847—which would later become part of his Ballam Park estate after the formal land sales of 1854.Davey later partnered in the cattle run of Captain Benjamin Baxter, the first Postmaster and former Clerk of Petty sessions for the Port Phillip District, during the early-1850s. Their run covered the majority of what are now the City of Frankston suburbs of Langwarrin and Langwarrin South. The fisherman James Oliver built his house on northern Olivers Hill around this time, so he could keep watch for schools of fish in the waters below, and after whom the locality is now known by its current name. The explorer and surveyor Charles Wedge also arrived around this time, gaining a pre-emptive right to land license over what are now the City of Frankston suburbs of Carrum Downs and Seaford.Thomas and Grace McComb arrived in the Frankston area in 1852. Thomas assisted with the development of the local fishing industry, and Grace was the first nurse and midwife in the area. Thomas Ritchie arrived in 1854 and established a bakery that same year on what is now Nepean Highway in the Frankston CBD.The central Frankston area was surveyed by Thomas Hanbury Permein for the Victorian colonial government in early 1854. The only pre-existing permanent building in Permein's survey is the Cannanuke Inn. The plan for the new village of Frankston was drawn by James Philp from the Office of the Surveyor General of Victoria on 1 May 1854—with the Cannanuke Inn as a central point and located on Lot 1 of a block bordered to the west by Bay Street, to the north by Davey Street, to the east by Wedge Street (now Young Street) and to the south by a public reserve (now Plowman Place and Frankston Park). Philp's plan consisted of 29 standard lots, 49 suburban lots, nine country lots of 430 acres, and also reserved place for a village centre that would eventually become the Frankston CBD.The first formal land sales for the new village of Frankston took place on 29 May 1854. Frankston was gazetted in late-April of that year as being "well watered with springs...the odour and flavour of the water being remarkable". The road to Melbourne was extended from Brighton to Frankston (now the Nepean Highway) with bridges over Kananook Creek and Mordialloc Creek in late 1854.Liardet became one of the first official land owners in Frankston after the formal land sales—establishing his Ballam Park estate on the land that he had a depasturing license for. There is a popular theory (published in the Victorian Historical Magazine in March 1916) that Frankston was named after Liardet due to his earlier presence in the area.
## 19th century
Following the first formal land sales for the new village on 29 May 1854, on 12 December, Samuel Packham was granted the licence to establish the Frankston Hotel. Licensing records (and newspaper articles) suggest that it was located on what is now the northwest corner of Davey Street and Nepean Highway (the present site of the Pier Hotel). Packham advertised the Frankston Hotel as a country retreat, and employed a kangaroo tracker and organised game hunting expeditions from the hotel.Charles Wedge established his Banyan sheep station on his pre-emptive right to land over what are now the City of Frankston suburbs of Carrum Downs and Seaford after the formal land sales of 1854, and James McMahon purchased lands over what are now the City of Frankston suburbs of Sandhurst and Skye at this time.The first permanent brick house in Frankston was built at Ballam Park in 1855 and replaced the 1847 wooden house on the site. It was built by Frederick Liardet, the younger brother of Frank, and was designed in a French Colonial Gothic Revival style by their father Wilbraham. The house is listed on the Victorian and Australian heritage registries through the National Trust of Australia. It is now managed by the Frankston Historical Society which conducts tours of the house and also maintains a local history museum at the estate.A site for a Church of England (Anglican) was reserved after the formal land sales. Located on the corner of what is now Bay Street and High Street in the Frankston CBD, the two acre site also included an area for a school as well as a temporary burial ground. A temporary hall was built in 1856 and served as both a place of worship and as a school (which later became the Woodleigh School). The first post office in Frankston opened on 1 September 1857 which also initially operated from the hall.
### Early economy
Frankston's fishing industry was further developed with the assistance of Thomas McComb, who funded the construction of Frankston Pier in 1857. Following a petition by residents, to the Victorian colonial Department of Public Works, the pier was extended into deeper water in 1863. A gaslamp was installed at the end of the pier and a lamplighter was also employed. Frankston Fish Company was founded in 1867, by a consortium of local businessmen including Thomas Ritchie, in order to transport the catches of local fishermen in bulk to the fish markets of the Melbourne city centre.In 1870, Ritchie established his first general store on what is now the southwest corner of Playne Street and Nepean Highway in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD). Ritchies Stores is now the largest independent grocery chain in Australia—with its headquarters still located in the Frankston area.
On 15 November 1873, William Davey Jr., grandson of pre-emptive Frankston settler James Davey, applied for the license to establish the Bay View Hotel, on what is now the northeast corner of Davey Street and Nepean Highway (the present site of The Grand Hotel) in the Frankston CBD. It was constructed with a guest house which Davey had shipped from Jersey.Following a petition by residents to the Victorian colonial Department of Education in 1873, headed by Grace McComb, the first government school in Frankston was built on Davey Street in 1874. The No. 1464 Frankston School (Which later became Frankston Primary School) opened on 1 November of that year with an initial enrolment of 45 students.Mark Young purchased the Frankston Hotel on 13 August 1875 for £380, and renamed it the Pier Hotel (under which name it continues to operate). Young spent an estimated £3700 on improvements to the hotel, making it one of the finest in the colony of Victoria at the time.In 1879, following a conference of city councils in inner-Melbourne, the Frankston area was chosen as the preferred site to replace the Melbourne General Cemetery. The roughly 3000 acre Crown land site was bordered to the north by Charles Wedge's Banyan sheep station (over what are now the City of Frankston suburbs of Carrum Downs and Seaford), to the south by Frank Liardet's Ballam Park estate (in what is now the Frankston locality of Karingal), and is now the suburb of Frankston North. Its south-west corner is described as being "about a mile [1.6 km] north of the village of Frankston, and the same distance east of the beach".Frankston Mechanics' Institute was established on the former site of the Cannanuke Inn, at what is now 1 Plowman Place in the Frankston CBD, in 1880. Its construction was funded by public donations, headed by a residents' committee, and supported by friendly and temperance societies including a Frankston group of Freemasons and the Independent Order of Good Templars, Independent Order of Rechabites and Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. Its foundation stone was laid by committee president Mark Young on 22 March of that year, and the building was opened on 24 May at a cost of £280.
On 16 March 1881, the Colonial Bank of Australasia (later the National Bank of Australia) was the first bank to open a lending branch in Frankston. It was located next to Mark Young's Pier Hotel on what is now Nepean Highway. The first library in Frankston, the Frankston Free Library, opened at the Mechanics' Institute to mark its first anniversary. The first 400 books of the new library were a donation from the banker H.D. Larnach.To service the proposed new metropolitan cemetery the railway line to Melbourne was extended from Caulfield to Frankston between 1881 and 1882. The first section from Caulfield to Mordialloc opened on 19 December 1881. The second section from Mordialloc to Frankston opened on 29 July 1882. The course of the railway line was directly influenced by the location of the proposed cemetery. From Mordialloc to Seaford it runs adjacent to what is now Nepean Highway—which was built over a 1000-year-old sand dune that once ran parallel to the coastline. After Seaford it curves inland eastwards to where a "mortuary station" was to be located (now Kananook railway station) near the border of the proposed cemetery, then continues to Frankston.Due to concerns from undertakers about sandy soil and underlying granite at the Frankston site, the proposed cemetery was abandoned—which was later established in the Melbourne southeastern suburb of Springvale in 1901. It was also briefly considered as one of the possible sites to replace the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum in 1887—which was later established in the southeastern suburb of Cheltenham in 1911.
### Seaside resort
Despite not becoming the site of the new metropolitan cemetery, Frankston benefited from its new railway line. The travel time to the Melbourne city centre was reduced from several hours by horse-drawn carriage to 90 minutes by steam train, making it a popular seaside destination for excursionists and weekend holidaymakers from the mid-1880s.Mark Young constructed enclosed sea baths in 1883, on a bed of granite located roughly 100 metres off the coastline of Frankston Beach, at a cost of £950. They were connected to the coastline by a wooden pathway that led to a suspension bridge over Kananook Creek to Young's Pier Hotel.During this time, an article in The Argus newspaper on the growth of outer Melbourne (published 4 October 1884) describes Frankston as "going ahead rapidly" with "50 to 60 new houses...[in] the last three years" as well as having "two hotels, a wine shop, four boarding-houses, three general stores, an ironmonger, two saddlers' shops [and] five brick-yards". Frankston's Market Gardeners' and Fruit Growers' Association was founded around this time, in order to transport the produce of local farmers by steam ship to New South Wales and Tasmania, and the majority of trade for the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island, as well as south-west Gippsland, is also described as passing through Frankston.
On 8 December 1884, John Storey Petrie was granted the license to establish a third hotel in Frankston, the Prince of Wales Hotel, on what is now the southwest corner of Davey Street and Nepean Highway (the present site of Davey's Bar and Restaurant) in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD). It was designed in the Victorian Queen Anne style and was constructed of bluestone and locally-made bricks.The intersection of Davey Street and Nepean Highway with Young's Pier Hotel (northwest corner), Davey's Bay View Hotel (northeast corner) and Petrie's Prince of Wales Hotel (southwest corner), became known as a "hotel corner" from the 1890s, and contemporarily as "pub corner". Around 100 years later, in the mid-1990s, they were joined by a nightclub on its southeast corner.Frankston Brick Company was founded in 1886, by a consortium of local businessmen including William Davey Jr. and Thomas Ritchie—most likely in order to capitalise on the Melbourne land boom during the mid-1880s—and was later publicly floated. It was the first large-scale employer in Frankston, consolidating the existing local brick-yards onto a single site close to Frankston Pier, and producing approximately 50,000 bricks a week.The Victorian colonial government established a large military camp in what is now the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin in 1886, which aided in the growth of the Frankston area. The entrance to the Langwarrin Military Camp was located on the corner of McClelland Drive and Robinsons Road, and it is now the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve.
By the mid-1880s, No. 1464 Frankston School was classified as a "class 4" school (approximately 250 pupils) and had previously been expanded with an extension to the existing wooden school house in 1880. Due to its growing enrolments, and following a petition by residents to the Victorian colonial Department of Education, an additional 20 x 30 feet brick school house was built in 1889. The brick school house is now operated as an education history museum by the Frankston Historical Society.A new Anglican church building was opened on 5 February 1887. It was designed in a Victorian Gothic Revival style by the ecclesiastic architect Louis Williams and built at a cost of £474. The St. Paul's Church of England was formally licensed as a place of worship on 21 February 1888, and the Frankston Parish of St. Paul was officially established on 7 February 1889.The first Roman Catholic church, St. Francis Xavier's, was officially opened by Archbishop Thomas Carr on 15 December 1889. Its initial site on Davey Street in the Frankston CBD cost £60. It was designed in a Victorian Free Gothic style by architectural firm Tappin, Gilbert and Denchy and was constructed of locally-made bricks. It was originally administered by the Dandenong Parish of St. Mary and later the Mornington Parish of St. Macartan.On 20 October 1893, the broader Frankston area along with the eastern Mornington Peninsula riding of the old Shire of Mornington was incorporated as the Shire of Frankston and Hastings local government area, with the eastern Mornington Peninsula riding becoming the new Shire of Mornington. Early council meetings of the new shire were held at the Frankston Mechanics' Institute and the inaugural shire president was Cr. Edward McGurk.
## 20th century
The first hospital in Frankston opened at the turn of the 20th century, as the private day surgery and hospital of the British doctor and former Director of the Melbourne Pharmacy School Sidney Plowman. It operated from Dr Plowman's residence, known as The Lofts (also known as the Plowman Residence), at 20 Davey Street in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD), until his death in 1937. The Lofts was designed as a Queen Anne style California bungalow by Blackett & Rankin Architects and constructed of locally-made bricks. It is listed is on the Victorian and Australian heritage registries through the National Trust of Australia, and was restored and incorporated into the design of Frankston's Australian Government Building, which was built around it in the 1990s. It currently houses the Frankston offices of the Australian Electoral Commission and the member of parliament in the Australian House of Representatives for the Division of Dunkley (of which Frankston is a part).From 1909 the former proposed metropolitan cemetery site near Frankston was repurposed as a pine forest plantation by the Victorian state Forestry Commission. When most of the plantation was destroyed by a fire on 2 January 1955, the state Housing Commission established the Pine Forest housing estate (locally called "The Pines") in 1958, and is now the City of Frankston suburb of Frankston North.The new Commonwealth Postal Service (now Australia Post) opened its first office in Frankston on the southeast corner of Davey Street and Main Street (now Nepean Highway) on 12 September 1910. It was designed in an Edwardian style by the Victorian state Department of Public Works and constructed of brick. It was later remodelled with the addition of a telephone exchange in 1927, and expanded again in 1941. It ceased operation as a post office and telephone exchange in the mid-1980s, after which it was operated as a restaurant. Since the mid-1990s it has been operated as a nightclub. In 2013, its exterior was partly restored to its 1941 design.
Following the declaration of war on the German Empire by the British Empire, on 8 August 1914 (GMT), the first soldier to enlist from Frankston was Sergeant William Polglase on the same day (AEST). Of the soldiers from Frankston that were killed in action in World War I, 16 are listed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.At the beginning of World War I the Langwarrin Military Camp near Frankston was used to detain around 500 German prisoners of war. A military hospital was later established at the camp in order to treat Australian soldiers returning with venereal disease from Egypt and France. Most of the prisoners of war were later transferred to Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney in 1915, however, some also stayed to work at the hospital and settled in Frankston upon their release. Between 1915 and 1916 research at the hospital halved the duration of venereal disease treatment and its cost. It also advanced the burgeoning field of occupational therapy in Australia by involving its patients in gardening and music. It became a state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital, during this time—and also had pet animals, landscaped gardens and shrubbery, art and musical equipment as well as a band for its patients. The hospital closed in 1919, with the base eventually following in the 1970s. It is now the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. The ruins of the hospital's fountain can still be found in the reserve.
The Frankston Mechanics' Institute was expanded in 1915, with a 22 x 50 feet brick addition to its street frontage, at a cost of £529. The 1915 brick addition is now the oldest extant part of the building after the 1881 hall section had to be rebuilt in 1956 due to fire safety concerns. It became the eighth building to receive a blue plaque from the Mechanics' Institute of Victoria in 2004. In 2009, Frankston City Council undertook a A$2.5 million restoration of the building to its 1915 design.On 17 February 1916, following a poll of residents, the Frankston Gas Company was granted permission by the shire's council to establish "electric light and power" across the Shire of Frankston and Hastings.Frankston's reputation as a holiday destination increased particularly after the electrification of the railway line on 27 August 1922, which reduced the average travel time from 90 to 62 minutes. During this time, the broader Frankston area developed into a playground for Melbourne's affluent and a regional capital for the greater Mornington Peninsula region. In part due to an increase in visitors during this time, the Frankston Life Saving Club was established on Frankston Beach in 1924.On 2 February 1923, the Rt. Hon. Stanley Bruce, the member of the Parliament of Australia representing the Division of Flinders (of which Frankston was a part at the time) and the Treasurer of Australia, who lived at Pinehill (also known as Bruce Manor) in Frankston, was elected the eighth Prime Minister of Australia following the resignation of the Rt. Hon. Billy Hughes. Pinehill was built in 1926 and designed in a Spanish Mission style by architectural firm Prevost, Synnot & Rewald with Robert Bell Hamilton. It is listed on the Victorian and Australian heritage registries through the National Trust of Australia.The Roman Catholic Parish of St. Francis Xavier in Frankston was officially established on 4 November 1926. The old church was doubled in its size and a pipe organ built by George Fincham & Sons was installed in 1927. A school was also established the following year (which later became St. Francis Xavier Primary School).St. Paul's Church of England was substantially enlarged in 1933, at an estimated cost of £3500. New north and south transepts, a chancel, sanctuary, vestries, and a chapel of St. Richard, were all added in a sympathetic Gothic Revival style by its original architect Louis Williams. The design incorporated the 1887 nave of the church, and also planned for a tower at its western end. Its foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Frederick Head.
In 1935, the Frankston area was chosen to host the first Australian Scout Jamboree. It was the only Australia jamboree attended by the founder of the Scouting movement Sir Robert Baden-Powell. A number of streets in the Frankston area are named after the jamboree. The original jamboree grandstand remained at Frankston Park for over 70 years until it was destroyed by a fire on 12 February 2008 (a replica of the old grandstand was later built on its site in 2010). Following the jamboree, the Frankston Yacht Club was officially established in 1937.The first public hospital in Frankston, the Frankston Community Hospital, was established at 2 Hastings Road in 1941. Now named Frankston Hospital, it is the largest of four hospitals in the suburb and is also the chief provider of acute secondary and tertiary care in the broader City of Frankston area and the greater Mornington Peninsula region.During World War II, the Commander of the First Australian Army in the Pacific theatre (from 1940 to 1945) and the Commander-in-Chief of Australian Military Forces in occupied Japan (from 1945 to 1950) was the Frankston-born Lieutenant General Sir Vernon Sturdee.In 1946, J. R.W. "Bill" Pratt established his first grocery store in Frankston that would later become one of the largest supermarket chains in Australia as a subsidiary of American-owned Safeway Inc. Pratt was studying engineering at RMIT when he took a summer job at a grocery store in Frankston in 1945. He eventually bought the store the following year, renaming it Pratt's Stores, and developed it into one of the first supermarkets in Australia in the 1950s. He also expanded to two more supermarkets in nearby Mornington and Chelsea during this time. It was the opening of his Chelsea supermarket that caught the attention of representatives from Safeway, who were in Australia sourcing apples, as it was officially opened by media personality (and Frankston resident) Graham Kennedy. Safeway entered Australia by merging with Pratt's Stores in 1962. As managing director of Safeway's Australian subsidiary, Pratt grew the chain to 126 supermarkets across eastern Australia by 1985. It was then bought by Australian-owned Woolworths Limited in 1985, who retained the successful Safeway brand in Victoria for 23 years, before rebranding all its stores as Woolworths in 2008.
The population of the broader Frankston area boomed during and after World War II increasing from 12,000 in 1947 to 82,000 by 1982 (according to the former 1893 Shire of Frankston and Hastings borders). This was in part due to the establishment of government housing estates in the area to house the families of Australian Military Force personnel stationed at the Langwarrin Military Camp in the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin as well as at the Balcombe Army School in Mount Martha and the Flinders Naval Depot near Hastings. The plastics manufacturer Nylex also established its operations in Frankston in 1947, and became one of the largest employers in the area for 50 years, until its operations were downgraded in the mid-2000s.During the early 1950s, Frankston was briefly home to the Hartnett Motor Company. Following his resignation as managing director of General Motors-Holden (GMH) in 1948, Laurence Hartnett was approached by then Prime Minister of Australia the Rt. Hon. Ben Chifley to establish an Australian-owned car company to compete with American-owned GMH in Australia. At GMH, Hartnett was "the father of the Holden"—the first Australian-made car. 70 acres between Seaford and Frankston was selected for the site of the factory with the support of the Victorian state government in 1949. The Hartnett Tasman was a front-wheel drive two door sedan based on a design by Jean Grégoire. The company planned to produce 100 cars a month at its Frankston factory. However, due to the delayed delivery of parts from the Australian federal government's Commonwealth Engineering Company, production was also severely delayed. The first Hartnett Tasman was dispatched from the factory in March 1952. 125 Tasmans and its convertible version, the Hartnett Pacific, were dispatched before the company went into receivership due to its delays in September 1952. The rare Frankston-made cars are now collector's items.
On 7 October 1954, a new 600-seat St. Francis Xavier's Roman Catholic Church was officially opened by Archbishop Daniel Mannix. It was designed in a Post-War Modern style by architect Alan G Robertson and was constructed of smooth-faced brick. Its Modernist style was designed to emphasise its two stained glass windows created by artist Alan Sumner. The main north window was reputed to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of its installation. The 1927 George Fincham & Sons pipe organ was refurbished in 1977. The old church was used as classrooms for St. Francis Xavier's school until it was demolished in the 1970s.On 26 October 1957, St. Paul's Church of England was extensively damaged by fire, leaving only its sanctuary intact. Designs for the re-building of the damaged sections of the church was again completed by its original architect Louis Williams. However, he decided to use a more restrained Gothic Arts and Crafts style for the rebuild. The transepts, chancel, sanctuary, vestries and chapel from the 1933 design were retained, but the 1887 nave was beyond repair and was demolished. The new designs included a nave with multiple gabled bay windows with stained glass designed by mural artist Christian Waller (wife of Napier Waller) and a restrained version of the tower from the 1933 design. The foundation stone for the rebuilt church was again laid by Archbishop Frederick Head, and it was constructed of clinker brick in 1959.
In the summer of 1959, On the Beach, one of the first major Hollywood films to be made in Australia, was partly filmed in Frankston. The film was adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name, by popular author Nevil Shute (who lived in the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin). The name "Falmouth" is used to describe Frankston in the novel, but its actual name is used in the film. Scenes with lead actors Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner were filmed at Frankston railway station and on Young Street in the Frankston CBD, and at Frankston Beach with main supporting actors Fred Astaire (in his first dramatic film role), Anthony Perkins, and Donna Anderson. Famously, when asked to "give us a few steps" by an onlooker at Frankston railway station, the off-duty Fred Astaire danced across the length of the forecourt up to the station ramp.On 19 October 1960, the eastern riding of the old Shire of Frankston and Hastings was incorporated as the Shire of Hastings, with the central riding becoming the Shire of Frankston. The shire was proclaimed a city on 24 August 1966, and incorporated as the City of Frankston.The Frankston flotilla of the Volunteer Coast Guard was established in 1961, as one of the eight founding flotillas in Victoria.
In 1969, poet Annie May (Nan) McClelland bequeathed the land known as Studio Park in the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin to establish the Harry McClelland Art Gallery and Cultural Hall in honour of her artist brother Harry McClelland. The McClelland siblings were at the centre of a bohemian artists group based in the Frankston locality of Long Island during the 1920s, which included artists and writers such as Sir Daryl and Lady Joan Lindsay, Percy Leason and William Beckwith McInnes. Located at what is now 390 McClelland Drive. on the border of Frankston and Langwarrin, it opened in 1971. During its first 40 years of operation its governor was philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. To support the acquisition of new works, the Elisabeth Murdoch Sculpture Foundation was established in 1989. Now named the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, it is the leading sculpture park in Australia, and has over 130,000 visitors annually.In 1986, the Australian film Frog Dreaming (which was retitled as The Go-Kids in the UK and The Quest in the US) was filmed in Frankston and at nearby Moorooduc Quarry in Mount Eliza (which was in the former 1966 City of Frankston borders at the time).The borders of the City of Frankston were redrawn in 1994, excising its southern suburbs of Baxter and Mount Eliza to the new Shire of Mornington Peninsula, and gaining the north-eastern suburbs of Carrum Downs and Skye from the City of Casey and the former City of Springvale. The proposed name of the new city was initially "City of Nepean", but the historic name of Frankston (which had been used for its local government areas for over 100 years) was ultimately kept.Following nearly a decade of campaigning by residents, in 1995, Frankston City Council opened a A$18.5 million arts centre. Originally named the Frankston Cultural Centre, it houses an 800-seat theatre with the second largest proscenium arched stage in Victoria. It also houses the Frankston Library, exhibition spaces, and a 500-seat function hall. Designed by architect Daryl Jackson, and located on the corner of Davey Street and Young Street in the Frankston CBD, it was opened on 20 May by then Prime Minister of Australia the Hon. Paul Keating. A flexible 194-seat theatre named Cube37 with studios and a wet workshop was also built adjoining the northeast corner of the centre in 2001, and was opened on 30 March by then Prime Minister of Australia the Hon. John Howard. Now named the Frankston Arts Centre, it serves over 250,000 patrons annually.
## 21st century
At the turn of the 3rd millennium, Frankston City Council prepared a comprehensive scheme to develop key zones on the Frankston foreshore. The scheme was delivered in stages and included: a new waterfront area with public amenities and a visitor centre; a raised timber foreshoreway and a pedestrian bridge over the mouth of Kananook Creek; and new life saving and yacht club houses—and were primarily constructed over existing sites and car parking areas.The first stage of the scheme, named the Frankston Waterfront, was undertaken in the mid-2000s, and included: landscaping with public art (around Frankston Pier north to the mouth of Kananook Creek); erection of the pedestrian bridge over the mouth of Kananook Creek (next to the existing Frankston Yacht Club house); construction of the café, restaurant and visitor centre building (next to Frankston Pier); installation of a large playground (between the new visitor centre and existing Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard flotilla); as well as the southern stretch of the foreshoreway, named the Frankston Boardwalk (from Frankston Pier to near the base of Olivers Hill).The A$1 million Frankston Visitor Information Centre at the Frankston Waterfront opened in 2007. The centre has since won the Victorian Tourism Award and Australian Tourism Award for its "visitor information services" in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It was also inducted into the Victorian and Australian Tourism Hall of Fame in 2014 (after which it is no longer eligible for awards).In 2007, Sand Sculpting Australia made the Frankston Waterfront the home of its annual sand festival. Held over four months from 26 December, it is the largest exhibition of sand art in Australia and one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere—with approximately 3,500 tonnes of sand used during the 2014 festival.The second stage of the foreshore development scheme was undertaken in the late-2000s, and included: construction of the new Frankston Life Saving Club house (north of the Frankston Waterfront), and the northern stretch of the Frankston Boardwalk foreshoreway (between the new Frankton Life Saving Club and existing Frankston Yacht Club houses).In 2010, scenes for the Hollywood film Killer Elite were shot in Frankston. Lead actor Jason Statham spent five days in July filming at a house on Olivers Hill with supporting actors Aden Young and Lachy Hulme. In the film, the house doubles as an Omani mansion overlooking the Arabian Sea.
In 2012, the major water utility provider South East Water announced its intention to consolidate its business operations (700 staff spread across three office locations at the time) in a new A$70 million headquarters in Frankston. The site of the building on Kananook Creek Boulevard (along the eastern bank of Kananook Creek) in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD) cost A$4 million. The eight-storey 11,000 m2 building also includes around 550 m2 of café and retail space, that fronts a pedestrian promenade on Kananook Creek. It opened in 2015 and was designed by architectural firm BVN Donovan Hill.In 2014, Frankston City Council opened a A$49.7 million health and aquatic recreation centre located on the corner of Cranbourne Road and Olive Grove near the Frankston CBD. Named the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (Frankston PARC), it has four swimming pools, including an Olympic-size pool (50 metres); an aquatic playground and two water slides (by WhiteWater West); a gym and a health and wellness centre as well as other related facilities. It was designed by architectural firm William Ross Architects.The third and final stage of the foreshore development scheme saw the construction of a new A$7.5 million Frankston Yacht Club house, as well as beachfront promenade, and was completed in 2016 at a total cost of A$10.7 million. It was designed by architectural firm Taylor Cullity Lethlean.
# Things to do