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Melbourne skyline, at night. Capital of Victoria, Australia
Melbourne skyline, at night. Capital of Victoria, Australia

Melbourne (/ˈmɛlbərn/ (About this soundlisten) MEL-bərn) is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million (19% of the population of Australia), and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in what was the British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land. It was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. It was declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, after which it became the capital of the new colony of Victoria in 1851. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered the "Marvellous Melbourne" boom period, transforming into one of the most important cities in the British Empire and one of the largest and wealthiest in the world. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 20th in the Global Financial Centres Index.

Selected article

Shrine of Rememberence, Melbourne
The Shrine of Remembrance (commonly known among locals as The Shrine) is a war memorial in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, located in Kings Domain on St Kilda Road. It was built to honour the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I, but is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war. It is a site of annual observances of ANZAC Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November) and is one of the largest war memorials in Australia.

Designed by architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop who were both World War I veterans, the Shrine is in a classical style, being based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and the Parthenon in Athens. The crowning element at the top of the memorial's ziggurat roof references the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. Built from Tynong granite, the Shrine originally consisted only of the central sanctuary surrounded by the ambulatory. The sanctuary contains the marble Stone of Remembrance, upon which is engraved the words "Greater love hath no man". Once a year, on 11 November at 11 a.m. (Remembrance Day), a ray of sunlight shines through an aperture in the roof to light up the word "Love" in the inscription. Beneath the sanctuary lies the crypt, which contains a bronze statue of a soldier father and son, and panels listing every unit of the Australian Imperial Force.

Selected biography

Dame Margaret Blackwood DBE (26 April 1909 – 1 June 1986) was an Australian botanist and geneticist. She attended the University of Melbourne and lectured there for the majority of her career, becoming deputy chancellor after her academic retirement. She enrolled at the University in 1934 and studied part-time, completing a Bachelor of Science in 1938 and a Master of Science in botany in 1939. Her postgraduate research focused on dieback in the pine species Pinus radiata. From 1939 until 1941, she was a research scholar and demonstrator at the University in the field of plant cytology and genetics. During the Second World War, she enrolled in the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) in 1941. She was initially a drill instructor before working on the creation of a cipher for the Royal Australian Air Force. Blackwood returned to the University of Melbourne upon her discharge from the WAAAF in 1946 as a biology lecturer and dean of women. Soon afterwards, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge's Newnham College from 1948 to 1950. There, she studied the genetics of maize with David Catcheside and received a doctorate for her work in 1954. She returned to the University of Melbourne in 1951 as a senior lecturer in botany and was later promoted to reader (professor). Following her retirement in 1974, she was elected to the council of the University in 1976 and became its first female deputy chancellor in 1980.


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