From 1911, financier and MLC William Laurence Baillieu, lived at Heathfield, the mansion formerly known as Wombalano with his wife Bertha and their family of eight children. William Baillieu developed the familys banking, mining and land fortunes.
Malvern resident, Dr Vera Scantlebury Brown, Hon. Medical Officer for the Baby Health Centre Association and Victorias first Director of Maternal, Infant and Pre-School Welfare (1926-46), was instrumental in the development of Infant Welfare Centres in Malvern and elsewhere. The first purpose-built Baby Health Centre in the City of Malvern opened in 1928. From 1920, a centre had operated from a shop in Union Street, Armadale, and then the Malvern Town Hall.
John Munro Bruce, a merchant, owned the mansion Wombalano in Kooyong Road Toorak. John Bruce was a founder of the (Royal) Melbourne Golf Club in 1891 and his son Stanley Melbourne Bruce became Prime Minister of Australia from 1923 to 1929. Wombalano was built in 1884 in the Italianate style. The mansion, which included thirty rooms, balconies and tower, surrounded by stables, coach-house and tennis court, was considered one of the grandest in the district. Being situated on the crown of the hill, the building commanded one of the finest panoramas in Melbourne.
Around 1860, Henry A. Cawkwell established a large tile and terracotta works close to the north west corner of High Street and Tooronga Road, where the clay was ideal for tile making. Malvern's geological formation is Tertiary rocks composed of sand. clay, and gravel, with bands of soft reddish brown sandstone, and hard ironstone, underlayed by decomposed granite of felspar clay.
This material constituted excellent material for bricks, and tiles. Cawkwells mosaic tiles won awards at the 1880 Melbourne Exhibition and were used in various churches, the Victorian Railways Head Office, Parliament House and the Maryborough Railway Station. The tile works were demolished in the 1920s.
William Chandler built one of the earliest brick houses in Malvern using the clay from their own property to make the bricks. The wood used for the fires in the kilns was also cut on the property. Later the railway route to Oakleigh was surveyed and passed through Chandler’s land. William played with the Malvern Hill Cricket Club in the 1870s. William had some knowledge of practical botany and fertilization. He created mammoth cauliflowers by crossing cauliflower seed with the seed of a giant drumhead cabbage. They were sold at the highest market price. Chandler sold the seed to market gardeners. Some of the seeds were sent to Germany where they were grown in quantity and sent around the world. The Statesmans Apple an apple grown by Chandler from a pip, has made its way in apple orchards.
Hussey Malone Chomley (1832-1906) had arrived from Ireland with his family in 1849. Following time spent at the diggings, Chomley joined the Victoria Police Force as a cadet in September 1852. He was soon promoted to various positions throughout the goldfields before returning to Bendigo in 1862 as a Superintendent. With the death of Police Commissioner Standish in 1880, Chomley was appointed Chief Commissioner of Police and took office in March 1881. He held office until his retirement in June 1902. Hussey and his wife Elizabeth and their two sons lived in Huntingtower Road
One of Stonnington’s most significant buildings, Valentines was built in 1891-92, for the Hon. John Mark Davies MLC, on 25 acres (10 hectares) of land fronting Burke Road. The 40-roomed mansion, designed by architect Thomas Watts, was named Valentines, after Davies former homes. Davies served as Minister of Justice in 1890 and Solicitor-General and Attorney-General in 1891. He was mainly responsible for the Voluntary Liquidation Act (1891), the cause of significant controversy in the Depression which followed the Land Boom. The Davies family was badly affected by the collapse of the Boom. In 1892, John Davies resigned from Cabinet and from the Board of the Commercial Bank, of which he was chairman. Three years later, he lost his seat in the Legislative Council and resumed private practice as a solicitor. He re-entered Parliament unopposed in 1899 and served as Attorney-General from 1902 to 1908. He was President of the Legislative Council from 1910 to 1919, for which he received a knighthood. The property became Malvern Grammar and later a junior campus for Caulfield Grammar.
An internationally recognised sculptor, Karl Duldig and his artist-inventor wife, Slawa, arrived in Australia from Vienna in 1940. Their former Burke Road East Malvern residence, sculpture garden and artists studio, known as THE DULDIG STUDIO, is a public museum and art gallery. Both a cultural and educational resource, the museum holds an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings, drawings and decorative arts.
Karl Duldig's public sculptures, including a Monument to Raoul Wallenberg at Kew Junction, can be seen in Australia and overseas and he is represented in many museums and private collections. A prototype of the first foldable umbrella Flirt, invented by Slawa in 1929, is held by the Powerhouse Museum Sydney.
Oliver Gilpin, born in 1874, is the man credited with creating the first major drapery chain store business in Australia. Gilpin opened his first drapery store in Korumburra in country Victoria in 1895. In 1910 the family moved to their new home, Kia Ora, in Finch Street East Malvern. The large block at the corner of Central Park Road extended to Belson Street. The grounds were described as spacious and contained a tennis court, artificial lake, fernery, summer houses and a croquet or bowling green. Initially the Gilpin children attended the nearby Warwick school. The Malvern Heights Bowling Club (1912-1917) was formed adjacent to the house.
Around 1917 the family separated and moved from Finch Street, but the business continued to run from the office in Belson Street. Around 1920 Gilpin subdivided his garden and created two blocks facing Central Park Road. Gilpin remarried and returned to live at Kia Ora in 1921. Gilpin lived at the Finch Street house, with his third wife, from 1928 to 1936. By this time, Gilpin's chain of Drapery stores had grown to ninety-four branches. The business was taken over by Foy & Gibson in 1944. The house in Finch Street and store in Belson Street were destroyed by fire in the 1970s.
Sir John Grey Gorton was the only Senator ever to become Prime Minister. He was Prime Minister from 10 January 1968 to 10 March 1971. Gorton resigned from the Senate in January 1968 to contest the by-election for Holts former seat of Higgins. Gorton won Higgins easily, and held it through the next three general elections.
Henry Somer Gullett was born on 26 March 1878 in Harston, Victoria, the son of Charles Gullett, a farmer, and his wife Rose Mary. He was educated at various Victorian state schools. His father died when he was 12 and he left school to help his mother on the land. In 1900 he joined the staff of the Sydney Morning Herald and in 1908 he went to London as correspondent for two other Sydney papers, the Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He also combined freelance journalism with a special study of migration to Australia. In 1915 Gullett was appointed Australian official war correspondent with the British and French armies on the Western Front. The following year he enlisted in the Australian Field Artillery. Shortly afterwards he was transferred to the War Records Section in Palestine and in 1918 appointed official A.I.F. correspondent in that area. After the War Gullett briefly held the position of Director of the Australian War Museum and in 1920 he was appointed Director of the Australian Immigration Bureau. He resigned in 1922 over disagreements with W.M. Hughes and returned to journalism with the Melbourne Herald. In 1925 Gullett won the Victorian seat of Henty in the House of Representatives as a Nationalist (later United Australia Party) candidate. He held the seat until his death. On 13 August 1940 Gullett and two other Cabinet ministers were killed in an air crash near Canberra. He was survived by Lady Gullett, whom he had married in 1912, and their two children. Sir Henry and Lady Gullett lived in Toorak.
Bert Healy was elected as a councillor in 1966 and was the Mayor of Malvern four times between 1969 and 1981. He was actively supported by his wife Audrey. He served on every Council committee and initiated community projects such as the Malvern Employment Scheme, the Malvern branch of the State Emergency Service, the Malvern Community Youth Support Scheme and the Malvern Council Youth Training Scheme. He received the MBE in 1980 for municipal services, and the Centenary Medal in 2001. He was a Justice of the Peace and a Paul Harris fellow of Rotary. He retired from Malvern Council in 1994 when the municipality was amalgamated.
John Heywood was born in England, 11 June, 1829, and arrived in the colony in 1853. After following agricultural pursuits for about six years, Heywood commenced the hotel business, at the Wattle Tree Hotel, Malvern, in 1861. There he built a number of loose boxes for the accommodation of racehorses. Later in 1871 Heywood built the Turf Club Hotel in Dandenong Road opposite Caulfield Racecourse; the timber building was demolished in 1923. He assumed the entire control, management and responsibility of the Caulfield Racecourse, and acted as Secretary for the numerous and successful race meetings held there for many years.
Much credit is due to Mr. Heywood, who is acknowledged to be the father of racing at Caulfield, for his energy in assisting to form the Victorian Amateur Turf Club (VATC). Heywood was a member of the Gardiner Road Board from 1868, and was elected Chairman in 1870, Heywood was elected the first President of the Shire Council in 1871 and served further terms as President in 1881-3. He was a member of the Council until 1889.
Higgins, radical politician and judge, lived at his residence Doona in Glenferrie Road, from 1884 until his death in 1929. Higgins was a father of Federation, a Member of the first Commonwealth Parliament, a High Court Judge and President of the Arbitration Court. His 1907 Harvester Judgment was the first attempt to set a minimum wage based on the needs of a worker and his family. The Higgins electorate is named after him.
Harold Edward Holt was Prime Minister from January 1966 to December 1967. He held the seat of Fawkner from 1937 to 1946, and then switched to the seat of Higgins, which he held through eight general elections, from 1949 until 1966. When R. G. Menzies retired as Prime Minister in 1966, Holt took over the leadership of the Liberal Party, having been deputy leader since 1956. Late in 1967 Holt disappeared while swimming in the ocean off Portsea. Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre is named in his memory.
Betty Jeffrey was captured by Japanese soldiers in 1942 after the ship carrying her 65 nurses was bombed by three Japanese aircraft. When the ship sank she survived swimming for two days up and down mangrove swamps and inlets. While a prisoner of war she risked certain execution by stealing exercise books and recording her experiences in a diary. The diary later became the basis for a book White Coolies published in 1954. After the war Miss Jeffrey spent two years in hospital recovering from her incarceration. When she was released she and her friend Vivian Bullwinkel drove around Victoria collecting donations towards a living memorial to the nurses who had died. Together they established the Nurses Memorial Centre where she worked until she retired. Bruce Beresfords film Paradise Road was based in part on her book.
Bowes Kelly made his first fortune as a shareholder in B.H.P. and his second in the Mount Lyell copper mine in Tasmania. For at least four decades Bowes Kelly enhanced Australian mining and manufacturing. He was a director of B.H.P. for 45 years, a director of several banks and companies and a member of Malvern Shire Council, 1892-96. Bowes Kelly and his family lived at Waiora and then later at Moorakyne both in Glenferrie Road.
Kong Meng Lowe was a notable Chinese merchant with an interest in mining. Mrs. Kong Meng was an English woman, the daughter of William Prussia of Tasmania, and Kong Meng married her in the year 1860. They had a large family of sons and daughters. On Sundays, the children marched, headed by their mother, to St. George's Church, where they had their own pew. Kong Meng was a British subject by birth, having been born in Penang, . His father was a merchant in Penang and he sent Kong to the High School there, and afterwards, when sixteen years of age, to the Mauritius for the purpose of studying English, and French, under competent masters. When Kong had learnt the languages, he commenced as an importing merchant, trading with merchants of Mauritius, Calcutta and Singapore. He emigrated to Melbourne in 1853. and in 1854 began business as a merchant. under the trade name of "Kong Meng & Co." in Little Bourke Street. In 1864 he was the owner of vessels, trading between Australia, and China, and he was one of the first to attempt to establish a trade between the Gulf of Carpentaria, now Darwin, and Melbourne. In 1863 the Emperor of the Chinese, Ham Foon, elevated Kong Meng to the rank of Mandarin of the Blue Button, Civil Order. Kong was the head of the Chinese community in Melbourne. He acted as a father to them, supervising the Chinese Club, helping the emigrants to obtain work. and teaching them to honour the British flag. Kong Meng's interest in the children of the village was shown when he gave a picnic to them and their mothers. This picnic took place in, or about the year 1881, and was held on Kong Meng's property called Longwood in Elizabeth Street. The house was built in the early years of the eighteen fifties. The estate of Longwood consisted of 86 acres, the boundaries extending from Elizabeth Street to Tooronga Road and to Gardiner's Creek. At the back of Kong Meng's house was a paddock, and close to the paddock was a tobacco plantation. Kong Meng was also involved in early mining ventures in Victoria. A plaque in Malvern Library commemorates this early Malvern resident.
William Knox was the founding Secretary of Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. In 1901, Knox was elected to the first Parliament of the Commonwealth as the Member for Kooyong. He was a Malvern Shire Councillor from 1892-95 and 1902-10, and Shire President from 1893-95. Knox lived at Ranfurlie from 1891. The property later became Korowa Girls School.
John Landy was born on 14 December 1930. The family moved to Central Park Road, immediately opposite Central Park, in 1937. John Landy attended Malvern Grammar, Geelong Grammar and then returned to Central Park Road and attended the University of Melbourne. Throughout the period leading to his breaking of the four-minute-mile barrier in 1954 and his participation in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, the oval at Central Park became his daily training venue. A film produced by the ABC/BBC in 1988 entitled "Four -Minute-Mile" shows Central Park oval and Landy's house in Central Park Road. This film tells the story of the race to break the four-minute-mile barrier, between England's Roger Bannister and Australias John Landy . Although Landy was narrowly beaten by Roger Bannister in the race to become the first man to break the four-minute-mile barrier in 1954, he set a new world record in Finland with a run of 3:57.9 minutes a few weeks later. Landy is regarded as one of Australia’s most brilliant middle distance runners. He won the Australian Mile Championship three times (1953, 1954, 1956), the three-mile title in 1956, set world records for the 1500 metres and the mile, and won two Games medals - a Silver in the 1954 Empire games in Vancouver for the mile and a Bronze for the 1500 metres in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. In recognition of his ability and his sportsmanship John Landy was chosen to read the Olympic Oath at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. John Landy retired from running in February, 1957. From 1991 John Landy chaired the Wool Research and Development Corporation. He is an avid conservationist and has published two works of natural history Close to Nature (1988) and A Coastal Diary (1993). He chaired the Victorian Coode Island Review Panel after the fire in 1991. (John Landy was appointed the Governor of Victoria in 2000). At the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, John Landy was chosen to present the baton to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. John Landy AC, MBE, was the Governor of Victoria between 2000 and 2006
Hamilton Close, Malvern, stands on the site of Kooringa, the former home of Essington Lewis (1881-1961), industrialist and Wartime Director of Munitions. The mansion was earlier known as Glenbervie and Yarrien. Essington Lewis named the property after his birthplace, Kooringa, the copper mining town in South Australia. He moved into the mansion in 1926, the year he was appointed as the first Executive Officer to take a seat on the Board of B.H.P. It is said that Essington Lewis made B.H.P. one of the most efficient steel companies in the world, and his influence was felt in every industry and occupation.
Essington Lewis commissioned this photograph of Toorak in 1927. The photograph was taken from above Kooyong, looking south. Glenferrie Road and Hopetoun Road can be seen in the centre of the photograph.
Louisa Montgomery grew up on a farm in Gippsland, and from the age of eight, animal welfare was high on her agenda. After she married Charles Lort Smith around 1926, the couple travelled overseas where they visited a number of veterinary clinics and hospitals. In 1929, Louisa founded the Animal Welfare League and in 1936, the Lort Smith Animal Hospital was officially opened in North Melbourne. They lived in Toorak.
Dudley Lucas (1905 - 1990) was instrumental in the formation of the Malvern Elderly Citizens’ Welfare Committee in 1958 (now MECWA Community Care). Lucas was born in Malvern and joined the staff at Malvern Council as a junior boy in 1925. He was appointed Town Clerk for the City of Malvern in 1951, a position he held until his retirement in 1973. During this time he was a driving force in establishing services for elderly citizens.
Malvern resident Alex McKinley was first elected to Malvern Council in 1885 and as MLA for Toorak in 1892. He was proprietor of several Melbourne newspapers including Punch and "The Bulletin". McKinley was Shire President in 1890 and in 1891 he presented the citizens of Malvern with the Town Hall clock. He was Mayor in 1901, when Malvern was declared a Borough and then a Town, and Mayor when Malvern was declared a City in 1911. McKinley’s final term as Mayor was in 1919, prior to his retirement from Council in 1920. McKinley was appointed a special Magistrate for the Childrens Court in 1907, serving as its Chairman for twenty years. He was President of the Children’s Welfare Association and had a long connection with the Latrobe Street Mission School. McKinley fought in Parliament for legislation for childrens welfare and the 1917 Childrens Court Amending Act was largely his work. McKinley Avenue Malvern is named in his honour.
Sir Robert Menzies was the Prime Minister of Australia 1939-1941 and 1949-1966. Sir Robert was the Member of the House of Representatives for Kooyong from 1934 to 1966 and he founded the Liberal Party in 1944. From 1966 until 1978 Sir Robert and Dame Pattie Menzies lived in Haverbrack Avenue Malvern
The Victorian Italianate villa, Northbrook, was built in 1888-89 to the design of architect Charles D’Ebro, who was also responsible for Stonington, Prahran Town Hall and Prahran Market. Northbrook was built for auctioneer Donald Munro, on 2.5 acres (1 hectare) of land facing High Street. Munro, the son of James Munro, Premier of Victoria, was a partner with W. L. Baillieu in a successful auctioneering business, until he was financially ruined by the economic crash of the 1890s, and never lived in his new home. However, he was elected to Malvern Council in 1890 and became Shire President in 1895.
In 1933, journalist and newspaper proprietor Sir Keith Murdoch, his wife Lady Elisabeth Murdoch (later Dame), and their children, moved into Heathfield. Rupert Murdoch went on to build an international media empire. Heathfield was the scene of many business dinners, tennis matches, society gatherings and charity functions. During World War II, the Murdoch family evacuated their home, leaving it fully fitted out for the arrival of Lt. Gen. George H. Brett, a US Air Force officer then in command of all American troops in Australia. After the War, Heathfield was used by the Salvation Army for their service women, then as accommodation for the night nurses of the (Royal) Childrens Hospital. In 1958 Heathfield was sold and the mansion was demolished.
The first Malvern Star bicycle was made in Glenferrie Road Malvern by champion cyclist Thomas Finnigan in 1903. World champion cyclist (Sir) Hubert Oppy Opperman joined the business after it was sold to (Sir) Bruce Small in 1920. The partnership of Oppy and Small made Malvern Star a household name and the business grew to become a bicycling empire unequalled in the Southern Hemisphere.
William Philpott (1819-1891), one of the 10 children of John and Mary Philpott was an early Melbourne settler who arrived in 1844. By 1845 William was playing cricket for the newly established Melbourne Cricket Club and captained the first interstate match played in Australia between Victoria and Tasmania. He followed a number of occupations including stock and station agent, auctioneer, wool broker, land and estate agent and merchant. William married Rosetta Rucker in 1856 and built Rosehill, at the corner of Glenferrie and Toorak Road. William Philpott returned to England in 1875 where he died in 1891.
Curator of Parks and Gardens in the City of Malvern from 1888 to 1918, Pockett designed Malverns premier gardens including Malvern Gardens and Central Park. He was responsible for the planting of many of Malvern’s street trees. Pockett achieved world acclaim in the breeding and growing of chrysanthemums, and displays of his prize-winning blooms became a feature of these gardens.
Joan Margaret Richmond lived in Plant Street Malvern. She was an accomplished equestrian and an experienced car driver. In 1921 she twice drove from Melbourne to Camooweal (W.A.) in a Citroen. To further her experience she approached the Riley Motor Co. in the U.K. and was engaged as a rally driver and competed in various events in Europe including Le Mans. In her latter years she developed a great love of cats and apart from her involvement with the Cat Protection Society she ran a boarding facility at the rear of her property.
Sir George Adlington Syme, a close relative of David and Ebenezer Syme founders of The Age, is remembered for his eminent medical career as Resident Medical Officer at the Melbourne Hospital. Following training in London, George Syme was appointed to the University of Melbourne, the Womens Hospital, as editor of the Australian Medical Journal and an Honorary Surgeon at the Melbourne Hospital. He was the first President and Director-General of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He was knighted in 1924. At this time he was living at Chesterfield with his wife Mabel.
George Tallis had arrived in Melbourne in 1886 and for over fifty years was closely associated with the firm of theatrical managers, J. C. Williamson’s. Tallis rose quickly from office boy to managing director and in 1922 he was knighted for services to theatre and wartime fund-raising. During the 1930s depression, Grosvenor was leased to Miss Rose Patterson as a venue for receptions, dances and charity fund raising. The gates of Grosvenor, a two-storey Italianate mansion, were at the corner of Glenferrie and Toorak Road.
Lindsay Hamilton Simpson Thompson was Liberal Premier of the State of Victoria from 1981-1982. Thompson was born in 1923 and was educated at private schools. After service in the Australian Army he graduated from the University of Melbourne with degrees in arts and education, and became a school teacher at Spring Road Central School. In 1955 he was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council as a Liberal, where he served until 1970, when he transferred to the Legislative Assembly as MP for Malvern. In 1958 Thompson was appointed Assistant Chief Secretary in the government of Henry Bolte, and held office continuously until 1982, making him the longest-serving minister in the history of the Victorian Parliament. In 1967 he was appointed Minister for Education, and held this post until 1979, a record term. He presided over the major expansion of state education in Victoria during this period. In 1971 he became Deputy Premier. In 1972 a teacher and six school children were kidnapped at a school in the country town of Faraday by a man demanding a $1 million ransom. Thompson went to the site and was ready to personally deliver the ransom, but the children were freed by the police before this was necessary. Thompson received a bravery award for his actions during the kidnapping. During the premiership of Rupert Hamer, Thompson was Chief Secretary, then Treasurer and Minister for Police and Emergency Services. In 1981 Hamer resigned and Thompson won a Liberal Party ballot to succeed him as Premier. But the Liberals had been in power for 27 years and the new leader, John Cain, was mounting a strong challenge to the government. At the March 1982 election the Liberals were heavily defeated and Thompson resigned as Liberal leader and from Parliament. The photograph above was taken at the official opening of the Malvern City Library in 1959. The men standing at the front counter from left are: Mayor Cr. Sydney Hayes, Lindsay Thompson, Cr Richard Moss and Town Clerk Dudley Lucas.
Fred Williams (1927-1982) renowned Australian painter and print-maker, lived in Malvern Road just east of Glenferrie Road, above his familys gift shop Shipways, in the 1940s. Backyard Malvern,Williamss earliest signed and dated work, was painted when the artist was 16, and was completed in the backyard behind the shop. The watercolour was in the portfolio he showed when he enrolled at the National Gallery School in 1943.
Hartley Williams, the Australian born son of Sir Edward Eyre Williams of Como House, was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court on the death of Sir Redmond Barry in 1881. His home, Flete was built in 1882-83 on more than 6 acres (2.5 hectares) of land fronting Kooyong Road. The 13 roomed Italianate villa was designed by architect Thomas Watts. Williams sold Flete to auctioneer, Stratford Strettle, in 1889. Williams re-purchased the property in 1894, the same year he was knighted. When Captain Charles Lawrence purchased Flete in 1902, the property included a conservatory, pavilion, tennis court and stables.
The Woodmason family were highly successful market gardeners and dairy farmers, with substantial land holdings throughout the Malvern district. From 1859 the family owned land at the corner of Glenferrie Road and Malvern Road, where William Woodmason cultivated a highly successful market garden. Woodmason was Shire President and a long serving member of the Malvern Council. On his death in 1892, his son, William James Woodmason, took over the dairy and his father’s prize winning jersey herd. Woodmason became a breeder of pure breed jersey cattle and the herd was noted as one of the best in Victoria, winning championships at the Royal Melbourne Show.
Woodmason’s Melrose Dairy was established at the corner of Glenferrie Road and Malvern Road. Jersey cows were also kept at Twickenham in Waverley Road, where Woodmason had established a second Melrose Dairy. He used land at the corner of Malvern Road and Waverley Road to grow maize in order to feed his famous Melrose jersey herd. It is said that Woodmason named this area Coolgardie, according to his belief that land represented a fortune sound as gold. William James Woodmason had occupied Coolgardie, known as Crown allotment 164, since the 1890s, and by 1900, he owned the land, with a weatherboard house facing Lower Malvern Road.
In 1922 Woodmason released the Coolgardie land for subdivision and Coolgardie Avenue and Melrose Street were created. The same year he also put up for sale a large area of grazing land east of Warrigal Road where he retained a section for his new home, Green Gables, in Waverley Road. In 1923 Woodmason's Ice Works were built in Glenferrie Road.