Moreland, 7 km. north of Melbourne, is a residential area which is located either side of the boundary between the former municipalities of Brunswick and Coburg. It is also the name of a new city formed on 22 June, 1994, by the amalgamation of Brunswick city and most of Coburg city.

Moreland was named after the land purchased in 1839, from Robert Hoddle’s survey, by Farquhar McCrae, magistrate and speculator. McCrae (the brother-in-law of Georgiana McCrae), named his property Moreland after the place of birth of his father in Jamaica. McCrae built his La Rose home on the elevated area west of Moreland (Coonans Hill), in 1842, at 22 Le Cateau Street. It is on the Victorian and National Estate Registers.

After the railway line to Coburg was opened in 1884, residential subdivisions were released in the vicinity of the Moreland railway station. Prior to then the area had been farms, with some notable houses such as Glencairn (1861, 6 Craigrossie Avenue, also on both Registers). A primary school was opened in 1887, next to the Wesleyan church opened in the previous year. A prestigious subdivision, Moreland Park, was released in 1882, resulting in some notable homes in The Grove and nearby streets. The remainder of Moreland, however, was lightly developed, with some factories along Moreland Road.

In the 1920s the electrification of the tram along Sydney Road and the extension of another northwards line between there and Coonans Hill provided additional incentive for residential growth. The Moreland Knitting Mill opened in 1920.

The Catholic church has been a strong participant in the Moreland community, building St. Francis Church (1938), Sacred Heart Hospital (1939) and two primary schools. A combined church and school building had been erected in 1927.

In the 1940s Moreland West was the name given to the Coonans Hill area, now Pascoe Vale South, which became the location of another Catholic church and school. Moreland central school was opened in 1947, becoming a high school in 1953.

Moreland city was formed on 22 June, 1994, by the amalgamation of Brunswick city and most of Coburg city. Its estimated population for 1994 was 136,550. Italian-born residents were 11.2% of its population in 1991 and Greek-born residents 4.2%. Residents in the workforce who were tradespeople or engaged in manufacturing were a few percentage points above the metropolitan average.

Further Reading:

  • Broome, Richard, Coburg Between Two Creeks, Lothian Publishing Company Pty. Ltd., 1987.
  • Keany, Leonie, St. Fidelis’ Moreland: The First Fifty Years, The Parish of Moreland, 1977.

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