Footscray is a small suburb located 5km to the west of Melbourne's CBD. It's home to over 13,000 people and is characterised by its multicultural diversity (particularly Vietnamese and East African), and is particularly distinguished in its artistic initiatives. Art enthusiasts and sports lovers will find lots to do in Footscray.
The name of Footscray comes from the town of Foots Cray, which sits on the River Cray in the English county of Kent. The Aboriginal peoples of the Wurundjeri, Yalukit-willan, and Marin-balluk used Footscray as a traditional meeting place. The first European settler to visit this area was Charles Grimes. A memorial to this visit in 1803 is the park where he landed. Today, it's located on Napier Street. Footscray is one of the most diverse areas in Australia, with people from 135 countries living within a few square miles of each other.
The Dog Theatre: This travelling theatre originally opened in September 2008 at a permanent venue in Footscray. Now it travels around the suburb area, and surrounding areas featuring upcoming performing arts talent. Its old site in Albert Street still has its funky bar with coffee, snacks, and seating under the shade of a large willow tree open to the general public.
Trocadero Art Space: The Trocadero Art Space is a small art gallery featuring works from young modern artists. It focuses on constantly changing exhibitions designed to showcase as much work as possible. Modern artists which have featured in recent months include Chantal Wynter and Lou Molesworth.
Flemington Racecourse: Just over the river from Footscray Park is Flemington Racecourse. This is Melbourne's premier racecourse. You can spend time in its luxurious private boxes, or participate in the betting action down near the fences. The course is privileged to hold the prestigious Melbourne Cup each year.
Footscray Yarraville City Band: This brass band comprises of musicians, young and old, from the local area. They perform throughout Footscray at various times each year. Go and see their spring concert at the Blue Stone Hall, or the annual carolling event at Christmas time in the nearby Yarraville Gardens.
Footscray Park: Spend some time in this popular park and explore the second largest botanical garden in Victoria. It contains some of the rarest plants in Australia, as well as stunning scenery as it's bordered by a river which separates the racecourse from the park. You will find plenty of comfortable and scenic seating areas within.
Footscray Rugby Union Club: Formed in 1928, this rugby union club is one of the oldest in Australia. The various teams play their matches at Dodemaide Oval in Footscray Park. Games are open to members of the public who want to explore rugby at all levels. Like most clubs in Melbourne, they wear the colours of red, white, and blue with the emblem of a bulldog attached.
Statue of Ted Whitten: This unique statue is a monument to one of the sporting heroes of Melbourne. As a Hall of Fame footballer and TV personality, Whitten passionately promoted the State of Origin games. His statue is a unique work, as the artist has captured him in the middle of an overhead kick. The statue of 'Mr Football' currently stands outside the Whitten Oval.
Dining Out: Melbourne has, in recent times, become known for its very on-trend food culture, and Footscray is right up there in the mix. There are more than 130 restaurants in Footscray representing practically every cuisine you can think of. As you might imagine, the markets also reflect this ethnic diversity and a stroll round the stalls of Footscray Market, Little Saigon and the Wholesale Market are a visual and aromatic treat.
Phone: 1800 318 026 | Footscray, VIC
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