City Profile, Demographics, Suburbs and Boundaries

Profile and Demographics

The City of Melville sits upon the shore of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia.

It is home to 102,252 people, living in 41,262 dwellings*, and a diverse and multicultural community which enjoys a rich built and natural heritage, a blend of retail and business precincts, an abundance of opportunities for physical and social activity, open spaces set within a unique natural landscape.
(*as at 30 June 2016)

The City is:

  • located 8km from the Perth CBD
  • covers 53 square km
  • features 18km of foreshore
  • connected by over 1,300km of roads
  • The City has more than 200 parks and reserves, 778 hectares of public open space and 295 hectares of bushland as well as the Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre.

    The community enjoys 26 playing fields, two golf courses in addition to three recreation centres with two public swimming pools, four museums and six libraries, including Murdoch University Library.

  • The City of Melville manages and maintains four major and three minor community facilities for public use, with many more privately operated facilities available across the City.

    There are seven child health centres, for aged persons’, there are four recreation/day care facilities and 15 housing estates.

    Schools in the area total 21 pre-schools, 24 primary and 9 secondary, with two tertiary facilities.

  • The largest industry, by employment and value added, within the City is Health Care and Social Assistance. In terms of output, the largest is rental, hiring, real estate services.

    The City of Melville has its major retail and commercial hub in Garden City Shopping Centre in Booragoon, with six supporting district commercial centres and 31 neighbourhood and local shopping centres.

    The Myaree Mixed Business precinct is the largest industrial area in the City and provides a diversity of business, retail and industrial functions, with a second industrial area in O'Connor accommodating larger scale manufacturing and traditional industrial uses.

  • Take a look at statistics and forecasts for population, demographics, economics and household profiles, provided by forecast.id, an independent organisation that provides data for councils across Australia and New Zealand.

    The analysis is based on results from the Censuses of Population and Housing and updated with data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

  • The organisation employs more than 700 full-time, part-time and casual employees, and provides more than 200 products and services including:

    • Recreation, sporting and aquatic facilities
    • libraries and museums
    • community centres
    • food inspection services
    • citizenships
    • waste and recycling
    • planning and building services
    • streetscapes and landscaping
    • disability services
    • immunisation clinics
    • cultural and educational centres
    • environmental preservation and management
    • control of bushfires, cats, dogs and parking
    • 24-hour neighbourhood security
    • children’s playgrounds
    • volunteer resources
    • support for community organisations

Suburb Profiles and Boundary Map

The City of Melville consists of 18 suburbs, divided into six wards.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about each suburb.

To find out more detail, what's on and services available in each suburb, check out our interactive map 'My Neighbourhood'.

Alfred Cove

Situated along a small bay of the Swan River, Alfred Cove was named in memory of Alfred Waylen, a pioneer landowner in the Melville district from 1834 - 1854.

Some notable facilities and highlights of the suburb are the Tompkins Park sporting facility; Atwell House - originally a farmhouse built by Master of Hounds for the WA Hunt Club now an arts hub; and The Cove - previously a rural homestead owned by Arthur and Muriel Groves, now a popular Indian restaurant.

The Alfred Cove shoreline has a pocket of estuarine marshland and mud flats which provide a breeding area for many species of bird life and is the end point for the annual migration of a large number of bird species from Siberia and northern China.

The water area is part of the Swan River Heritage Marine Park.

Applecross

One of the earliest suburbs in the City, Scottish business man and pioneer Alexander Matheson developed this area as part of the Melville Water Park Estate in 1896 and named it Applecross to remind him of his home village in Scotland.
 
Active during this early period was the old Coffee Point Shipyards and the Canning Bridge settlement.
 
Major features of Applecross include Heathcote Cultural Precinct, Canning Highway commercial area, Jeff Joseph Reserve, and foreshore areas.

Before European settlement, the area was part of the Wadjuk Beeliar peoples culture region, with the area bounded by Heathcote being of special significance – Nyoongar Elders have described the site Goolugatup, located on the Point Heathcote foreshore, as a meeting and birthing place.

The Heathcote Cultural Precinct is now a heritage-listed public open space, along with Applecross Primary School, Old District Hall, now the Tivoli Theatre, and the former Canning Bridge Hotel, built c.1896, now the Raffles Hotel.

Ardross

This suburb gets its name from the Scottish phrase “high part of Ross” and Ardross Castle in
Scotland. Many streets in this suburb take on a Scottish theme and are named after pioneers and politicians.
 
Ardross has the heritage-listed 40 hectare reserve Wireless Hill on its western border – a preserved urban bushland reserve containing varied bird life and remnant original bushland and wild flowers including 19 species of orchids. The site has a diverse Aboriginal and European history.
 
Ardross is also the home to the Shirley Strickland Reserve, named in honour of the 1940s and 50s Olympic sprinter and hurdler, and the Riseley Centre which is home to many popular restaurants, bars, commercial and retail stores.

Attadale

Attadale was part of the Wadjuk Beeliar culture area used for seasonal movement, hunting game and ceremonial purposes. The river foreshore provided a plentiful supply of fish, shellfish and birdlife for food and thus became a favoured camping place, while Burke Drive was an area where they mined quartz.

The suburb of Attadale takes its name from a village in Scotland situated on Loch Carron. A first subdivision of A.P. Matheson’s Melville Water Park Estate in 1896, it was known as the Attadale Town Site Estate.

Attadale has more than 40 hectares of total parkland area, making up more than 13 per cent of the total suburb area. Its numerous parks and reserves include Attadale Reserve, Troy Park and Alfred Cove Nature Reserve, which is a bird sanctuary and part of an ongoing foreshore regeneration scheme. It is also part of the Swan River Heritage Marine Park.

Bateman

Bateman borders on the Piney Lakes Reserve, which was of great spiritual and cultural significance to the original custodians of the area. Many artefacts have been found in the region.

Bateman is named after members of the Bateman family, who established their home 'Grasmere' at Bull's Creek in 1886. Originally a holiday home, 'Grasmere' eventually became the permanent residence of William Augustus Bateman, who was a farmer, timber cutter and producer of fruit and vegetables in the area.

Reserves such as the Bill Ellson and William Murray Park are in recognition of former early councillors of the Melville Roads Board.

Bicton

The whole of the Bicton area was of great cultural significance to local Aboriginals, especially Blackwall Reach, which provided a good fresh water supply and was an important camping and ceremonial ground.

Blackwall Reach, which contains a conservation reserve, has been identified as a significant site in terms of Aboriginal heritage. It is known as Jenalup or Dyundalup and the most sacred area is around the cliffs. The area was occupied by the Beeliar clan and is significant to women and children.

As first settler in the area of Bicton, John Hole Duffield was granted the land in 1841 and named it after the village Bicton in South Devon, UK.

Bicton contains more than 90 hectares of total parkland area - which makes up almost 30 per cent of the total suburb area.
 
Popular locations include the Point Walter Golf Course, Point Walter Reserve, and Bicton Quarrantine Park and Baths.

Booragoon

Local Aboriginals utilised the area bounded by Booragoon Lake as a popular camping area with ample food supplies and birdlife. The WA Museum has discovered evidence that the western side of the lake has been used as a camp site and food source for at least 38,000 years.

Today Booragoon Lake still provides refuge for a variety of birdlife. It forms part of the Beeliar Regional Park chain and supports a great richness and abundance of wildlife, providing habitat, refuge, breeding grounds and sources of food for animals.

The name Booragoon was derived from Aboriginal origin, believed to mean ‘south part of Canning’ possibly referring to the river.

The name of Booragoon’s shopping centre, Garden City, was to personify the Melville district at the time it was built in 1972. The district had suburbs containing large quarter-acre blocks with gardens and jacaranda-lined streets, and was known as the Garden City.

Brentwood

The suburb of Brentwood borders the waters of Bull Creek and would have been a camping and fishing area for the Aboriginal inhabitants. The proximity to Bull Creek ensures a variety of birdlife and river bank sedges provide food and habitat for native fauna.

Brentwood was named after a town in Essex, England. This was the original home of the Bateman family, who were early pioneers in the area and owners of the Bateman homestead 'Grasmere'.

Originally a holiday home, 'Grasmere' eventually became the permanent residence of William Augustus Bateman, who was a farmer, timber cutter and producer of fruit and vegetables in the area.

There is bushland and wetland contained within Bateman Park, as well as foreshore reserve at both Bateman and Thomas Middleton Parks.

Bull Creek

Prior to European settlement, the Wadjuk Beeliar people used the Bull Creek Wetlands as a summer source of food and fresh water.

The Bull Creek area is significant to the Beeliar Aborigines and is referred to as Gabbiljee which means the watery place at the end of the river.

The wetlands consist of a chain of damp land and wetland reserves from Brockman Avenue to Leach Highway and contain several attractive species of native wildflowers. They also support birdlife including the Pacific Blue Duck and the Splendid Wren as well as several types of frogs, snakes and lizards.

This suburb was originally known as Bull’s Creek and was named after Lieutenant Henry Bull of the
Royal Navy, who explored the Canning River and took up land in the area in 1830.

Bull Creek is the venue for the Royal Australian Air Force Memorial retirement estate which was first developed in 1971. Land in the estate was set aside for the Aviation Heritage Museum, which opened in 1979.

Kardinya

This suburb name is believed to be of Aboriginal origin meaning the place of the Karda, (Racehorse Goanna) although some earlier interpretations have included references to the rising sun.

Much of this area was originally farming land renowned for its piggeries, but part of it was the Somerville Pine Plantation and University of Western Australia Endowment Land.

The Emma George Park, formerly known as Stone Park in Stone Court, has heritage significance and is listed on the City of Melville's Municipal Inventory List. This site was part of the George family estate before subdivision, used as a tennis court as well as where they planted many of the existing trees.

Kardinya contains more than 45 hectares of parkland, including Frederick Baldwin Park, making up 11 per cent of the total suburb area.

Leeming

This suburb is named after George Waters Leeming, a Surveyor in the Department of Lands who surveyed this district in 1886.

Although mainly residential, Leeming is also home to the Melville Glades Golf Club, The Rec sporting centre and has more than 160 hectares of parkland making up more than 25 per cent of the total suburb area.

The City of Melville boundary runs through Leeming, so a small part of the suburb is under the care of the City of Canning.

Melville

In 1827, Captain James Stirling named Melville Water after Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty
1812 - 1830. The land adjacent to Melville Water became known as the Melville Water Park Estate
(later Applecross) when it was subdivided from 1896.

To the Aboriginal people, the area in Melville corner of High Road (now Leach Highway) and Stock Road was a significant site of a well-known fresh water spring.

Melville is home to the City’s major recreation facility LeisureFit and A.H. Bracks library complex at the corner of Canning Highway and Stock Road as well as the popular Kadidjiny park with its Dr Seuss inspired playscape.

Mount Pleasant

This area, known as Canning Bridge up to the 1940s, was named after the property of H.R. Simpson, when he settled in the area (c 1911).

Rowing was one of the earliest sports conducted on the Swan River in the 1880s and is still popular near the Mount Pleasant foreshore, reflected in the number of rowing clubs situated along the river's banks and to the south of Canning Bridge.

Mount Pleasant is home to 17 hectares of parkland, with bushland at Reg Seal Reserve, Canning River Foreshore Reserve, Deep Water Point, Mount Henry Bridge Reserve and Blue Gum Lake.

Blue Gum Lake forms part of the Beeliar Regional Park chain and supports a great richness and abundance of wildlife. It provides habitat, refuge, breeding grounds and sources of food for animals.

Murdoch

The suburb of Murdoch was part of the Somerville Pine Plantation which was University of WA Endowment land and a site of significance for the Aboriginal people.

An important natural feature in Murdoch is the Quenda Wetland found next to the intersection of South Street and Murdoch Drive. Although located near two major roads, it is a rich source of fauna, including the Fairy Wren, the Southern Brown Bandicoot or Quenda and the Long Necked Tortoise.

The wetland formed part of an Aboriginal transport route, dated as early as 38,000 years ago, and would have been used as a source of food and water.

Quenda Wetland forms part of the Beeliar Regional Park chain and supports a great richness and abundance of wildlife. It provides habitat, refuge, breeding grounds and sources of food for animals

The development of the Fiona Stanley Hospital and surrounding private and commercial services has been the catalyst for local and regional growth and development and will continue to generate economic investment and local employment opportunities.
 

Myaree

The name of this suburb is of Aboriginal origin and is thought to mean place of green foliage. This suburb developed in the late 1950s as the centre for light industry in Melville.

Many streets are named after men who served and died in the First World War.

Myaree is now home to a retail hub along Leach Highway which includes many major retail outlets.

Other features of Myaree include Marmion Reserve – home to a wetland as well as Pitman Park – named after Ella and George Pitman, who were bakers in Petra Street in East Fremantle and poultry farmers in the North Lake Road area.

Palmyra

The majority of this district was developed between 1901 and 1919 after the gold rush and was covered in Zamia Palms, which were toxic to stock and had to be removed. Without machinery, this was very difficult.
 
It is believed a competition was run to find a suitable name for the district and the name Palmyra (a
city in the Syrian Desert) was thought to be a play on the words “palm area”.

Most streets of Palmyra are named after Middle Eastern connections.

Palmyra has a spiritual connection to the Aboriginal dreaming creation story of the bobtail (yoorn) goanna and fresh water springs.

Willagee

This suburb was thought to be named after Wilgee Lake located in what is now Kardinya. The name Wilgee is a Noongar term meaning red ochre - Wilgee and other lakes in the area had an abundance of red ochre.

Willagee had important spiritual significance in The Dreaming because it was the place of the emu, where they bred.

Following a community request to create a project that would be symbolic and bring the community together the harmony bridge was installed in George Humes Park.

This is a collection of 75 pieces of artwork by local children and Willagee Community Centre users with messages of peace and living in harmony. It acknowledges the 13 different cultural groups residing in the suburb.

In 1999 George Humes Park located in front of the Willagee Library, was created to honour a well-respected Noongar boxer George Humes (1936– 1995).

The major parks and reserves of the suburb include Carawatha Park with its nature playscape, Winnacott Reserve, Webber Reserve, Harry Bailey Park and Harmony Park.

Winthrop

The area on which the suburb of Winthrop was established was university endowment trust land, much of which was developed as the Applecross Pine Plantation, later known as the Somerville Pine Plantation.
 
A major feature of the area is the Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre, which is situated on 68 hectares of bushland/parkland, known as Piney Lakes Reserve, which protects this native area and indigenous history. The area around Piney Lakes is of great significance to the traditional custodians of the land.

Piney Lakes forms part of the Beeliar Regional Park chain and supports a great richness and abundance of wildlife. It provides habitat, refuge, breeding grounds and sources of food for animals.

Winthrop was the middle name of Sir John Winthrop Hackett, founding editor of the West Australian and first Chancellor of the University of Western Australia (1912 - 1916).

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