Moreland, 7 km north of central 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 Australian and Victorian heritage registers.

Residential area

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 constructed 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. On 15 December 1994 it was expanded by the addition of the southern parts of Broadmeadows city, Glenroy, Oak Park, Fawkner and Hadfield. Its area is 51 sq km and its boundaries are Western Ring Road (north), Merrie Creek and Newlands area (east), Park Street (south) and the Moonee Ponds Creek.

The city inherited the former council’s public transport services, along with Brunswick’s appellation of ‘people’s republic’, a reference to its left-of-centre practices and policies. Public transport includes two tram lines through Brunswick and Coburg to Bell Street and a third along Sydney Road to beyond Bell Street. The Sydney Road tram is paralleled by a train to Upfield. As well as the Ring Road on the north, the Tullamarine Freeway/City Link follows the Moonee Ponds Creek valley.

Moreland city’s population is just over half English-speaking at home (2011 census), compared with 72% for Victoria. There is considerable diversity, however between the council’s southern (Brunswick) and northern (Fawkner) parts.

2011 census Brunswick Coburg Fawkner
Languages used at home as % of all census respondents
Italian 7.0 11.5 18.4
Greek 5.9 7.1 4.6
Arabic 2.9 5.7 10.6
Employment occupations as % of all employment
Professionals 38.4 27.9 16.4
Technicians and trades workers 9.2 12.7 15.5
Labourers 5.0 7.0 13.4
Machinery operators and drivers 2.7 4.7 10.5
Median income of residents as % of Victorian median
  122 98 65

Moreland city’s census populations have been:

census date population
1996 136,550
2001 130,531
2006 135,764
2011 147,241

Further Reading

Richard Broome, Coburg between two creeks, Melbourne, 1987

City of Moreland: thematic history, Moreland City, 2010


Brunswick and Coburg cities entries and Fawkner, Glenroy and Hadfield entries