We spend a day with local photographer Lauren Bamford, as she takes us on a tour of some of her local favourite places in the neighbourhood.

The Locals by Lauren Bamford

The Brunswick East we know today has its origins in 1839, when Robert Hoddle instructed that the land bounded by Merri Creek and Moonee Ponds Creek, and what is now Park Street and Moreland Road, be divided into large farming allotments.

Within a decade, this predominantly agricultural landscape began to transform. The gold rush generated demand for building materials, and the area’s natural deposits of clay for bricks and bluestone for houses and roads saw the quarrying industry flourish. So too, related industries, like pottery, tile-making, and the manufacture of sanitary ware.

Further industrialisation followed in the form of sawmills and turning mills, furniture-making, iron and steel-working, gas and coke manufacture, rope-making, and glass works.

After World War 1, hosiery and textile factories also started to proliferate, with a total of three hundred in operation by 1930. Then came the great depression. Deeply felt in the area, it thrust many residents into hardship and poverty.

The end of World War II brought local industry back to life and waves of immigrants to their new home across this inner north locale; Italian and Greek first, then Turkish, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and other nationalities. The suburb’s reputation as a melting pot—a community of communities—began to take shape.