Saturday, October 3, 2009

About Eltham

Eltham is a suburb of around 25,000 people on the north-eastern fringe of Melbourne, Victoria.

The early pioneers of the suburb arrived in the 1840s. Major Charles Newman, a retired soldier who served in the East India Company, was one of the first to arrive in the district. He built a homestead in 1843 just across the Yarra River from Eltham which is still standing.

Eltham has long been associated with the arts. In 1903 one of the most prominent of Australian painters, Walter Withers, settled here. In 1935 the remarkable artists' colony of Montsalvat was founded in Eltham.

Eltham is known for its gum trees. It's a leafy suburb, with many parks, on the urban fringe. We still have a lot of native wildlife here: it's possible to sight kangaroos, koalas, tawny frogmouths, wombats, echidnas, platypuses, possums, sugar gliders, kookaburras, as well as a host of colourful Australian birds, particularly rainbow lorikeets, king parrots and eastern rosellas.

It's a great place for raising families, with good schools, many walking and cycling paths, a community farm, an excellent library complex, sporting clubs and lots of open space.