Over the last few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about city and suburban divides. So many of my thoughts and connections stem from a very inner-city bubble. To balance that, I’ve often convinced myself that because I grew-up in the ‘burbs that I had a pretty good feel for the rhythms and patterns of suburban life.
But after so many years – I needed to challenge those assumptions, so I went back.
Have a listen:
What I wanted to know was ‘what’s it like to live in Mount Waverley in 2020?’ What makes it special for the people who live there and ‘what’s changed?’
Talking to a number of residents and visitors, I picked up on a real joy for the suburb that went beyond an appreciation of Mount Waverley’s gentleness and captured the suburb as a place where they could interact with businesses and appreciate some of the ‘vintage charm’ of the neighbourhood, something which really surprised me.
While I always knew Mount Waverley was a very multicultural part of Melbourne, it wasn’t until returning that I gained a real understanding of how its accessibility makes it such an attractive community for new Australians.
As a teenager, I always looked at the long stretches of road, brick veneer houses, the sporting fields and shopping malls as representing a very contemporary suburban experience.
In reality Melbourne has grown and expanded so much since I was a teenager. Mount Waverley is now ‘vintage’ and for a lot of people very attractive. Being thirty minutes out from the city by train actually doesn’t mean anything these days for Melbournians and for so many people, it’s a slice of calm and paradise.
(Photo: Mount Waverley, 2020)