History and heritage

The City of Port Phillip has a long history and a rich heritage. First Peoples have lived here for over 50,000 years.


FIRE! commemorates 30 years since the St Kilda Town Hall fire by telling the story of this event and its aftermath through images, music and recollections.

Sunday 7 April, 1991, St Kilda Town Hall fire

First Peoples local history and culture

The Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung are the first people of the Port Phillip area. Find out more about First Peoples local history and culture within the City of Port Phillip.

Ngargee held on Emerald Hill (today the site of the South Melbourne Town Hall) in 1840. A corroboree on Emerald Hill in 1840, 1875, W. F. E. Liardet. Courtesy State Library of Victoria

William Archibald Paterson, Saltwater Lagoon from Sugar Works, 1873, PPCC

Histories of Port Phillip

Explore our many histories and share our diverse local heritage.

Heritage Centre 

The Port Phillip Heritage Centre provides access to historic records, collections, public programs and Local History research services.

Emerald Hill Library and Port Phillip Heritage Centre, 195 Banks Street, South Melbourne.

Things to do

Art and heritage programs have moved online while the Port Phillip Heritage Centre is temporarily closed in response to the impact of COVID-19.

Port Phillip City Collection

The Port Phillip City Collection (PPCC), dating from 1855, celebrates the social, cultural, political and artistic development of the City of Port Phillip and its former municipalities of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda.

Explore the online collection

Thomas Clark (1814-1852), Red Bluff (Elwood Before Levelling), 1860s, oil on canvas, 52 x 80 cm

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