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.

Interior of Purvis Bros. shop, 334 Clarendon Street, Jubilee History of South Melbourne, 1905.

Clarendon Street Stories

Discover the history and stories of Clarendon Street’s businesses and traders, then and now, through a self-guided walk along Clarendon Street, part of the Open House Melbourne program for 2022.

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.

Port Phillip Heritage Centre & Local History services 

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 are on across the city, both online and in person. Check this page for the latest.

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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