Footscray, Victoria

From Academic Kids

Footscray is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its Local Government Area is the City of Maribyrnong. Central Footscray is characterised by a very diverse, multicultural central shopping area, which reflects the successive waves of immigration experienced by Melbourne, and by Footscray in particular. The suburb is named after the English village of Foots Cray.



The inner western suburbs of Melbourne have traditionally been undesirable as residential areas due to nearby heavy industry. The affordability of housing and availability of employment opportunities in these areas have made them attractive to new migrants. Greek and Italian migrants arrived in the 1950s and 1960s, followed by Vietnamese in the 1970s and 1980s. Although Footscray remains a magnet for new migrants, most recently for migrants from Sudan and Ethiopia, there has been rapid gentrification as younger Australians seek affordable period housing close to the Melbourne Central Business District.

The mall area and surrounding streets still have a poor reputation as a site of drug deals, particularly heroin. However, the drug trade has declined in the past several years.

The Footscray Market is one of the cheapest fresh produce (particularly seafood) markets in Melbourne, catering particularly to the various ethnicities and local restaurants. Restaurants are generally Vietnamese/Chinese, however there are several East African cafe restaurants, some Indian restaurants and a pub that serves modern Australian food.

Sport and Culture

Footscray is home of the Western Bulldogs, an Australian rules football team which plays in the Australian Football League. The team was known as the Footscray Football Club until 1997, and played its home games at the Whitten Oval on Barkly Street.

Flemington Racecourse, the home of the Melbourne Cup, is across the Maribyrnong River to the Northeast.


Lonely Planet Publications offices are located in southern Footscray, along the banks of the Maribyrnong River.

The eastern portion of Footscray, in the fork between the Yarra River and Maribyrnong River, contains railway yards, the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, and Appleton and Swanston Docks and related container terminals, site of the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute in Melbourne.


See also



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