Update on Headlie Taylor’s House

Drove past 129 Durham Road today to see this:

hocking stuart 129 durham

Yes, the home of Headlie Taylor, a property of historical significance to Sunshine, is up for sale.

Interesting to see that neither the billboard, nor the agent’s website mentions heritage overlay.  But the ad does refer to the new owner perhaps renovating and notes that anything else would be subject to council approval.

hocking stuart ad close up

However, a brief revisit of Council website was not reassuring…. I will need to look into the following quick points I noted:

  1. The Heritage Victoria Database has this house listed as 131 Durham Road and classified as part of a ‘precinct of significance’ where as other houses in this precinct also get classification as an ‘individual place of significance’.
  2. The listing with Heritage Victoria registers a weatherboard residence built in 1920 and makes no mention of the brick.
  3. This coming Tuesday, 22 April 2014, Brimbank council agenda shows that Report 3 Brimbank Planning Scheme Amendment C167 – Heritage Gaps Report and Heritage Policy Review will be presented to Council.  The report identifies gaps where places of heritage are not currently included in the Brimbank Planning Scheme. One of the heritage gaps this report identifies is Headlie Taylor’s house.  However, the report then excludes it from being included in the Brimbank Planning Scheme as it currently has a planning permit request being considered.

What I’m worried about is that failure to include this property in the planning scheme will leave it at continued risk of demolition, which may even end up occurring simply by the owner leaving it to rot further for several years.

And have we come to the point where we identify something as culturally significant but fail to grant it the protections of our heritage strategy just because the current owner asked to demolish it over a year ago??

Or is there another reason?  Gonna try and get to the council meeting…. anyone wanna come along?


22 April 2014

Council Chamber, Municipal Offices

6-18 Alexandra Ave


**Please note I normally don’t post this quickly without doing my research so I acknowledge that I may be wrong about the benefits of including the property in the BPS… I’ll investigate that before Tuesday.

**For the long boring history of me writing about this house, check out my posts categorised as ‘History’ – also read the comments on those posts.  Lots of locals share their memories of the house.


Edited 22 April 2014 to add:  Well I managed to fuck that up.  I submitted a question to be answered by Council at tonight’s meeting and arrived at the 7pm meeting at (I SWEAR!!) 7:01pm…. to find doors locked and no access to the meeting. After 5 minutes a very kind cleaner let me in, only to be told that the meeting had already moved past that item on the agenda and Council will respond to my question in writing.

I was back in the car driving home by 7:09pm.  Lets see how long it takes to get that written response.

Posted in History | 8 Comments

Silent Protest against Domestic Violence – Sunshine

I’m sure most local residents are now aware of the murder of a woman in Sunshine last week.

Active community member Sophie Dutertre sent this email the day after:

As someone who lives in the West and feels a strong attachment to this community, I do not want the death of this woman to be just a news item for a day, and to disappear from consciousness as soon as her killer has been found and that we all feel safe again.

When Jill Meagher was killed in September 2012, many of us took part in a silent march in Sydney Rd to make it clear we do not tolerate violence against women. The murder of Jill Meagher was random, and we could identify with her in many ways. Yesterday’s murder was not random, and the victim’s life experience, it seems, was very different from that of most of us. It does not make her death less intolerable.

I would like to suggest that whoever is available gathers on Tuesday next week, 22nd April at 5pm at the corner of Devonshire and Hampshire Rd in silent protest to honour the woman who was killed and her life, and to send a message that we do not tolerate violence against women, in Sunshine or elsewhere.

There may be 3 of us or there may be 20, who knows! I would be grateful if you can circulate this to your Westie friends, share it on local facebook pages or whichever way you see fit.

The idea was very quickly picked up by other residents, groups and promoted by Greens MP Colleen Hartland on Facebook, with over 580 people pledging to attend so far.

Sophie has asked that people join the creative community response:  Knit, sew, weave, crochet, fold a heart to bring in memory of this brave woman.


Tuesday 22nd April

Corner of Devonshire and Hampshire Rd in Sunshine

red heart

Posted in Crime | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In defence of Sunshine….

We got a little write up in the Hun today.

Local resident Matthew Schulz and colleague Blanche Clark wrote a piece to counteract the often negative publicity Sunshine receives.

Have a read and let me know if you think it hits the right positive notes…. did they miss (or misrepresent) anything from your experience of living in Sunshine. Or do you just love to see something positive about the place for once!

Of course, if you want more of the negative…. read the comments too.

Click on picture for article

Click above for article

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Tatts me outta here…

Not much into any form of gambling myself but it can have devastating effects on individuals, families and communities.

What a sad and sorry story this was – lucky punter presents winning ticket at Sunshine Marketplace Tattslotto outlet and walks away with winnings of over $7000 in cash!

Lucky punter discovers next day that actual prize was nearly $30,000.  Agent charged, convicted, sentenced to jail time and now unlicensed and unemployed.  Stupid decisions really can fuck your life up.

But, I have wondered why the Tattslotto outlet sat empty since – if it’s not being used, pull it out. There is some truth to the saying that lotteries are taxation on stupidity so why not put something useful there?

Noticed a couple of weeks ago that it has finally been boarded off and a note added saying ‘Closed for refurbishment’…. any comments or suggestions on what might or should appear there next?

Tattslotto outlet


By the way, I can’t blame the Herald Sun for accidentally saying the agent was located in Sunshine Plaza instead of Sunshine Marketplace – it took me 2.5 years to work out which was which!

Posted in Crime | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Short cut cut off

One of the most convenient short cuts in Melbourne has been lost to Western Suburbs drivers.

Entrances and exits to Andy's Servo now blocked off

Entrances and exits to Andy’s Servo now blocked off

Naughty but gee this came in handy sometimes to get slightly ahead of traffic turning in to Anderson Road.

This servo has not been selling petrol for the 3.5 years I’ve lived in Sunshine but sometimes I see the roller doors up and some nicely restored older cars up on the hoist.

All the entrances were recently blocked off – I imagine the owners were made to do it at the behest of Vic roads or Council.

Prime location but what can you build on an old petrol station?



Posted in History, Styles of Sunshine, Surburban infrastructure | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Should we buy a house in Sunshine?

Kathleen posted this comment this afternoon and I thought I’d open up her question for your input as well.  Add your comments!

“We just looked at a house in Sunshine today that we really like…. I am now researching Sunshine to see what the future may hold for it. Basically hoping to see that it has potential for turning into a place with similarities to Yarraville. At the moment it’s hard to see as there is so much work being done, but surely all of the work can only make the suburb more liveable. We are in Footscray at the moment and we love the fact that it is affordable (renting, not buying), close to the city, transport, great places to eat and parks.

This blog seems to be on the same path as I am. We don’t have long to decide on this house though! Is it worth taking the risk?? All we want is to be able to do the things we need to do without always needing to leave the suburb in order to do it – shop, eat, play tennis etc.”

My (rushed!) thoughts are:

  1. It’s not going to get any cheaper here. Both real estate industry and Government’s metropolitan planning strategy predict that Sunshine is about to take off.  Real estate has been touting the benefits and affordability of Sunshine for the last 18 months. If you wait, you may not be able to afford.
  2. If you love Footscray, be careful of wishing for Yarraville.  My judgy and mostly uninformed opinion is that Yarraville is lovely, but has a fair bit of wanky, hipster stuff going on  - where doing everything in your suburb costs a bloody fortune just because it’s the ‘Ville. Footscray retains a bit of grunge, still has cheap options and is never boring! I imagine Sunshine will gentrify in a similar way.
  3. Yarraville has a ‘village’ layout where as Sunshine still contains a lot of it’s industrial history and is carved in half by a huge rail line that’s getting widened as we speak.  I don’t think Sunshine will gentrify into that ‘village style’ – however that’s a lot different to ‘community feel’ of which I believe we have plenty.
  4. I do, however, believe we are gentrifying – but it takes a long time.  If you moved in tomorrow, you could do most of things you wanted in the suburb but might find better choice/variety/quality a few kilometres closer to the CBD.  However, I’m convinced that those benefits of genetrification will increase over the next 5 years.  And see point 1!
  5. Either way, I wish you luck house hunting.  I’ve never regretted moving to Sunshine – it’s a great place to live.
Posted in Gentrification, Surburban infrastructure | 13 Comments

What is missing from this picture?

end of an era

Sunshine Road

Might be hard to recognise this house but what’s more remarkable is what is missing from the photo.  It’s been at least three to four weeks since I’ve seen it there….. could it really be gone forever??

Please let me know the date of your last confirmed sighting in the comments.

Posted in Styles of Sunshine | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Growing up Sunshine

I really loved reading the comments below posted on the blog by Pete L. last month – gave me an insight into the Sunshine of years ago before I arrived.

I think some of these sides of Sunshine are still visible…. some are hidden and others are gone.  What do you think?  And were his experiences. your experiences?

“Sunshine. The place of my birth……..The land of pot holes, burnt-out car bodies, thistles, tiger snakes, local Golf Courses, mud tracks, the Kororoit Creek, Massey Ferguson,Click-Clacks, late trains, Factory smells, screeching tyres, Skin stall smells, late buses, Tequila Sunrises, Crackers, loud parties, (Skyhooks + ACDC), dogs barking, the Shops, Cops, more smells, the Pub, hand-me-down clothes, portable class rooms, sport, Monday Assemblies, Flag raising + singing the (God Save the Queen), Yo-Yos, Pop-Guns, Marbles, pigeons, Sunday Steam Trains, School Fetes, Miller Shirts, Pinball Machines, Bouncers, Sheilas, Shelter-Sheds, Bands, love, Treads, riding bikes, Pram-Drags, Bags of Lollies, Moon Landings and hard working Parents.
They were good days, good friends, and good times.
Life was simpler then, and we all made & had fun. :)

“I grew up with the wogs, in Sunshine West 42 years ago. And when I say wogs, there was never a better bunch of people that I had the privilege of knowing & growing up with. Greeks, Italians, Turks, Maltese, Germans, Egyptians, the list goes on. This gave me an opportunity to experience, not only other cultures, customs, sports and culinary delights, but friendships & mateship that I will always appreciate.
I am proud to be born in Sunshine and have lived in Sunshine West. :)

And if anyone can help me to understand what ‘click clacks’, ‘skin stalls’ and ‘pram drags’ are, I’d really appreciate it ;-)

Posted in History, Styles of Sunshine, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Rising sun

Haven’t caught a train from Sunshine in weeks.  Nice to see the rising sun emblem painted at the top of the underpass stairs to City Place.

train station rising sun


Am guessing it is related to Council’s fish painting escapades….. still not sure what they represent.

road fish 1


footpath fish 1



Posted in Council, Culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Emerge Festival – Sunday 10 November

With still no word from Brimbank Council about whether we will get a Brimbank Festival next year, the good news is the second Emerge Festival is on this Sunday!


Run in conjunction with Multicultural Arts Victoria, it offers a program of free arts and culture, showcasing local refugee and emerging communities who now call Brimbank home.

Fingers crossed for good weather – see you in St Albans!


Posted in Culture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment