The City of Greater Dandenong has a rich and diverse history. This is reflected in historical sites that show the changing face of our City, and in the valuable contributions made by indigenous Australians and people from all over the world who came to make their home here.
The City of Greater of Dandenong protects, manages, promotes and celebrates its history and heritage in many ways. By recording and celebrating the history, culture and the achievements of the people of Greater Dandenong, we are teaching understanding and appreciation of our heritage.
Effective management today will ensure that things of value, beauty and importance to the community are preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Dandenong Markets - A Part of Our Heritage Since 1866
The Dandenong Markets provided a weekly venue for trade in livestock, fresh produce and goods since their official opening on 10 October 1866.
The markets first operated from a site at Lonsdale and McCrae Streets and were moved to their present location on Clow Street in 1926‚??27. The stockyards found a larger home on Cheltenham Road in 1958. The Dandenong Stock Market was the last municipal owned and operated facility in Victoria, closing on 22 December 1998.
The growth and prosperity of Dandenong were closely linked to the success of the markets from the earliest days. They provided a direct outlet for all manner of animals, for fresh market garden and dairy products, and for a wide variety of household, craft and industrial goods and services. For many, Dandenong was known as ‚??the Gateway to Gippsland‚?Ě.
The markets were the main contributors to economic success and social wellbeing up to and including the period of World War II, after which there was enormous growth and industrial change. The Produce and Goods Market, known simply as the Dandenong Market, remains a vital operation in the heart of Dandenong, continuing the proud tradition and providing a unique shopping experience.
Capturing the History of the Livestock Market
The Dandenong Markets Heritage Project was developed to record, preserve and interpret market history and, with the closure of the Stock Market in 1998, to create a public celebration of the market‚??s heritage and a body of reference material for the future.
The Project examined:
The cultural heritage significance of the site and its unique physical fabric.
The social and economic importance of the market for Dandenong, surrounding areas of south-eastern Victoria, and the livestock industry in the State.
The recollections of people for whom the stock market was the focus of a way of life.
The Project presented this information to the public through:
Heritage Celebrations in September 1998
These included a civic reception, the unveiling of information panels detailing the history and significance of the Dandenong Markets, and a street parade of live animals, vintage cars and trucks and crowds of people in period costume, recreating a time when livestock were driven to market through the streets of Dandenong.
Interpretive Heritage Panels, Contemporary Images and Exhibits
Historic images and information about both markets as well as contemporary photographs of the stock market were compiled and displayed through the City.
Six heritage panels provide colourful, accessible and permanent interpretive material about the markets. They reflect market history, economic and social themes, and the personalities and families. When viewed as a whole, the information creates a fascinating picture.
The heritage panels, along with contemporary images by award winning photographers, Sharyn Meade and Mark Wilson, formed the core of an exhibit at Heritage Hill through March, April and May 1999.
Also displayed at Heritage Hill were objects and signs recovered from the stock market and archival records relating to the operations and history of the market. These complimented the existing display in the ‚??Markets Room‚?Ě at Heritage Hill.
An archival photographic record of the closing days of the Dandenong Stock Market was produced and photographs were displayed at the Springvale Library during the Heritage Celebrations in September 1998.
Information Talks and a Publication
During Heritage Festival Week in April 1999 the Dandenong Markets exhibit was officially launched and a public talk given by the City‚??s Heritage Officer.
In cooperation with author Jenny Ferguson and the Dandenong District Historical Society, the Heritage Planning Unit published and distributed the booklet, A Concise History of the Dandenong Markets.
The booklet is illustrated with historic archival images of the markets. The text of the booklet also appeared in the Society‚??s publication, Gipps Land Gate.
On 22 December 1998, the final day of sales, the City printed and distributed a handbill detailing the significance of the Dandenong Stock Market over the course of its long and distinguished history.
The stock market site has been identified in the City of Greater Dandenong Stage One Heritage Study as requiring a Stage Two evaluation for cultural heritage significance.
After consultation with Heritage Victoria, an assessment of heritage value was undertaken by a professional industrial archaeologist/historian. The market site was judged to have local historical and social significance because of its formative role in the growth and development of Dandenong and surrounding regions.
The recollections and stories of the people who worked at the market, sold and purchased stock or contributed to the history of the market in other ways have been gathered through the Heritage Planning Unit and Benga Oral History Program's Stock Market Oral History Project.
The individuals interviewed were able to provide detailed information, coloured with meaning and character, on topics such as the operations of the market; the stockmen, farmers, graziers and dairymen who used the market; auctioneers and livestock transport agents; and the meat industry which grew up around the market.
These interviews can be accessed through the oral history audio tapes and written transcriptions at Benga, Heritage Hill Dandenong. The Heritage Unit will continue to update material about the Dandenong Stock Market and welcomes any contributions.
Stock Market Memorabilia
In 2001, the Dandenong Agricultural & Pastoral Society (DAPS) obtained a Centenary of Federation grant to relocate and conserve the former milker cattle sale ring from the livestock market. The ring has been relocated to Greaves Reserve in Bennett Street - the home of the annual Dandenong Show.