Visual Sociology of Avondale Heights, Melbourne

Avondale Heights is a Northern municipality in Melbourne, a stone’s throw from Maribyrnong. This photo is of the giant steel fish, the Seychelles Blenny. It featured on Australia’s 10 cent stamp in 2003 and a sculpture of it was used in the 2006 Olympics ceremony in Melbourne.

The 2011 Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Avondale Heights has a slightly older population (median age of 43 years versus 37 years for all of Australia). These residents are slightly more likely to be married (55%), working full time in paid employment (62%), and a fewer proportion studying (24%).

Just over 53% of residents are born in Australia. The rest are from Italy (11.5%), Vietnam (5%), Greece (3%), Croatia (2%) & India (2%). This is what interests me about this area: its diversity. Earlier waves of migrants settled here, mostly from Southern Europe. They have been upwardly mobile, with their children moving into the professional class. Over 66% of residents have two parents born overseas & a further 9.4% have at least one parent who is a migrant.

Together this means that 75% of residents are either first or second generation migrants.

More than half of residents are Catholic (51%). This is twice the national rate (25%).

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