Origin of Ward Names
Yarra’s three wards are named after influential people who lived in each of the three areas that make up the City of Yarra.
The Nicholls Ward takes its name from Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls, the revered sportsman, Aboriginal community leader and statesman who was associated with Fitzroy for many years.
Born in 1906 at the Cummeragunja Mission station, Pastor Nicholls shifted to Melbourne in 1927 to further his football career. He was also a talented boxer (with the Jimmy Sharman Troupe) and an accomplished sprinter. In 1943 he was working at the Gore Street Church. With the formation of the Aborigines Advancement League in 1956 he was appointed as field officer. In 1962 he was made a M.B.E. and in 1963 he became the first Aboriginal Justice of the Peace in Victoria. Pastor Nicholls was subsequently knighted and went on to assume the post of Governor of South Australia but it is for his early work in Fitzroy that he is often remembered.
The Langridge Ward takes its name from George David Langridge, a prominent 19th century mayor of Collingwood, Member of Parliament, Acting Premier and housing developer, after whom Langridge Street is named.
George David Langridge (1829-1891) worked as a carpenter on the building of Melbourne's military barracks, then established his own contracting business. In 1869 he opened an auctioneering and estate agency firm. By 1881 he had established three building societies, the most important being the Langridge Mutual Permanent Building Society. In 1866 he had been elected to the Collingwood Town Council and was mayor in 1867 and 1872. In 1874-91 Langridge represented Collingwood in the Legislative Assembly.
Melba Ward takes its name from Dame Nellie Melba, the international opera singer, who grew up at Doonside in Richmond. The Melba Conservatorium of Music is located in this ward.
Helen Porter Mitchell (1861-1931) adopted the professional name Melba to acknowledge her birthplace, Melbourne. She began to study singing seriously in 1882. Following appearances in Sydney and London, she made her operatic debut in Brussels in 1887.
Melba went on to perform in London, Paris and New York before returning to Australia to tour in 1902. She founded a women's singing school in Melbourne and wrote a singing manual and memoir.
Strategic Planning Branch
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