The East Melbourne Group, believed to be the earliest residents’ association in Melbourne, was established in 1953.
It began when a small group of people joined forces to prevent the destruction of elm trees in the streets of East Melbourne. The Melbourne City Council, in its wisdom at the time, wanted to remove the street trees to make way for more car parking spaces.
The magnificent canopy of elms at the eastern end of George Street remains testament to this early resistance.
The Group has gone on to remain at the forefront of preserving the character, amenity, ambience and architecture of this unique and historic precinct.
In the 60s and 70s, given the then lack of wide sympathy with the causes of heritage protection ond conservation of amenity, EMG did what it could to stem the destruction of heritage buildings in East Melbourne as many fine buildings were demolished to make way for blocks of apartments.
Although there has been a greater understanding of these issues in more recent decades, vigilance is still needed to stand up to inappropriate development unsympathetic to East Melbourne and Jolimont’s character.
In 2017 the East Melbourne Group recently commissioned one of its members (and East Melbourne Historical Society President) Jill Fenwick to write a history of our first 50 years. The Residents Who Roared is now available to purchase online either direct from Amazon here or through the East Melbourne Historical Society website here. It is currently only available in a Kindle edition (our bid for a grant from the Public Records Office to support a print edition was not successful), but you can download the free Kindle App from Amazon to read it on any device.