Although there has been a tendency to minimise the importance of immigration to Australia by successive federal governments over the years since 1996, this has never really taken hold in Melbourne, which prides itself on being cosmopolitan to a degree rare in Australian cities. The large intake of emigrants from southern Europe following the Second World War remade Melbourne’s demographics – and its palate – for all time, as Greeks and Italians (and a sprinkling of other nationalities) made new lives for themselves far from war-wounded Europe.

Often, these emigrants were pushed into the areas with the cheapest real estate, which meant either inner city slums or trans-suburban farmland (which would in time become suburbs). The latter mostly happened on the far western and south eastern fringes of the city, where the sons and daughters of the Mediterranean would put millenia of skill at wresting crops from marginally productive soils to work.

After a few years, the government got involved in this process, seeking to formalise and streamline the manner in which new settlers found land to settle upon. And a large area south of the planned Cardinia Reservoir was set aside for Greek emigrants in particularly – dismissively referred to by the somewhat racist government of the day as place that could “be Con’s field”.

Suburbs near Beaconsfield:

Narre Warren East Emerald Emerald Dewhurst Pakenham Upper
Harkaway Beaconsfield Upper Dewhurst Dewhurst Pakenham Upper
Harkaway Guys Hill Beaconsfield Upper Beaconsfield Upper Pakenham Upper
Harkaway Guys Hill Beaconsfield Officer Pakenham
Berwick Beaconsfield Officer Officer Pakenham
Berwick Berwick Officer Officer Pakenham
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