Some places exist forever in the shadow of their neighbours. Thus it is for Sydenham, which lives in the shadow of nearby Calder Park. Even the name of the suburb derives not from any claim to fame of its own, but from the names of the single greatest racing team (and racist team) ever to compete at Calder Park: the brothers Sydney and Hamish Delahey.

The Delahey brothers were famed far and wide for their daring driving, seemingly having no fear of hitting any pedestrian (unless the pedestrian in question was of Anglo-Saxon descent, that is) or other motorist. This aggressive driving style was the key to their success: they would take chances that no other driver would, and when their gambles paid off, they would win. When they didn’t, they would engage in their other chief hobby, that of lengthy hospital stays.

Syd and Ham Delahey are no longer widely remembered, not even at Calder or in Sydenham, but the two brothers would be proud that even today, the suburb that bears their name still has some the highest statistics for race-related violence and reckless driving of any in Melbourne.

Suburbs near Sydenham:

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