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Melbourne Water Docklands, Victoria

Formerly The Board of Works and Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), Melbourne Water is owned by the Victorian Government.

For 120 years we have managed Melbourne’s water supply catchments, treated and supplied drinking and (more recently) recycled water, removed and treated most of Melbourne’s sewage and managed waterways and major drainage systems in the Port Phillip and Westernport region.

We are also responsible for managing a large number of historic places and objects. These assets tell us about social changes, technical and creative achievements, and provide a tangible link to past events, processes and people.

As detailed in our cultural heritage strategy, it is our responsibility to not only maintain and protect these valuable assets, but when such infrastructure is no longer used, to ensure heritage values are documented and protected.

Contact Information

location
Melbourne Water PO Box 4342 Melbourne Vic 3001 (map)

Contact

Location

990 La Trobe Street Docklands Victoria

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The Melbourne Water collection consists of many historical objects, photographs, documents, films and oral histories ranging from the late 1800s up until the early years of 2000. Items that can be found within the collection are souvenirs, glassware, signs, textiles, books, photographs and documents relating to places such as the Metropolitan Farm (WTP), the Maroondah System, Yan Yean, Upper Yarra and the Silvan Reservoir. Also included are reports such as sewerage reports, annual reports and review of operations, as well as staff magazines and newsletters that were once distributed by the organisation itself. Promotional material is also included in this collection as well as tapes, DVD’s and CD’s relating to the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) and Melbourne Water. There are also many slides and negatives relating to Melbourne’s waterways that are stored in the collection.

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42 items

42 items

Photograph - Turning Of The First Sod

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Black and white photograph

Historical information

The 19th of May marks the anniversary of the turning of the first sod of the outfall sewer. In 1888, a Royal Commission into Melbourne’s public health led to an ambitious plan to construct a sewerage system of underground pipes, sewers and drains to carry sewage from homes and factories to a sewage treatment farm. The commission also supported the establishment of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), the authority that would build the sewerage system and manage Melbourne’s water supply. This photograph is from The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Water Supply, Sewerage, and etc Photographic Views, 1908

Significance

This photograph is in excellent condition and provides a detailed insight into Board personnel of the MMBW. It is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne in the turning of the very first sod.

MMBW briefcase

Melbourne Water, Docklands

MMBW brown leather briefcase with MMBW gold embossed on the lid.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This MMBW briefcase is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This item is perfectly intact and a rare surviving object of standard Board issued accessories. The briefcase is significant for its representativeness of the theme Staff and in building Victoria's industries and workforce, which continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today. The style of this briefcase also demonstrates early 19th century design.

Dish - The Outlet at Maroondah Dam, Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Small white porcelain dish with silver trim, 120x75x10mm, with drawing printed in the centre and text reading, "The Outlet, Maroondah Dam, Healesville, Vic."

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir dish illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item represents an important historical aspect of the MMBW by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. The souvenir dish is significant for its documentation of the Maroondah Water Supply System developed through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, shaping the formative years of Melbourne. The dish is also historically significant for its association with the MMBW and is viewed as a noteworthy achievement of the organisation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Makers mark, Manufactured in Czechoslovakia

Staff Newsletter - Gwen Hardy, First Woman Commissioner

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. Born on the 5th of August,1926, Margaret Gwen Hardy was the very first Commissioner of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) and was appointed in 1975, a major victory for women at the time. This was the first time in the 84 year history of the organisation. Hardy had also been a Lilydale Councillor and went on to become the first female Shire President. Along with her work commitments as part of the Board, Hardy was the wife of Dr. Bill and had three children, two sons and a daughter. Next door to her home in Mt Evelyn was her husband’s surgery, where Hardy also worked part-time as a Manager. Hardy was also involved with the Lilydale High School Mother’s Club, she was the President of the Mt. Evelyn Environment Protection and Progress Association, on the Advisory Council of Monbulk High School and was the Secretary of the Lilydale Citizens Advisory Service at the time.

Significance

This staff newsletter highlights the historically significant achievement of Cr. Gwen Hardy becoming the first female commissioner to work at the Board in 84 years. This captured achievement highlights women's career advancement at the MMBW and within the Victorian public service, whilst having historic and social associations with the many women's rights movements in the 1970s.

Photograph - North Cocoroc State Primary School

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. The township of Cocoroc was created in 1894 at the Metropolitan Sewage Farm (now the Western Treatment Plant) to house the workers it employed. The name 'Cocoroc' means 'frog' in the language of the Wathaurung people — the Traditional Owners of the land the treatment plant was built on. By the early 1950s there were nearly 100 houses, a town hall, football ground (and team), swimming pool, tennis courts, four schools and a post office, and by the 1970s some 500 people were living in Cocoroc. As it became too expensive for the MMBW to subsidise, Cocoroc was abandoned. By 1973 most of the houses and other buildings were demolished or moved to Werribee. All that is left now of Cocoroc are two small, empty, concrete swimming pools, a few weatherboard sheds and a big iron water tank.

Significance

This photograph detailing an exterior view of the North Cocoroc State Primary School, is historically significant as it captures children at play within a purpose built community. The School that was one of four was built to educate the children of the MMBW workers. As the school no longer exists, this photograph is the only tangible evidence left of the building, also showcasing the style of buildings in this era.

Glass Bowl - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Glass bowl with a photograph of the Maroondah Dam in the middle, and text overlay reading "Maroondah Dam, Healesville".

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Souvenir Manicure Set - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This rare pocket grooming kit features a scene of the Maroondah Outlet and Dam. The handle is manufactured from mother-of-pearl, encasing four steel utensils. The utensils contained inside the kit were used for filing and manicuring.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on the back of the last utensil is the manufacturer’s mark “ELOSI”. ELOSI is the acronym from Ernest Lohr and Otto Stiehl of Solingen, Germany. In 1935, this company was the first to manufacture thin plastic covers for low cost (5-25 cents). This is one of the most successful and profitable inventions in the history of cutlery and utensils.

MMBW Hand Tool "Pick"

Melbourne Water, Docklands

MMBW hand tool, "Pick" with wooden handle and 'MMBW 'stamped on the metal head.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This hand tool is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This tool is a rare surviving object of standard Board issued equipment. It is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Technology in building Victoria's industries and workforce, which continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today.

Souvenir Porcelain Milk Jug

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This souvenir white-glazed porcelain milk jug features gold trim and an illustration of the Maroondah Outlet in the centre, with the transfer “Maroondah Dam, Healesville, Vic”.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir milk jug has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. Additionally, this item is aesthetically significant as it represents the style and design of the early 1900s.

Souvenir Salt and Pepper Shakers

Melbourne Water, Docklands

These souvenir salt and pepper shakers feature glass bodies, wooden handles and plastic lids. The salt and pepper shakers are decorated with pictures of koalas, kangaroos and a map of Australia. The text “Maroondah Dam, Vic” has been inscribed on the wooden handles.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

These souvenir salt and pepper shakers have been curated by Melbourne Water as they represent an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. Additionally, the salt and pepper shakers are aesthetically pleasing as the blue glass and wooden handles demonstrate the design and style of the 1970s.

Untitled

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Gold key ring with the MMBW seal.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. The seal incorporates the coat of arms of Melbourne and the United Kingdom, and the motto of the board 'Publica Merces Salus Mea', 'Public Health is my Reward'. Text around the circular edge and in banners below two shields. The banners have leaves entwined. Above the two shields there is a kangaroo in profile beneath sun rays. One shield is part of the Coat of Arms of Melbourne and has a hanging fleece (top left quadrant), whale (top right quadrant), a bull (lower left quadrant) and a three-masted ship (lower right quadrant). The other shield is part of the Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom and has three lions passant (top left and lower right quadrants) representing England, a lion rampant (top right quadrant) representing Scotland and a harp (lower left quadrant) representing Ireland.

Significance

This MMBW key ring is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). The key ring is in a perfect condition and is significant as is represents a proud organisation and represents the organisations historical development of services, a strong theme of the collection. The key ring is aesthetically pleasing while the coat of arms holds great meaning.

Postcard - The Car Park at Maroondah Reserve

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Souvenir coloured rectangular postcard with a framed picture of the carpark at the Maroondah Reserve.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitian Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aestethically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir postcard illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item represents an important historical aspect of the MMBW by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. The souvenir postcard is significant for its documentation of the Maroondah Water Supply System developed through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, shaping the formative years of Melbourne. The postcard is also historically significant for its association with the MMBW and is viewed as a noteworthy achievement of the organisation.

Photograph - Typists at the Board

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Colour Photograph

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

As the MMBW employed men to undertake secretarial work within the first few decades of operation, it wasn't until 1912 when the first female 'typiste' was employed. This photograph, showing a group of typists employed by the Board, is historically significant as it represents the kinds of jobs that women were employed in during the 1970s.

Dish - Maroondah Reservoir, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Souvenir dish made from bone china with gold trim, featuring an illustration of the Maroondah Reservoir in the centre reading, “Maroondah Reservoir, Healesville”.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

Manufactured in England, this souvenir dish made from bone china with gold trim, features an illustration of the Maroondah Reservoir in the centre reading, “Maroondah Reservoir, Healesville”. On the back of the dish is the makers mark, Royal Stafford, one of the oldest pottery factories in Staffordshire, England. The Royal Stafford brand was established in 1845 and continues to provide high quality tableware in the present day. This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Inscriptions & Markings

Makers mark, Royal Stafford.

Souvenir Tea Cup

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This porcelain tea cup with gold trim features a black and white image of the embankment at Maroondah Dam, Healesville on the front.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir tea cup has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. Additionally, the tea cup is aesthetically pleasing, representative of 1920s style and design.

Souvenir Spoon

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Manufactured in Australia, this souvenir silver-plated spoon features an image of Maroondah Dam, Healesville. The spoon features a koala engraving and boomerang on the stem. Engraved on the back of the spoon is “Peninsula Plate”.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir spoon has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Photograph - Tunnel at the O'Shannasy Dam

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Black and white photograph

Historical information

The O'Shannassy Reservoir supplies water to the Silvan Reservoir, which distributes it to most parts of Melbourne. The dam was completed in 1928 and is an earthfill embankment with a reinforced concrete core wall.

Significance

This photograph is significant as it provides a detailed insight into the Boards activity and construction of one of Melbourne's most important water supply systems. Furthermore, it is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne while it is representative of shaping Melbourne's environments, transforming and managing land and natural resources, and providing urban infrastructure and services. This photograph also covers the theme of Safety, depicting the safety standards of the time particularly with clothing.

Glass Bowl - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Clear glass flower shaped 'depression ware' bowl with photograph of Maroondah Dam Healesville in the base.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Ashtray - Graceburn Weir, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This Souvenir glass ashtray, used as a receptacle for ash from cigarettes, features a photograph of the Graceburn Weir on the base, with text reading “The Graceburn Weir, Healesville”. Rather small in size, this ashtray has a unique shape with four protruding glass points to place cigarettes.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

MMBW Federation Journal

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

Formally titled, The Official Organ of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Employees’ Federation, this series is an exhaustive collection of monthly articles published by MMBW staff. This voluminous collection highlights the accomplishments and social agenda of MMBW employees throughout WWII and its impact on the organisation.

Photographic View Book - The Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works - Water Supply, Sewerage etc. ...Photographic Views...

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Photographic view book with hard khaki coloured cardboard cover and blue fabric binding. 120 Pages. Glossy paper with black and white plates and text about the MMBW, and scenic views and places of interest in association with the MMBW.

Historical information

In 1891​ The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) was formed and became responsible for Melbourne's water supply. Melbourne had grown to a city of half a million people. To provide water to this rapidly growing city (especially the eastern suburbs), and to supplement the 1857 Yan Yean Reservoir, Melbourne's first water supply, the Watts River (near Healesville) was tapped. It supplied water to Melbourne, via the Maroondah aqueduct.​ In May 1892 the MMBW's first engineer-in-chief, Mr William Thwaites began construction on Melbourne's sewerage system. A treatment farm was built at Werribee and a pumping station was built at Spotswood (now the site of the Scienceworks Museum) to send the city's waste to Werribee. The first Melbourne homes were connected to the sewerage system in 1897.

Significance

This book showcases the MMBW's infrastructure achievements and documents costs, requirements and key personnel involved in the development of the water supply and sewerage schemes.The introduction states "The water supply sources and headworks are in many cases situated in remote places and the sewerage works are chiefly underground. The Board has therefore resolved that these photographs of some of the scenes and works should be collected and bound for general information. August 1908" This book is in excellent condition and provides a detailed insight into the previous 17 years of work and the Board personnel of the MMBW leading up to 1908. It is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne for the photographic documents of places that were not generally open to the public, and for Melbourne Water in its detailed history of the MMBW in the early twentieth century.

Inscriptions & Markings

The Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works - Water Supply, Sewerage etc. ...Photographic Views...

Ashtray - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This Souvenir glass ashtray, used as a receptacle for ash from cigarettes, features a black and white photograph of The Maroondah Dam on the base, with text reading “Maroondah Dam, Healesville”. The ashtray is round in shape with three indents on the rim to place cigarettes.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Transparency - Staff and Chauffeurs at the O'Shannassy Weir Quarters

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

The O'Shannassy Weir was a small Weir created in 1911 and completed in 1913, and was the originating point of outflow into the Aqueduct. In 1928, it was replaced by the much larger O'Shannassy Reservoir. The Weir had water moving along the Aqueduct to the Surrey Hills Reservoir. Many structures at the Weir precinct have survived and remain in-situ.

Significance

The O'shannassy Weir and Aqueduct contains a wide range of intact and diverse features. This demonstrates the way in which the Board constructed and managed the water supply that flowed through farmland and forest areas subject to timber milling. The caretakers residences that are located along the aqueduct were utilised by caretakers who were responsible for maintaining one of their four sections of the channel. This transparency is significant for its historic association to the establishment of the weir and to those who worked on the project, and at the quarters.

First Aid Kit (plastic lunch box)

Melbourne Water, Docklands

First Aid Kit (plastic lunch box)

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This first aid kit is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). The kit is relatively intact and a rare surviving object of standard Board issued equipment. The kit is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Safety that continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today.

Inscriptions & Markings

MMBW 1339 (burnt into plastic) Board of Works Decal

Maroondah, Healesville Souvenir Car Sticker

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Souvenir car sticker with a colourful design of Maroondah Dam in Healesville with car sticker instructions.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Souvenir tea caddy spoon "Tea Time"

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Tea caddy spoon with clock face engraved showing 4pm on round spoon, tea pot shaped handle with enamel scenic view badge saying 'Healesville' ( depicting Maroondah Reservoir outlet tower). Tea caddy spoon box labelled 'Fine Silverware by Stokes'

Historical information

Melbourne Water inherited many of its water assets, such as reservoirs from its predecessor the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). They have served the organisation well and have long been celebrated for both their natural beauty and engineering ingenuity. In the nineteenth century Victoria’s fundamental need for water infrastructure went beyond merely functional solutions and reflected the English ideal of the romance and beauty that was embodied in expanses of water. The MMBW further enhanced this notion by incorporating beauty and function in to the Classical and Italianate designs of its infrastructure such as pumping houses and reservoir outlet towers. The reservoir gardens and picnic areas were landscaped with ornamental stonework, exotic trees, decorative flower beds, fern glads pools and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stokes and Sons Stokes & Sons logo (Star with S and boomerang) EG. No. 15733

Photographs: The Maroondah Dam Wall Under Construction

Melbourne Water, Docklands

These images are part of a series of eight photographs which document the construction of the Maroondah Dam in the 1920s.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance

Significance

These photographs are invaluable in providing insight into many aspects of the Maroondah Reservoir’s early development. The dam wall is a distinctive example of early engineering techniques, with its gravity arch design and concrete construction. The construction of the dam wall represents an important advancement in the technology of dam-building.

MMBW Notice

Melbourne Water, Docklands

The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Notice by direction of the Officers and Servants' Committee,Officers and Employees of the Board are notified that they must not absent themselves from duty for the purpose of taking part in Parliamentary, Municipal, or other Elections. GEO. A. Gibbs, Secretary.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This MMBW notice is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This item fits under the theme of staff/employees at the MMBW.

I'm not a Wally with Water badge

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Round metal badge with printed cartoon image and text.

Historical information

Following the 1983 Victorian drought The Board of Works (MMBW) ran a television, radio and print campaign to encourage water conservation called ‘Don’t Be a Wally with Water’. The campaign followed Wally, a bumbling, habitual water waster, and is an early example of educating the public on water sustainability both environmentally and financially. Wally was both a cartoon character and played on television by the comedian Peter Moon. The campaign ran for several years and was designed to change attitudes towards water wastage.

Significance

This MMBW branded item is associated with ‘Don’t Be a Wally with Water’ campaign, and demonstrates an early water sustainability education program. These badges would have been given out as promotional merchandise and at public events.

Toshiba Two-Way Handheld Radio

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This item is of historical signficance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). Utilised by MMBW field staff, this is a perfectly intact object of standard Board issued equipment. The two-way hand held radio is signficant for its representativeness of the theme of Technology within the MMBW and Melbourne Water.