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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.

42 items

42 items

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photograph - Steel Pipeline

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Black and white photograph

Historical information

The Upper Yarra Reservoir supplies the Silvan Reservoir, which distributes water throughout the Melbourne metropolitan area. The dam was completed in 1957 and is a rolled earthfill and rockfill embankment. This photograph shows a 68" diameter steel pipeline that was to convey the water from the Upper Yarra Reservoir to the Silvan Reservoir.

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. The photograph itself is aesthetically pleasing, through its depth of field and use of shape with an interesting composition.

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.

Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Flag

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Navy and gold Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) flag with the Southern Cross and MMBW coat of arms. The coat of arms incorporates Melbourne and the United Kingdom, and the motto of the board 'Publica Merces Salus Mea', 'Public Health is my Reward'.

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 flag is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This flag is relatively intact with only two of its kind held in the collection. The flag is significant as is represents a proud organisation and demonstrates the organisations historical development of services, a strong theme of the collection. The flags navy and gold colour is aesthetically pleasing while the coat of arms represented on the flag holds great meaning.

Compensating Polar Planimeter

Melbourne Water, Docklands

The instrument is inside a black metal case with accessories including: Setting bar, screwdriver, Allen key and spare pole point. Inside is also the adjustable planimeter.

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. This item was used by MMBW employees as a measuring device to determine areas or figures on a plane surface having either straight or irregular boundaries.

Significance

The Compensating Polar Planimeter is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This measuring device is perfectly intact and a rare surviving object of standard Board issued equipment. The kit 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.

Melbourne Water Watch

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Gold plated, black leather band watch with the Melbourne Water logo on the face with accompanying black suede case with gold corners. The watch also comes with a warranty inside.

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. This Melbourne Water watch was gifted to a Melbourne Water staff member by her manager when she left the organisation in 1996. The watch was part of a branding campaign as the water industry became segregated in 1994.

Significance

This item is of historical significance for its association with Melbourne Water at the time when the water industry became segregated in 1994. This watch is a perfectly intact object and is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Women in the Workforce within the MMBW and Melbourne Water as it was gifted to a female employee. The watch is also aesthetically pleasing in style and represents the trends of the 1990s.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

Photograph - Upper Yarra Dam Personnel

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. In 1946, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) approved a site for a new dam for Melbourne's domestic water. This is now known as the Upper Yarra Dam. Due to the construction of the dam, the workforce had to be accommodated on site; domestic quarters were built for single men, families and staff. The township also had kitchens, laundry facilities, a canteen, a recreation hall, mess areas and a co-op store, with one of the first houses being seconded to accommodate for a school.

Significance

This photograph shows personnel at a Kindergarten party at the Upper Yarra Dam, a time where workers were housed during its construction. The photograph is historically significant as it captures a purpose built community that supported the workers undertaking the construction of the dam.

Staff Newsletter - Miss MMBW, Terri Cott

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 Australian Cerebral Palsy Association ran the Miss Australia Quest and had various titles such as Miss Queensland and Miss Victoria. One branch of the Victorian state competition was the Miss Victorian Government Service Quest. Terri Cott was one of the MMBW’s most popular representatives in the running for the title of Miss Victorian Government Service Quest in 1977. At the time, 18 year old Terri was an Administrative Officer in the Accounts Payable Department and had been with the Board for a year. Terri was crowned as the winner for Miss Victorian Government Service as she was the second highest money raiser with $17,337.72. This also won her a holiday on Brampton Island. Terri was up against 12 other women from other state Government Departments.

Significance

This staff newsletter highlights the historically significant achievement of Miss Terri Cott being one of the most popular representatives in the running for the title of Miss Victorian Government Service Quest in 1977. This captured achievement not only focuses on Terri's external beauty, but demonstrates her charitable efforts. This newsletter article has historic and social associations with the many women's rights movements in the 1970s. In particular, it relates to the number of challenges the Miss Australia Quest experienced with feminist and activist groups threatening the future of the competition, which forced organisers to examine the appropriateness of the Quest.

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.

Staff Newsletter - Denine Moloney, First Female Apprentice Gardener

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. Denine Moloney made history at the MMBW as the Board’s first female apprentice gardener, at the young age of 16. Denine was part of a team that cultivated and distributed up to 140,000 plants a year from the nursery complex that was housed on Warrigal Road, in Moorabbin. The large trees, shrubs and various other plants were all used in Board beautification projects. At the time, Denine lived with her parents and rode her bicycle to and from work each day while she attended Oakleigh Technical College one day a week as part of her apprenticeship. Denine’s ambition was to become a professional landscape gardener after her apprenticeship was completed, and four years later was in fact appointed as head gardener at Jells Park in 1983. Denine was not the last woman to work as a gardener at the Board, bringing with her two female assistants at Jells Park in caring, maintaining and distributing the Board’s horticulture.

Significance

This staff newsletter highlights the significant achievement of Denine Moloney, becoming the first female gardener to work at the Board. 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 of the 1970s.

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 - 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.

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.

Handkerchief - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Pink handkerchief with lace trim. The handkerchief features a print of the Maroondah Dam, with text “Maroondah Dam. Greetings from 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.