Malvern East is a residential suburb 10 km south-east of central Melbourne, about half the area of the former Malvern city. Its western boundary is Tooronga Road. Its postal district had Belgrave Road as its eastern boundary, but changes pushed the name and postcode further eastwards to Chadstone Road, and finally to Warrigal Road in the 1990s. The residents of the additional area preferred to have their houses in Malvern East instead of the less marketable Chadstone with its association with retail trade.
Malvern East is at the extremities of the tram service. Whereas Malvern has four east-west tramlines, Malvern East has two, reaching about a third of the way into it. Instead of two railway lines it has one, which ran to Darling (1890) and to East Malvern in 1929 and to Holmesglen the next year.
Housing in Malvern East is more uniform and unadorned than the housing in older Malvern. California bungalows and brick veneers are numerous, and a War Service Homes Commission estate was built in 1920, identified by Villiers and Bretonneux Squares. At the most easterly part, the Convent of the Good Shepherd occupied a large expanse of land, with land for grazing cattle, until the late 1950s.
Malvern East has small shopping centres near the two railway stations on its northern boundary, Darling and East Malvern. A strip shopping area runs along Waverley Road to the tram terminus at Darling Road. Regional shopping came to Malvern East when Myer acquired land from the Convent of the Good Shepherd in 1957 and built the Chadstone Shopping centre. The site was a green fields one, but unusual in that it was positioned in an area very nearly surrounded by established housing.
Malvern East's part of the Gardiners Creek valley has numerous sports ovals and a public golf course. Closer to old Malvern is the linear Hedeley Dene Gardens, along a swampy gully acquired by the council in 1911. Ardrie Gardens has tennis courts.
The Gardiners Creek valley has been the focus of citizens' attention on at least two occasions. In 1923 a Glen Iris Valley Recreation Club was formed to press for recreation space along the valley. In 1977 the Gardiners Creek Valley Association was formed to preserve the valley and adjacent houses from an extension of the South Eastern Freeway from Tooronga Road to Warrigal Road. Ultimately 1000 residents were displaced by land acquisition.
Malvern East's famous primary schools are Lloyd Street Central (1923) and the heritage-listed Malvern primary school (1885) in Tooranga Road. A later school in the area east of Chadstone Road was Chadstone Park Primary (1953) now named Malvern Valley. The district's high school was Chadstone (1962-91). There are Catholic primary schools in Manning Road (1918) and Dandenong Road (1929). Not far from the second school there is Belgrave House which had a tennis court where most of Australia’s first silent film, Soldiers of the Cross (1900) was filmed.
In 2004 fire destroyed the Malvern Valley Primary School (reopened 2006) and in 2009 fire destroyed the St Catherine's Greek Orthodox church hall.
In 1996 the median house price in Malvern East was 63% above the median for metropolitan Melbourne. At the 2011 census, about 63% of Malvern East’s dwellings were detached houses and about 20% were flats.
Malvern East’s census populations have been:
Chadstone and Holmesglen entries