Murrumbeena, a residential suburb, is 15 km south-east of central Melbourne. It was named after the north-south Mirambena Road (the suburb's western boundary), that name dating from about 1862. It is surmised that the road's name derived from an Aboriginal expression meaning belonging to you, welcome, or land of frogs, or referring to an Aboriginal member of the native police. The spelling was changed to the present name soon after the railway station opened in 1877.

When the station opened Murrumbeena was mostly a place of market gardens and dairy farms. In 1898 a married couple, Margaret Tuckett and Arthur Tuckett, acquired a large land holding east of the railway station now identified by Omama Road (the name of their property) and Tuckett Street (their driveway). They established a prominent garden of exotic and native plants, and Margaret published the acclaimed Year in my garden in 1905. When the Tucketts arrived there was a Church of Christ in Neerim Road along with a fruiterer, butcher, newsagent, grocer, post office and bootmaker. Murrumbeena was only lightly settled.

In 1910 it was more densely settled, and after World War I many of Murrumbeena's houses were built. In 1908, however, there were still unfilled tracts of land. Merric Boyd bought an orchard on the west side of the Outer Circle railway easement in 1908 where he built his artist's house, Open Country.

There had been a Presbyterian church since 1888 and it was replaced in 1934 by a new brick building a few doors from the Methodist church (1914) in Murrumbeena Road. Although the 1930s were characterised by economic depression, a Catholic primary school opened in 1931. It was located in mostly open land near Dalny Road, 1.5 km south of the railway station. A few years later Albert Jennings bought some nearby land and built the first of his housing estates, Beauville. A row of shops was built in Murrumbeena Road opposite the estate.

Midway between the station and Beauville there is Murrumbeena Park (1913) which resulted from agitation by the Murrumbeena Progress Association (c1908). It later became the home of the Murrumbeena bowls club and other sports teams.

The Neerim Road shops suffered a setback when the Chadstone shopping centre opened. Residents tended their front gardens and maintained their attachment to trees and greenery. Native plants enthusiasts cleaned up the Outer Circle railway easement, turning it into a public park. Omama had been acquired in 1909 by Dr John Springthorpe and part of the garden estate remains as Springthorpe gardens, joined by a pathway to the Outer Circle.

Since the 1970s home units and flats have been built on the generous home allotments. Greek families moved there from Richmond and Burnley. Murrumbeena's fame as the nursery of the artistic Boyd family has been commemorated by the naming of Boyd Park, where Arthur Boyd played on the Outer Circle wilderness at the end of Wahroonga Street.

Murrumbeena primary school had 622 pupils in 2014.

Murrumbeena's census populations have been:

census date population
2001 7607
2006 8232
2011 8592

Further Reading

Volkhard Wehner (ed), facsimile, Margaret Tuckett, A year in my garden and essay 'The story of the lost garden of Murrumbeena', Hartwell, 2008

Don Garden, Builders to the nation: the A.V. Jennings story, Carlton, 1992