Yarra City, an area of 19.5 sq km, is a municipality immediately east of central Melbourne. It was formed on 22 June 1994, by the union of Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond cities and part of Northcote city south of Heidelberg Road. (Fitzroy city included Carlton North, acquired from Melbourne city in 1993). The Council’s main offices are in the Richmond town hall.
The municipality is bordered on its south and east by the Yarra River, hence the name. Yarra Yarra is believed to be Aboriginal words that were attributed to the river, meaning ever flowing. There have been other recorded meanings, however, including water fall (the original falls were opposite Queen Street, Melbourne), red gum trees, hair and spirit woman.
Yarra city comprises three former inner eastern municipalities which have had strong presences of industry, postwar migrant settlement and subsequent gentrification. All had well distributed tram and train services, and several tram routes have strong strip shopping areas. The largest has been Smith Street, Collingwood/Fitzroy, but Bridge Road and Swan Street, Richmond, underwent a 1980s-90s renaissance which eluded Smith Street. Brunswick Street became an entertainment and eating strip.
A noticeable aspect of Yarra city was the decline in manufacturing industry, especially female employment in manufacturing partly accounted for by their employment in textiles, clothing and footwear industries.
Yarra city’s census populations have been:
Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond cities entries