collingwood’s street art

I’d strolled along Smith Street before, past Vietnamese restaurants, European specialist food stores and alternative clothing shops, but this visit, I came from a different direction.

Featured image — a Keith Harding replica street art

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A local gem

In Canada it seems we’ve been unable to shake off continuing cases of coved#19 and recently restaurants were closed again to dining customers in my province. Because businesses can only cater to takeout orders, locals have posted requests to support our restaurants. We don’t want to arrive at the end of these strange times and learn our favourite restaurants have shut down.

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victoria’s state library

While I was in Melbourne for six weeks, someone suggested I should visit the state’s library. I headed into the city by tram and found a not so impressive building — but that was only from its exterior. Inside was a different story.

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port melbourne’s century old buildings

Once Port Melbourne’s seafront was dominated by factories and warehouses. Many were demolished and replaced with high rise apartments, but some were tastefully recycled.

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Ballarat’s shocking recent history

Ballarat had been at the centre of child sexual abuse committed by its Catholic dioceses. A Royal Commission uncovered a culture of secrecy according to ABC News where the church did anything to avoid scandal to protect the church and its priests’ reputations. Sadly, this story is not unique.

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Ballarat’s art gallery

The gallery was opened in 1890 and was impressive considering the size of the town. Art work was displayed in mixed combinations. For someone like me who doesn’t linger by older examples, this forced me to notice all work on show. Most art was Australian with a splash of English artists. 

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Why was part of ballarat closed off?

We hoped to park near Ballarat’s art gallery, but the road was closed. Police stood patrolling. People in iridescent green vests waved potential drivers away, but what was going on was hard to guess. 

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A city founded on gold

North-west of Melbourne was Victoria’s Ballarat, home to over 100,000 residents. The first Europeans settled in the area in 1838, but thirteen years later after an Aborigine found a nugget of alluvial gold, Ballarat’s gold rush brought thousands of hopeful prospectors from around the world. Although the alluvial gold became scarce after several years, underground mining continued until 1918.

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gasworks arts park

Tucked away in a quiet part of Port Melbourne was a park dedicated to the arts. One building was especially for artists working on sculpture. On a different side of the park was a theatre where plays were often presented.

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The world at our fingertips

We headed to Footscray, a western Melbourne suburb and arrived along a street where there must have been a dozen Indian restaurants as well as an Indian supermarket and a couple of glittering clothing shops. But after a quick grocery shop, we headed to the heart of Footscray to experience the rest of what the suburb had to offer.

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My travel diary

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