History of Caulfield and Moorabbin Councils

Our suburbs haven't always sat under the Glen Eira umbrella, evolving as laws and community needs changed.

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The name Caulfield has been in use since 1853 to identify the area around the racecourse. The origin of the name is uncertain. It may relate to Baron Caulfield (Caulfeild) of Ireland or colonial pioneer John Caulfield.  John Caulfield was an descendant of the Viscount Charlement (Caulfeild) peerage.  

The Caulfield District Road Board was elected in 1857. It looked after roads in an area bordered by Warrigal Road, Hotham Street, Dandenong Road, North Road and Brighton Road. Until the early 1880s the board met in Mood Kee, the house of Councillor Harold Pennington and his wife Annie. Annual general meetings were held in a tent in his backyard.

As housing and the population grew, the board had to consider things like street lighting, drainage, sewerage, and rubbish collection. Caulfield District Road Board was declared a Shire in 1871, before its proclamation as a borough and then a town in 1901. The City of Caulfield was declared in 1913.

Caulfield Shire Hall (now Glen Eira Town Hall) was built in 1885, receiving several upgrades to meet the growing demands of the municipality.

Caulfield Centenary 1857–1957

Council marked the 100th anniversary of the Caulfield District Road Board in 1957, organising a range of public events including:

  • a special Centenary Council Meeting at the Town Hall on 15 October
  • an opening ceremony
  • two receptions
  • two religious services
  • a naturalisation ceremony
  • an evening community float parade
  • a children's carnival at Caulfield Racecourse
  • the crowning of Centenary Queen
  • a fireworks display.

The Centenary of Caulfield 1857–1957 photograph album, which features annotated images of these events, is considered of great historical importance.


The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) records Moorabbin as likely deriving from an Aboriginal word for 'Mother's Milk'. The Aboriginal name is spelt Mooroobin.

Moorabbin started as an outpost of ‘Dendy's Brighton’ and took shape as a market garden area along what was Arthur's Seat Road, now the Nepean Highway. For more than a century, the sandy soil of Moorabbin gave metropolitan Melbourne much of its fruit and vegetables.

The Moorabbin District Road Board was established in 1862. Its boundaries extended from the outskirts of Brighton along both sides of Nepean Road as far as Mordialloc Creek, taking in coastal areas now known as Hampton, Sandringham, Beaumaris and Mentone. Moorabbin was proclaimed a shire in 1871 and a city in 1934.

Moorabbin was one of the first post-World War II boom suburbs and it was one of Australia's fastest growing municipalities by the 1950s.

In 1994, the Victorian Government adopted the Local Government Board proposal to split the City of Moorabbin into three parts and divide it between the new cities of Glen Eira, Bayside and Kingston.



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