History of our council

The City of Glen Eira takes its name from two local landmarks — Glen Eira Road and Glen Eira Mansion. It was formed in December 1994 after the amalgamation of the former City of Caulfield and the northern part of the former City of Moorabbin. Residents and ratepayers elected the first Glen Eira Council in March 1997.

On this page

Evolution of Glen Eira

The Boon Wurrung* are the Indigenous Australians of the Kulin Nation. They were the first inhabitants of the area that is now the south and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, which includes Glen Eira.

(*also referred to as the Boonerwrung, Bunurong, Bunwurrung, Boonwerung, Bunurowrung and Bururong)

European settlement of the area dates back to the 1840s, with the swampy land used mainly for farming in the north and market gardening in the south. While industry was vibrant, farming carts constantly damaged the swampy terrain. This prompted residents to lobby for proclamation of an official roads district, marking the start of community representation in the area.

In 1853 Victorian Parliament passed an act giving locally elected people the authority to collect rates for road construction. This paved the way for the Caulfield District Road Board in 1857, with the Moorabbin District Road Board following in 1862. We celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Moorabbin District Road Board proclamation on 5 May 2012 by displaying a history panel at Bentleigh Library.

The City of Caulfield Coat of Arms was granted by letters patent on 1 May 1977. The shield (background) is a classic quartered design with a heraldic lion which represents bravery, strength, ferocity and valour. The helmet crest consists of a mural crown with brickwork, a recognised emblem of Local Government. The supporters on each side of the shield are dragons, symbols of valour and protection. The wings represent swiftness and protection while wheels symbolise fortune and the cycle of life.  The Latin motto Labore Vinces — by our labours we shall conquer — is incorporated in the banner

Throughout our history, we've always looked after the health and wellbeing of the community.

  • Clean water and sanitary sewage removal were critical in tackling diseases such as typhoid, diphtheria and scarlet fever.
  • Immunisation services started in the late 1800s.
  • Dog registration started in 1865 and we even offered a reward for the heads of rats in the late 1800s!
  • The Victorian Government set aside Paddy's Swamp as a reserve in 1879 and we've managed it since. It's now known as Caulfield Park.
  • We've converted many rubbish tips into parks and gardens.
  • Our first maternal and child health centre opened around 1921.
  • We gave jobs to unemployed locals during the Depression
  • We started operating Meals on Wheels in 1957.
  • Council libraries began in the area with the Bentleigh Library in July 1961 and the Caulfield Library in 1963.

Glen Eira today

Today, the City of Glen Eira is an established area. Expanding public open spaces and providing fantastic recreational facilities are two of our highest priorities. For example, we successfully advocated the Victorian Government to open the disused reservoir site in Booran Road, Glen Huntly for recreational use.

Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre (GESAC) in Bentleigh East offers a modern aquatic, fitness, sports, rehabilitation, wellness, café and occasional care facilities. This is the single largest capital works project in our history.

City of Glen Eira Time Line

  • 1857 The Caulfield Road District
  • 1862 The Moorabbin Road District
  • 1871 Shire of Caulfield
  • 1871 Shire of Moorabbin
  • 1901 The Borough of Caulfield (April)
  • 1901 The Town of Caulfield (September)
  • 1913 City of Caulfield
  • 1934 City of Moorabbin
  • 1994 City of Glen Eira (resulting from the amalgamation of the City of Caulfield and the northern section of the City of Moorabbin)
  • 1997 First Glen Eira City Council Election



Related resources