Melbourne used to be Mo’town of the Southern Hemisphere, but that’s changing as it transitions from manufacturing to a service-led economy (like much of the rest of Australia). This month we take a look at what this creative, vibrant, hard working city offers new Australians.
A few years ago, Melbourne earned itself a reputation for being a bit on the conservative side. “Look!” cried the shiney people of Sydney, “They’ve still got trams!” Well, that was then, and this is now. As cities everywhere scramble to reinstate light rail, Melbourne’s trams are emblematic of the city’s penchant for doing things right.
This is partly a function of diversity, which is something that Melbourne is extraordinarily good at. With 17% of its 4.5 million inhabitants born overseas, it is now the most popular destination for people arriving in Australia from overseas. Melbourne is the world’s second largest Greek city after Athens, and has thriving, distinct communities of peoples from all continents.
But it’s not just about thriving ethnic communities. In Melbourne, diversity itself is diverse!
Throughout the 20th Century Melbourne became the home of the Holden, Australia’s very own auto-marque. But things have changed and Melbourne is no longer Mo’town downunder. Today, Melbourne joins the general trend across Australia towards high-value services.
Leading this change are healthcare and social assistance professions and retail trade. Australia has a well funded public health system, providing free or full subside for most of the medical and surgical requirements. And this system is growing. Meanwhile, professional, technical and scientific services are also growing, and fast.
However, all this doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs in manufacturing: with 300,000 workers, it is still the third-equal largest employment sector, along with construction and engineering.
Melbourne is founded on hard, industrial work. With the growth of professional and social services in health and education, it’s not only hard working: it’s becoming healthy and smart, too.
Culture is one of the things that Melbourne does best. Southbank – like its London counterpart – is an urban precinct of impressive arts infrastructure. Here you’ll find the State Theatre, the Victorian home to national ballet and opera companies; the National Gallery of Victoria; and the splendidly innovative Victoria Recital Centre, among others.
But it’s not all about Big Important Cultural Events. Melbourne is also the hipster capital of Australia. Strap on your Wayfarers and take a tram to the inner north suburbs of North Melbourne, Brunswick and Fitzroy to eat, drink and chill out. Lose yourself in a world of fresh fashions, millions of musics and cool eateries and drinkeries. Plus, the alternative vibe makes bargain hunting a viable proposition.
Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave and the Bee Gees are just some of the notable Melbournians.
Lastly, if your idea of a great night out is less about the next big thing, and more about watching grown men run around a paddock after an inflated pig’s bladder, Melbourne and Victoria has what you need: Australian Rules Football. There’s no use attempting an explanation here: you have to see it to believe it. There are also active professional tournaments in Rugby union, Rugby league, soccer, netball and basketball.
And, with the Great Ocean Drive heading east, and the Melbourne to Sydney Coastal Drive to the north east, and Hobart an hour’s flight south, there are outdoor adventures aplenty.
Check out our job boards for opportunities of all kinds in Melbourne, or any other part of Australia, come to that.