Cubbies is situated in the heart of Fitzroy – Melbourne’s oldest suburb and one that over the years has undergone huge changes. During the late 1800’s Fitzroy was inhabited by the workforce of the neighbouring industrial suburbs.
Over the next few decades Fitzroy’s Victorian mansions became boarding houses and slums, and the heightened poverty of the area prompted the establishment of several charitable, religious and philanthropic organisations. Fitzroy was also home for a large community of Aboriginal people, particularly Gertrude St.
An influx of Post-War immigrants saw Fitzroy emerge as a multicultural hub, with groups of Italian, Irish, Macedonian and later Vietnamese groups settling in the area. In the 1960’s The Housing Commission built two public housing estates in Fitzroy, allowing for this influx.
Today, tenants of Vietnamese background constitute the majority of the estate population, followed by a large number of African, Chinese and Turkish residents, with lesser proportion of Eastern European origin (predominantly Macedonia) plus a distinct Hmong community (initially hill tribes from Laos).
Over the last decade Fitzroy has seen a number of African immigrants arriving, particularly from the Horn of Africa; Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Many residents of non-English speaking background initially arrived in Australia as refugees and asylum seekers. As with all Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs, during recent years, Fitzroy has been undergoing a process of gentrification, yet there are still many children in the community for whom support of Cubbies is their most important link; apart from school.
Fitzroy today is a suburb of contrasts. Its thriving Brunswick St is populated by urban professionals, artists, students and hipsters, with new bars, cafes and designer retail outlets emerging constantly. Gertrude St is a hub of galleries and contemporary art, and Smith St is famous for its vintage boutiques. The Atherton Gardens Housing Estate sits right in the middle, with Cubbies at its base.
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A number of local businesses support Cubbies through collections and donations.
We are looking for people in the Fitzroy community to join us as members of our association and also supporters who will help promote the work that we do in the community. Email us at [email protected]ureplay.org.au with any ideas that you have.