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(3060, 12 km N, Moreland City)

A residential area bounded by the Hume Highway to the west, the Merri Creek to the east and Coburg to the south, this suburb was named after John Pascoe Fawkner, who between 1840 and 1855 farmed property between Pascoe Vale Road and the Moonee Ponds Creek. In 1850 Fawkner subdivided additional land in the Tullamarine and neighbouring Will Will Rook parishes into small farms and called the place Box Forest. Known for a period as Hadfield, this estate was purchased in 1867 by John Jukes, who named the area Fawkner.

Anticipating the 1889 opening of the Coburg-Somerton railway line, the Coburg Reserve Estate Co. subdivided land near the North Coburg and the present Fawkner railway stations for housing. However, the venture proved unsuccessful as Fawkner was judged too remote from Melbourne. In 1902 the Northern Suburbs Cemetery Conference recommended that a new cemetery be established on a 284-acre (115 ha) site, which included the Fawkner railway station. The New Melbourne General Cemetery (renamed the Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park in 1971) hosted its first funeral in December 1906.

The City of Coburg's Electricity Supply Department extended its services to the area in the early 1920s. Apart from the arrival of a number of returned soldiers, settlement proceeded slowly, with only 180 buildings in the area by 1939. Population growth accelerated after the end of World War II, led by the Housing Commission from 1949. However, when the Coburg Council objected to the establishment of extensive housing estates in Fawkner, fearing further pollution of the Merri Creek, the Housing Commission discontinued its activities until the area could be sewered.

The establishment of new factories along the Hume Highway and in nearby localities encouraged more subdivisions, attracting more people, including European immigrants. By the 1996 census, Fawkner had the highest population of Italian-born residents of any Melbourne suburb (20%): 46.7% of its total population were born overseas. The names of early colonists such as Dowling, Jukes, Anderson and Mahoney were used for street names in the new estates. The local government amalgamations in 1994 removed Fawkner from the municipality of Broad-meadows to become part of the new city of Moreland.

Peter Christiansen