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Evident as a community since the early 1850s, individuals from Wales were in Melbourne as early as the 1830s, but it was the greatly increased Welsh immigration following the gold discoveries of 1851 that led to the appearance of an identifiable community. There are records of a Welsh language church service held in a Melbourne city church in late 1852, and by 1856 a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist (Welsh Presbyterian) chapel was established in La Trobe Street. This remains, in an 1871 building, and still holds regular Welsh language services. Generally the Welsh in Melbourne did not concentrate in particular areas, the exception being Williamstown, where another church was established in 1865. A Welsh language press existed in Victoria from 1866 to 1876 (based in Melbourne for three years), producing a monthly national publication including reports on the various church activities, literary and musical eisteddfods, and other community functions. Welsh choirs and societies are still active in Melbourne.

Roderick Sadler