Tuesday 31 July 2012


St Augustine's Catholic Church at 631-651 Bourke Street in the City, was built 1869-1870. The church is set back approximately 20 metres from Bourke Street frontage constructed in decorated Neo-Gothic style of axed bluestone with sandstone dressings. The entrance has Malmsbury stone and is surmounted by a crocketed gable. The exterior has the appearance of a triple nave with the gabled roofs of the aisles and nave springing from the same level. The tower with caps and finials in cut bluestone is the most prominent feature of the Bourke Street frontage . In the interior, the central nave is separated by the aisles with cast iron columns with moulded ribs and the arched cast iron spandrels are filled with ornamental scroll patterns. Above these spandrels an open ivy pattern frieze extends the entire length of the nave on either side. The timber ceiling and closely spaced timber trusses are varnished. The windows include stained glass.

Some intriguing features of the church grounds include several memorials: The anchor, in memory of the Catholic Port Chaplains and volunteers, a pietá in memory of Con Sullivan and two memorial plates one again for Con (Cornelius) Sullivan and one for his wife, Elaine. Besides the strong Irish connection (Sullivan, Ryan and County Kerry) there is no other indication of who these people were and trawling the web didn't seem to help. There was nobody around to ask so next time I am in the area, I shall try to find someone who knows the story!

This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.

Monday 30 July 2012


Last week I had occasion to pop into 50 Market St in the City, for a chore and I got a surprise when I saw a very nice mural decorating what is otherwise a very plain and utilitarian office building. The stark simplicity of the foyer (reminiscent of Art Deco, perhaps) is livened up by a triptych that hangs on a wall close to the lifts.

There is no information about the mural anywhere in the foyer, and the only indication of the artist is the signature "R. Metcalfe '95" on the bottom right hand corner. A trawl through google failed to enlighten me as to who this artist is or what the triptych is called. However, there are plenty of mellow yellows and brilliant blues in this work!

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also the Mellow Yellow Monday meme,
and also the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday 29 July 2012


Altona is a seaside suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 13 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Hobsons Bay. At the 2011 Census, Altona had a population of 9,918. Altona is a large suburb consisting of low density residential in the south-eastern half, with mixed industry in the north-western half. A key feature is Altona Beach on Port Phillip, which is one of only two swimming beaches in the western suburbs (the other being Williamstown Beach). Altona takes its name from the once independent German city of Altona which is today a borough of Hamburg.

As the land usage shifts from industrial to residential, Altona is becoming gentrified. The proximity of the sea and beach makes it an attractive option for residential developments. The sea at winter and low tide, however, is rather stark - which in itself has a rather bleak beauty to it.

This post is part of the Scenic Sunday meme.

Saturday 28 July 2012


Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex is a large casino and entertainment precinct located on the south bank of the Yarra River, in Melbourne. Crown's current casino complex opened in 1997, after moving from its original location from 1994 on the north bank of the Yarra. It is one of the central features of the Southbank area in the central business district and the Crown Promenade fronts onto the waterfront as part of Southbank Promenade.

Children under 18 are permitted into the entertainment section of complex, but not into the gaming area or areas serving alcohol. The entire complex has a space of 510,000 m² which is equivalent to 2 city blocks, making it the largest casino complex in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.

This post is part of James' Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday 27 July 2012


During the 19th century, the Yarra River near the corner of Queen and Flinders streets was the focus of Melbourne's shipping activity. Natural falls in the river created a barrier between the salt- and freshwater, and just below the falls a natural widening in the river enabled boats to turn around after unloading at Customs House (now the Immigration Museum).In 1996, the Yarra Turning Basin Project was launched. This would recreate the historic turning basin, which had since been filled in, and develop a new riverside promenade that would complement and extend the existing spatial design of the river's northern bank.

The concept for the site's public artwork entailed a series of five figureheads, which would sit on wooden piers that were integral to the design and material of the timber wharf. Melbourne Council's Public Art & Acquisitions Committee selected Bruce Armstrong and Geoffrey Bartlett's design from a short-list of four. Both Armstrong and Bartlett are renowned Melbourne sculptors, each having undertaken many public commissions and having exhibited widely. With the working title '5 figureheads', they crafted "Constellation" from wood and metal, and using traditional and contemporary approaches to the sculpture's design.

The five carved-wood figureheads comprise a dragon, woman, bird, man and lion. These evoke a long history of figurehead carving from around the world and also reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of those who used the turning basin during the early years of settlement. The constructed metal elements suggest maritime forms, lines and images but they are never simply literal; they require the viewer to engage with the work to read their reference point. The title of this work, too, pays homage to the long history of seafaring, the stars having guided many a vessel from one port to another. Constellation was unveiled in 1997.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 26 July 2012


Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, New South Wales, with its main hub at Sydney Airport. It is Australia's largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world and the second oldest in the world overall. Qantas headquarters are located in the Qantas Centre in the Mascot suburb of the City of Botany Bay. Qantas still retains a 65% share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.

I was in Sydney for work and only returned late tonight, but had the opportunity to take a few photos from the plane. Most of them turned really bad because of the darkness and the motion of the plane, however, I give you two. The first as we were approaching Melbourne Airport to land, and the second after we landed, waiting for the doors to open. The Qantas logo of course features the "Flying Kangaroo".

This post is part of Lesley's Signs, Signs meme.

Wednesday 25 July 2012


Darebin Creek rises on Melbourne’s northern outskirts and travels through rural landscapes before entering urban and industrial areas as the creek flows towards Melbourne.  The creek has been heavily modified and environmental values are low. However, some threatened flora and fauna species such as growling grass frog are present and the recent building of fishways on several barriers have improved the ability of native fish, such as common galaxias and shortfinned eel to move through the creek. The extensive network of bike paths, parks and reserves, as well as Aboriginal and European heritage, contribute to a high social value. Risks include poor water quality, poor quality streamside zone, flow stress and the presence of exotic fish.

We are lucky to live close to the Darebin Parklands, through which the Creek flows and where these wintry photographs were taken recently during one of our customary walks there.

This post is part of Kim's Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of Susan's Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of Nature Footsteps Waters meme.