We acknowledge the traditional owners of the Oakleigh area, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong People of the Kulin Nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We also recognise their deep connection to the Country where Oakleigh sits and their role in caring for and maintaining Country over thousands of years.
History of Oakleigh – Fast Facts
- Oakleigh first took shape as a rural community following the establishment of pastoral runs near Scotchman’s Creek.
- The development of an Oakleigh township was accelerated with the arrival of the Melbourne-Oakleigh railway line in 1877 which helped to industrialise the area and attract many settlers.
- Many brickworks were established on account of Oakleigh’s rich clay deposits.
- In 1927, Oakleigh was proclaimed its own city with a bustling metropolis and CBD and had its own municipality in the former City of.
- Oakleigh was although it was absorbed into metropolitan Melbourne when during the city’s eastward expansion in the 1950s.
- The large-scale European migration that occurred following the Second World War saw many Italian and Greek immigrants settle near Oakleigh. The Oakleigh community still has a distinct Greek character, with Eaton Mall widely being known as ‘Little Greece’ due to the strip being lined with Greek restaurants, cafes, and specialty shops.
- More recently, the area has undergone significant urban renewal and modernisation which has brought about the construction of many residential communities.
The namesake of Oakleigh is a matter of historical contention. Leading theories are that the name Oakleigh derives from the she-oak trees near Scotchmans Creek, an early settler called Mrs Oakleigh or Oakleigh Park, which is an estate in England.
Today, our local area is home to a diverse and vibrant community. We are renowned for our multiculturalism, with residents coming from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds who contribute an array of traditions, cuisines and languages. We have a range of world class educational institutions, commercial hubs, and brilliant shopping and hospitality strips which people can experience right in the heart of Melbourne. We also have many beautiful parks, recreational facilities and green spaces that provide residents with many opportunities for outdoor leisure, local sport or rest and relaxation.