Kings Domain, Melbourne
|Government House in the south-east corner of Kings Domain|
|Terrain||Undulating hills, Riverbank|
|Vegetation||Australian Native, Lawns, Non-native traditional gardens|
|Facilities||Toilets, Shelters, Seating|
|Landmarks||Yarra River, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Shrine of Remembrance, Government House, Indigenous Remains Memorial, Various statues|
|Connecting Transport||Tram, Bus, Car|
Kings Domain is an area of parklands in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It surrounds Government House Reserve, the home of the Governors of Victoria, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, and the Shrine Reserve incorporating the Shrine of Remembrance.
The park was established in 1854, extending the Domain Parklands further north-west, it covers an area of 36 hectares of lawns and pathways set among non-native and native Australian mature trees, a mixture of deciduous and evergreens. In the 19th century the Kings Domain was managed by the Director of the Botanic Gardens, so many of the trees were planted by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller and later by William Guilfoyle. Around the Domain are scattered memorial statues and sculptures, each with their own story.
Kings Domain is part of a larger group of parklands directly south-east of the city, between St. Kilda Road and the Yarra River known as the Domain Parklands, which includes;
Structures & other features
- The Sidney Myer Music Bowl - a world standard, architecturally significant, tensile structure and outdoor performance venue. It was officially opened by Prime Minister Robert Menzies on 12 February 1959 with an audience of some 30,000 people, and has remained a popular location for Melburnians.
- The Shrine of Remembrance is one of the largest war memorials in Australia. It was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who died in World War I, but soon came to be seen as Australia's major memorial to all the 60,000 Australians who served in that war.
- Governor La Trobe's Cottage is an historic cottage built in 1839 for the first superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, Charles La Trobe, and his family. The cottage was constructed out of prefabricated materials imported from England on five hectares of land at Jolimont. It is one of the few surviving examples still standing of prefabricated houses from this period of history and gives an insight into early colonial domestic architecture and living arrangements. In 1963 the cottage was relocated to the Kings Domain as an historical landmark, and is now located backing on to Dallas Brooks Drive.
- Government House, Melbourne is the office and official residence of the Governor of Victoria. It has also been used as the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia from 1901 to 1930 and from 1934 has been used continuously as the residence of the Governor of Victoria. Built between 1871 to 1876 in the Victorian Period Italianate style, it reflects the extravagant style of the period arising from a booming economy due to the Victorian gold rushes.
- The Pioneer Women's Garden was designed by Hugh Linaker and features a sunken garden area, with a blue-tiled grotto, which contains a small bronze figure of a woman, in tribute to the European pioneer women of the colony. The garden was opened in 1935 during the centenary year of the founding of Melbourne.
- A Memorial for the remains of indigenous people can be seen as a cluster of five painted eucalypt poles, adorned with the spirit people, the Rainbow Serpent and red ribbons, stands above a granite Burial rock honouring the Aboriginal people of Victoria, including the local Wurundjeri. The skeletal remains of 38 Aborigines are buried here, after they were handed over to the Aboriginal Community in 1985 by the Melbourne Museum under threat of legal action by the Koorie Heritage Trust. The burial of the remains was performed as a tribute to the people whose long relationship with the land was destroyed with European settlement. The poles were made in 1995 by Megan Evans and Ray Thomas.
A memorial to Sir John Monash, as Commander in Chief of the Australian Forces during World War I, is commemorated in a bronze equestrian statue created by William Leslie Bowles. It was unveiled by the Governor-General, William McKell, on 12 November 1950.
- An interactive sculpture consisting of three bronze bells commemorates the life of Tilly Aston, a blind disability activist who founded the Victorian Association of Braille Writers, and later went on to establish the Association for the Advancement of the Blind. On the sculpture there is an embedded image of Tilly Aston with text in embossed lettering and in braille. The memorial was created by Anton Hasell in 1999.
- A memorial statue of Sir Thomas Blamey stands on the corner of Government House Drive and Birdwood Avenue. It was sculptured from granite and bronze by Raymond B. Ewers and presented to the city in February 1960. It recognises Australia’s first Field Marshal and his insistence to the British command that Australian forces remain as cohesive units under Australian command.
- South African War Memorial (Memorial to Fallen Soldiers). A central obelisk with a lion on each of four corners is the memorial for the Australians who died in the South African War of 1899-1902 (Boer War) Sculptored by J. Hamilton and erected in 1904 with members of the 5th Victorian Contingent Victorian Mounted Rifles.
- The Walker Fountain was donated by Ron Walker, Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 1981. It is located on Linlithgow Avenue and consists of a small lake with hundreds of streams of water, including underwater lights.
- A statue of Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop is made from bronze, granite and metal spikes from the Burma-Thailand Railway in 1995 by Peter Corlett. Weary Dunlop was known as a courageous leader and compassionate doctor, and showed great leadership whileserving as prisoner of war in Changi prison and on the Burma-Thailand Railway during World War 2. On the steps leading to the sculpture are the names of other doctors who were also POWs at Changi.
- English Nurse Edith Cavell is remembered in Melbourne with a marble bust erected by public subscription. Cavell helped English and French prisoners escape from Belgium during World War I, and was tried by the Germans and executed on 12 October 1915. The bust was sculptored by Margaret Baskerville, and unveiled in 1926.
- Facing St Kilda Road near the entry to Government House Drive stands a bronze equestrian statue of Lord Hopetoun, more properly called John Hope, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, also known as the first Governor-General of Australia.
- The King George V Memorial was created by William Leslie Bowle after a public meeting on 6 February 1937 decided to erect a memorial for the late King and launched a public appeal. Construction of the bronze, granite and sandstone sculpture was delayed by World War 2 and was completed in 1951.
- Native Animals : Many native animals live in and visit King's Domain - Brush-tailed and Ring-tailed possums, Tawny Frogmouths, Magpies, Gould's wattled bats, Eastern Freetailed bats and Grey headed flying foxes, Native water rats (Rakali), Kookaburras and several varieties of waterbirds.
2006 Aboriginal Protest Campsite
In March 2006, during the Commonwealth Games, an Aboriginal activist group calling itself "Black GST" (Genocide, Sovereignty, Treaty) set up a campsite there in protest against Aboriginal living conditions and the absence of a treaty between the original indigenous inhabitants of the area and the present Government. On 11 April 2006, they were granted a further 30 days to keep their fire going, despite a Supreme Court order that they remove their tents by 2pm on 13 April 2006. The aboriginal protesters have since removed their tents, but are now sleeping in a dilapidated caravan parked in an all day car park. The Melbourne City Council has since started fining them $50 per day for overstaying the time limit. Protection (under a Court order) for the fire expired on 10 May 2006 and shortly after midnight on that date, council workers extinguished it.
- Victorian Heritage List Statement of Significance
- Kings Domain Melbourne City Council webpage 
- Disability information
- Herald Sun story on the Aboriginal protest
- The Age story on the protest
- Wikinews coverage of the protest
- Stolenwealth website