Brunswick East, Victoria

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Brunswick East
Part-time tram lane on Nicholson Street, Brunswick East.jpg
Nicholson Street in Brunswick East
Brunswick East is located in Melbourne
Brunswick East
Brunswick East
Coordinates37°46′34″S 144°58′26″E / 37.776°S 144.974°E / -37.776; 144.974Coordinates: 37°46′34″S 144°58′26″E / 37.776°S 144.974°E / -37.776; 144.974
Population11,504 (2016)[1]
 • Density5,230/km2 (13,540/sq mi)
Area2.2 km2 (0.8 sq mi)
Location6 km (4 mi) from Melbourne
LGA(s)City of Moreland
State electorate(s)Brunswick
Federal division(s)Wills
Suburbs around Brunswick East:
Coburg Coburg Thornbury
Brunswick Brunswick East Northcote
Princes Hill Carlton North, Fitzroy North Northcote

Brunswick East is an inner-city suburb 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) north from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Moreland. At the 2016 Census, Brunswick East had a population of 11,504.

Bordered generally by Lygon Street and Holmes Street in the west; the Merri Creek in the east adjoining Northcote; Park Street, Nicholson Street and Glenlyon Road in the south adjoining Carlton North and Fitzroy North; and Moreland Road in the north adjoining Coburg. Brunswick East is a mixed-use suburb, consisting of primarily residential and commercial properties.


Lygon Street and Nicholson Street run along Brunswick East's western border with neighbouring Brunswick, while Park Street (one block south of the main thoroughfare of Brunswick Road) and Glenlyon Road form the southern border with Carlton North and Fitzroy North respectively. Merri Creek marks the eastern border with adjoining Northcote. Moreland Road marks the northern border with adjoining Coburg.

Brunswick East has a hillier landscape than Brunswick.[2]


East Brunswick Hotel, built in 1880

In 1839 under the instructions of Robert Hoddle, chief surveyor, the area of Brunswick, including East Brunswick, was surveyed. Big blocks were marked out of 112 miles long by 1/4-mile wide. The blocks were bought mostly by land speculators.

Bluestone quarrying was one of the first industries in Brunswick East. By 1852 the local stone quarries had been worked to the point of exhaustion.

Significant residential subdivision of the area took place in the 1880s (Brunswick East Post Office opening on 13 January 1888)[3] and also in the period after World War I. In 1916, the tram along Lygon Street was electrified, making access much easier.

Brunswick's first textile factory, Prestige Hosiery, opened in 1922, and the suburb became the location of numerous textile and garment factories. The textile industry has been in substantial decline in the suburb since the 1980s with the liberalisation and elimination of tariff controls by successive Federal Governments.

Redevelopment of commercial and industrial property has taken place for medium and high density housing as part of the intense gentrification Brunswick East has been subjected to.


Our Lady's Hall

According to the 2011 Census, there were 8476 people were living in Brunswick East.[4] The population rose from 7410 recorded in 2006,[5] and 6845 in 2001.[6]

The suburb has a higher proportion of people 18–34 years and a lower proportion of children 0–17 years and older people over 70 years, than the Moreland average. While cultural diversity is declining, nearly one third of all citizens were born overseas, which, although lower than the Moreland average, is substantially higher than the metropolitan average.

In the 2011 Census, 65.5% of people reported speaking only English at home. The most common other languages spoken at home are Italian (9.2%), Greek (4.6%), Arabic (2.5%), Mandarin (1.8%) and Cantonese (1.0%).[4] In the census, 39.4% of people identified as having no religion (markedly more than the state average of 24.0%), 26.5% as Catholic, 6.6% as Eastern Orthodox, 4.4% as Anglican and 2.8% as Buddhist.[4]

Brunswick East has a high proportion of flats, units, apartments and semi-detached row townhouses. Separate houses make up just over half of all dwellings. More than one in four households in Brunswick East are lone person households and 14 per cent are group households, which is higher than the Moreland and metropolitan averages. There is also a high proportion of rental households, which is also significantly higher than the metropolitan and Moreland averages.

Residents of Brunswick East tend to be highly educated with 28 per cent having a bachelor's degree or higher, and over half of all residents having completed Year 12 schooling, significantly higher than the municipal and metropolitan averages. A high proportion of professionals work in Brunswick East, with declining numbers of labourers, trades, production and transport workers. Income data from the 2001 Census highlights that there are still pockets of disadvantage in the suburb with almost half of the citizens on weekly individual incomes of less than $400 per week, with 10 per cent of citizens on incomes of less than $120 per week.

Commerce and culture[edit]

At the southern end of the Brunswick East strip of Lygon Street there is an increasing diversity of restaurants and cafés offering a variety of cuisines including: Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, and Malaysian foods. This restaurant strip is quite separate from the longer established "Little Italy" strip of restaurants and street cafés further south in Lygon Street, Carlton. At the northern end of the Brunswick East strip of Lygon St is a neighbourhood strip with a mixture of community, retail and entertainment venues. Between the two, Lygon Street is predominantly light industrial buildings undergoing a process of redevelopment to mixed-use. The East Brunswick Club Hotel became popular in the mid-2000s as a music venue.

Community radio station 3RRR moved from Fitzroy to the corner Blyth and Nicholson Streets in late 2004, opposite another music venue, the Lomond Hotel.


E 6005 tram at East Brunswick on route 96

Commuters to the city use buses and trams.[2]

Three tram lines service Brunswick East:

Several bus routes travel east-west through the suburb, including:

Cyclists have available many, on road cycle lanes as well as easy access to the Merri Creek Trail along Merri Creek. On the southern edge of the suburb the old Inner Circle railway line is now a linear park which is a part of the Capital City Trail for pedestrians and cyclists. This trail connects the Merri Creek Trail to the Moonee Ponds Creek Trail in the network of pedestrian and bicycle shared use paths for Cycling in Melbourne.


Brunswick East Primary School

The CERES Community Environment Park (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) is a 10-acre (40,000 m2) urban environmental centre located in Brunswick East's eastern border.

  • A long-standing landmark of the northern half of Brunswick East is the Brunswick East Primary School, Stewart Street, first established in 1893, which still retains the original bell tower construction and much of its overall core structure, plus necessary additions over the decades.
  • The heritage-listed buildings at Brunswick South Primary School on Brunswick Road are a local landmark.
  • A large yellow community building operated by the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne is found by the tram terminal at the end of Nicholson Street.

Public open space[edit]

Houses in Brunswick east, looking towards Melbourne from Jones Park hill

East Brunswick has several parks and reserves of varying size as well as the Merri Creek corridor which is managed by a long-standing community group and has a popular bike path connected to the main Yarra Trail. The public open space forming part of the Merri Creek corridor or directly accessible from it includes:

  • Allard Park (oval)
  • Anderson Reserve
  • Jones Park
  • Roberts Reserve
  • Brunswick Velodrome
  • Sumner Park (small oval/soccer pitch)
  • Merri Creek Reserve

Within the built-up area of East Brunswick, public open space includes:

  • Fleming Park + Brunswick Bowling Club
  • Methven Park
  • Fisher Reserve
  • Balfe Park (soccer pitch)
  • Douglas Reserve

Educational facilities[edit]

Brunswick East has two government primary schools, Brunswick East Primary School (BEPS) and Brunswick South Primary School (BSPS), and a Catholic primary school, Our Lady Help of Christians, while the nearest high school is in Northcote.[2] Brunswick East Primary School opened in 1893, and renovated in 1922, the early 1970s and 1997.[7] CERES provides courses about environmental sustainability.

Development issues[edit]

Brunswick East is an area in transition. Lygon Street and parts of Nicholson Street are its main activity centres, with a mix of commercial, retail, community and light industrial in the former, and a bias towards light industrial and residential in the latter. Rises in land values due to gentrification, have resulted in many of the industrial uses vacating their buildings, which have become attractive to developers of medium and higher-density residential projects, often with a small commercial or retail component. Many of these projects have been contentious among the local community, the most notable being the East Brunswick Village development on Nicholson Street.[8] Local groups such as the Brunswick Progress Association and the Brunswick Residents Network have been active in anti-development campaigns, along with the local branch of Save Our Suburbs, Brunswick Residents Against Inappropriate Development. In 2006, Moreland City Council commenced a consultative process to develop a Structure Plan for the Brunswick Major Activity Centre, whose study area incorporates Lygon Street, Nicholson Street and much of the adjoining suburb of Brunswick.


Brunswick East was a part of the City of Brunswick local government area until the latter was amalgamated with councils to the north to make the City of Moreland in 1994. The area has traditionally been considered an Australian Labor Party stronghold, although with recent demographic changes the area has contributed to the election of an Australian Greens Party Councillor to the Moreland Council in 2001, 2004, 2008,[9] and again in 2012.[10]

At federal level, Brunswick East is within the Division of Wills, held by Peter Khalil of the ALP since 2016. In the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Brunswick East lies within the Electoral district of Brunswick, which is held by the ALP member Jane Garrett. For the 1999 state election, the suburb lay in the Electoral district of Coburg.[11] Polling place statistics are presented below combining the votes from the Brunswick East and Brunswick South East polling places in the federal and state elections as indicated.

Federal results
Election First Second Third Fourth Fifth
2013 [12][13] Greens 40.1 Labor 33.3 Liberal 14.2 Independent 0.03 Sex Party 0.03
2010 [14][15] Labor 42.0 Greens 37.6 Liberal 13.0 Socialist Alliance 1.3 Australian Democrats 0.7
2007 [16][17] Labor 49.5 Greens 27.6 Liberal 15.7 Australian Democrats 1.8 Socialist Alliance 1.3
2004 [18][19] Labor 48.3 Greens 24.6 Liberal 18.0 Socialist Alliance 1.6 Australian Democrats 1.5
2001 [20] Labor 49.7 Greens 20.6 Liberal 15.35 Australian Democrats 5.9 Independent 1.7
State results (Two candidate preferred votes)
Election First Second
2014[21] Greens 52.3 Labor 44.0
2010[22] Labor 47.7 Greens 47.3
2006[23] Greens 46.9 Labor 46.3
2002[24] Labor 79.0 Liberal 14.9
1999[11] Labor 72.9 Liberal 22.9

Notable people[edit]

• Members of the band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

• David Wilson (1944-2018) journalist with the Melbourne Herald-Sun and Sunday Herald-Sun


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Brunswick East (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c Koulizos, Peter (2016). The Property Professor's Top Australian Suburbs: A Guide for Investors and Home Buyers. John Wiley & Sons. p. 136. ISBN 9781118320372.
  3. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Brunswick East (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 June 2012. Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Community Profile Series : Brunswick East (State Suburb)". 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  6. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (19 November 2002). "Community Profile Series : Brunswick East (State Suburb)". 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Brunswick East Primary School". Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  8. ^ Council, Moreland City. "East Brunswick Village". Moreland City Council. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  9. ^ Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  10. ^ Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Coburg District Two Candidate Preferred Results by Voting Centre". State Election 1999. Victorian Electoral Commission. 30 May 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick East". Election 2013:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 1 October 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick South East". Election 2013:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 1 October 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick East". Election 2010:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 13 October 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick North East". Election 2010:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 13 October 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick East". Election 2007:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 12 December 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick North East". Election 2007:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 12 December 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick East". Election 2004:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 9 November 2004. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick North East". Election 2004:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 9 November 2004. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Polling Place - Brunswick North East". Election 2001:Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). 2001. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Brunswick District Two Candidate Preferred Results by Voting Centre". State Election 2014. Victorian Electoral Commission. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Brunswick District Two Candidate Preferred Results by Voting Centre". State Election 2010. Victorian Electoral Commission. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Brunswick District Two Candidate Preferred Results by Voting Centre". State Election 2006. Victorian Electoral Commission. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Brunswick District Two Candidate Preferred Results by Voting Centre". State Election 2002. Victorian Electoral Commission. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2016.


  • Barnes, Les (1987). It Happened in Brunswick 1837–1987. Brunswick Community History Group. ISBN 0-9587742-0-X. (64 pages)
  • Moreland City Council: Brunswick East Suburb Profile (2004)

External links[edit]