Where the Streets have Flower Names

Wendouree West, Victoria Australia.


Streets in the suburb of Wendouree West were given Botanical names when planning began in 1949. Instigated by State Housing Authorities Wendouree West was built by the then Housing Commission to accommodate the housing needs of post Second World War Ballarat.


Some 750 pre fabricated weatherboard houses were rapidly constructed in the years shortly after.


All the houses had the same simple “split down the middle” transportable design. Built from weatherboard, fibro sheeting. They had corrugated iron low pitch rooves and “Selkirk” red clinker brick chimneys that were built in situ, once the houses were set on site.


As part of subsequent revitalisation initiatives many of the original houses were painted in bright colours. This paint pallet lifting the mood of the area with bold and vibrant statements, in a way that only colour can.


It is easy to form a quick opinion or to have a pre determined conclusion about Wendouree West from first impressions. And you are probably right because it is a suburb that wears its heart on its sleeve, if not on its sleeve tattoo.  There is no hiding behind the facade of luxury here. This is a gritty suburb and the grit is real.


I really like the coloured houses, they strike out at oppression and conformity with small gestures of defiance that make me smile. Colour does that.  There is something nice about being presented with non-pretentious reality of a place like Wendouree.


Wendouree gets its name from the local Australian First Nations, Wathaurong word “wendaaree” meaning "be off" (or "go away").


Scott Fredericks

Copyright 2021