Montague: A Community Lost and Found, an exhibition which gives viewers a glimpse into the lives of Montague residents, is on display at Carlisle Street Arts Space (CSAS) from 4 December 2019 to 29 January 2020.
Montague was a small but distinctive enclave within the former City of South Melbourne, where a close-knit community participated in the development of early Melbourne through employment in local industries, serving in two world wars, and surviving the ups and downs of a developing economy and country.
The exhibition is centred around a series of photographs from the 1930s, from the Port Phillip City Collection, of Montague streetscapes and is further bolstered by heritage objects, archival documents and personal stories telling the development of Montague from the late 1860s to its demolition in the 1960s.
Interviews with 10 former residents, which have been woven into a film, give viewers further insight into the lives and social history of one of Melbourne’s earliest settlements.
Mayor Bernadene Voss said the exhibition was a fascinating journey back in time.
“This exhibition brings to life the triumphs and struggles early residents of our City faced. Montague was a bustling community and it’s interesting to see that as much as South Melbourne has changed, so many streets are instantly recognisable. The Port Phillip City Collection is an invaluable resource and I would encourage residents to make time to see this exhibition,” Cr Voss said.
The area was known for its community ties, with Montague having its own school, church, police station, kindergarten, football team, hotels and shops.
By 1875, there were approximately 560 households in Montague, with the number swelling to more than 2000 by 1900.
The 1930s saw the Victorian Government’s Slum Abolition Board earmark the whole area for demolition and most people had relocated by the 1960s.
Today, Montague is being reimagined as one of the fastest-growing residential precincts in Fishermans Bend.
As part of International Day of People with Disability, an audio-described tour of Montague: A Community Lost and Found will be held on Thursday 5 December from 6 to 7 pm.
Tickets are free and can be booked via Trybooking.
Carlisle Street Arts Space is open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm. Entry is free of charge.