amblings through the internet

Speak like a Melburnian

How do you pronounce the word reservoir, the dam or water storage facility. Obviously, it’s “res-uh-vwah“, but not if it’s the name of the suburb in Melbourne. That most certainly is pronounced “Res-uh-vorr” as any local will tell you.

There are many suburbs and towns in Melbourne that can trip up a newcomer, some that look rather counter-intuitive, and then some, like the aforementioned Reservoir, that will rile up a local if you get the name wrong.

Here’s the definitive* list of how to pronounce some places in Melbourne (and a few out of Melbourne too).

In the list, pronunciation should be relatively straightforward. I have used standard letters, so some sounds require a special mention.

There are a lot of schwas in Melbourne place names. The letters ih are used to represent a schwa instead of (ə).

The letters “oo” can have several sounds. The sound in “food” is shown as u, (just like in “suit”) while the sound in “book” is shown as oo (like in “soot”).

The sound of a hard “g” like in “go” is hard to represent, especially when the spelling looks like it should be a soft “g”, as in “gel”. In this case, a hard “g” is represented by gh. The word “gift” would be pronounced ghift.

Finally a nasal is represented by n~. This is the sound in the end of the word “ring”.

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first:

Melbourne: mel bihn
While we’re at it, a person from Melbourne is a Melburnian not a Melbournian as per the heading of this post.

Cremorne: crih mawn
Prahran: pih ran
St Kilda: sihn kil da
Toorak: tur rak
Kew: kyu
Malvern: moul vihn
Balaclava: bal uh klah vuh
Caulfield: caw feeld
Nunawading: nun uh wod in~
Ferntree Gully: furntri guh lee (not fern tree)
Doncaster: don cahst uh
Balwyn: ball wihn
Vermont: vurr mont (not vih mont)
Carnegie: Cah neg ee (not carn ih ghee)
Chadstone: chad stihn
Sandringham: san drin~ ham (not san drihn ihm)
Beaumaris: bow morr ihs
Cheltenham: chelt nihm
Mentone: ment own (not men tihn)
Moorabbin: muh rab ihn
Dingley: din~ lee
Westall: wes tall
Keysborough: keez bur uh
Dandenong: dan dee non~
Eumemmering: yu mem mih rin~
Doveton: duv tihn
Narre Warren: nar ree wor ihn
Cranbourne: cran bern
Berwick: ber ick
Bonbeach: bonb eech (not bonn beach)
Carrum: kar ihm
Tooradin: tu ruh dihn
Pakenham: pak ih nuhm
Darebin: dar uh bihn
Reservoir: res uh vorr (not res uh vwah)
Lalor: lay law (not law lah)
Bundoora: bun dur uh
Greensborough: greens bruh or greens bur uh
Roxburgh Park: roks bruh park
South Morang: sowth mih ran~
Maribyrnong: mar ib uh non~
Tottenham: tot ihn ihm
St Albans: sihn awl bihns
Carinlea: cair-n lee
Kealba: kee al bah
Derrimut: derry miht
Gisborne: ghiz bihn
Truganina: truhg a nyn ah (not troog a nina)
Tarneit: tah neet
Wallan: woll ihn
Ballan: bih lan
Geelong: jih lon~
Portarlington: port ah lin~ t!ihn
Stawell: storl

And finally Castlemaine: cass ihl mayn  (absolutely never cah sihl mayn)

*This list is definitive in that it reflects the way locals actually pronounce the place they live.

South Australian Redistribution

My submission for the South Australian redistribution can be found on the AEC website here. I was astounded at the number of suggestions, until I quicky realised that most of them were a result of a scare campaign. Mayo was never in danger of being dissolved.

My thoughts were that with a division being abolished, and the need for the country divisions to expand, that it would have to be a suburban division that disappears. Although, on saying that, you could argue that Wakefield is all but unrecogisable from its original self now, becoming entirely urban. This will happen, as Grey has nowhere else to expand into (excepting for going south into Barker, but that won’t happen).

I was keen to abolish the name Port Adelaide, being that it’s a) generic, b) duplicated, c)a location.

I then split the separate parts, with natural divides at Dry Creek going into Wakefield and Mayo; the northern suburbs going into Adelaide and the western part going into Hindmarsh. From there, it was just a matter of rotating everything else to get a bit more space.

I wanted the Noarlunga River to be the boundary between city and country, but it didn’t quite fit. The line along the Hills is a really strong boundary so I couldn’t break there even if I wanted to, so it meant a part of Kingston had to go south.

All up, I think it works quite well.


Australian Capital Territory Redistribution

My latest suggestion, for the ACT can be found here.

This redistribution came as somewhat of a surprise originally, as there was only one finalised 2 years ago.

However, with the extra population figures, finally the ACT get a third division. The issue was then just a matter of working out where to t put it. The obvious answer was in between the two existing divisions, taking bits off them both.

The issue with the ACT is that suburbs are very clearly defined, but not well bordered. There is often not a straight line road or river that separates two suburbs, particularly around the edges of the districts.

That is the other issue. The districts are quite self-contained and really all suburbs in each district should be kept together. This wasn’t possible, with the size of some districts, and the fact that 8 districts are not easily divisible by 3 divisions.

In the end, I went for splitting Gungahlin, keeping Belconnen intact. Some of the reasons I did it that way was that Gungahlin was a newer development, whereas Belconnen has been together for longer. Gungahlin seems less cut off from the city than Belconnen, which is bordered by parkland and open space, not to mention Black Mountain. Also Gungahlin Drive connects nicely to Tuggeranong Parkway, forming a single roadway as a boundary.

As far as new names, I really don’t want to see Namadgi resurrected. It’s been done before, it’s geographic and predictable.

My suggestion last time was Overall for John Overall who was instrumental in creating the modern appearance of Canberra suburb designs. THis time, I opted for Shakespeare after Arthur Shakespeare who created the Canberra Times newspaper, and Capital Television (now 9 Canberra).


Victorian Redistribution

Suggestions for the Victorian electoral redistribution have closed. My submission can be found here, although how they managed to turn it into a 90MB file I don’t know!

I wasn’t entirely happy with the final product – but then I never am.

I had the south of the Yarra divisions worked out within days of the figures going out, and the country divisions were pretty easy to get too. I had a lot of trouble working out the north western suburbs. Almost all permutations I tried ended up with most divisions very close to the top, but to get the boundaries right would be too many, or too few.

As it turns out, I didn’t mind it, although I would have liked to excise Craigieburn from McEwan altogether, but the numbers just weren’t there.

The other part I wasn’t too keen on was Maribyrnong stretching all the way from Flemington Racecourse to Melbourne Airport, although it is a contiguous division, it’s very elongated.

It will be interesting to see what the committee decide do.  At least they’ll need to make some decisions, there’s a whole new division to add in.



The burden of being one

This post was my first article published on

With Jack Watts, Bryce Gibbs and Luke Hodge all being traded this year, it struck me, just how good are the number one draft picks?

So, I went back over the history books and analysed just how good the number one picks were.

I went as far back as the 1990 draft. This was the first AFL-era draft so it’s as good as any for starting. I decided to omit the first four years and write them off as the clubs finding their feet in the draft.

What struck me immediately was the number of players that changed clubs. Whether it be through delisting, trading or free agency a total of 15 of 27 draftees, or 55.55% have finished playing at a different club.

Only three clubs – Essendon, Geelong and Gold Coast – have not traded a player taken with the first selection.

Adelaide, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and, remarkably, Fitzroy never have had the (dis)honour of holding the number one pick, while Hawthorn traded to receive the pick they would use on Luke Hodge.

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