Merlynston is a pocket of North Coburg bordered roughly by Bakers Road, Sussex Street, Boundary Road and Sydney Road. Australia Post no longer recognises Merlynston as a separate suburb to Coburg or North Coburg, but those of us who live here think it is a pretty unique place. We have our own train station, post office, pharmacy, tennis club, TWO cafes (beat that, Brunswick…) and a beautiful village green area. We’re probably safe in saying that Merlynston is home to Melbourne’s only “Welcome Shop” – to find out more about that you’ll have to step inside.
What Merlynston is currently missing is an inside meeting space that the community of 1000-or-so households can access. This is about to change as Moreland council has now set aside $500,000 to refurbish the hall and is currently looking for a partnership in its refurbishment and management.
In 2011 some Merlynston residents got together and begun plotting to reclaim the community’s Progress Hall (1 Novian Street), which for many years has been used by Moreland City Council to store Christmas decorations. Built by Merlynston residents in the 1920s it is now considered unsafe for use by residents. You can read more about the Save Progress Hall campaign.
The campaign to reclaim Progress Hall was a springboard for further community creativity. In 2012 the Merlynston Sustainability Group joined forces with arts group Collaborative Cultures to stage the inaugural Merlynston Diverse Voices Festival, held in Bain Reserve and The Welcome Shop, in November 2012. The festival showcased the artistic and musical talents of local residents and gave weight to the argument that an indoor performance and community meeting space would be well-utilised in Merlynston.
In November 2014 we staged a second Merlynston Diverse Voices Festival. To learn more, click here.