Elegant homes and residents of influence go hand in hand in the inner-eastern suburb of Hawthorn. This neighbourhood is studded with relaxing waterways and orderly, tree-lined streets fronting well-preserved Victorian, Edwardian and Federation homes and highly selective private schools.
And over the years its citizenry has included Roman Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix, whose palace, Raheen, is now home to wealthy industrialist Richard Pratt; Sir James Palmer, doctor, businessman, philanthropist, politician and Mayor of Melbourne, and educationalists George and Ethel Swinburne.
Hawthorn also lays claim to one of Melbourne’s most exclusive shopping strips on Glenferrie Road. While the thoroughfare is now synonymous with the top clothing labels, Glenferrie Road also presided over the emergence of a true Australian icon in the late 19th century, the Malvern Star bicycle.
The first of the bicycles was built in a factory on Glenferrie Road and the headquarters were still in Hawthorn when Australia's most enduring champion Hubert Opperman rode the Malvern Star to international glory between the world wars.