Nestled on the western shoreline of Port Phillip Bay is a hidden gem, on the lands of the Bunurong people of the south-eastern Kulin Nation, the internationally recognised Ramsar-listed Cheetham Wetlands. It is a biodiversity hotspot that contributes significantly to social, cultural, economic, and environmental values in Victoria. A wetlands centre located here will unlock the eco-tourism potential of one of Melbourne’s best-kept local secrets. 

    Wetlands are unique eco-systems with habitats that support thousands of migratory and local birds, animals and marine life. These wetlands play an essential role in the health and wellbeing of our natural environment by protecting our shorelines, absorbing pollutants and improving water quality. However, these vital eco-systems are being threatened by climate change. 

    The Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc, together with the Hobsons Bay City Council are leading the way with partners, Deakin University, Melbourne Water, Greater Western Water, Ecolinc, Cirqit Health, Birdlife Australia in pursuit of a funding commitment from the state and federal governments towards a new nature-based Wetlands Centre to be built in Melbourne’s west, providing a unique and innovative approach to wetland conservation.

    The site for the proposed centre is HD Graham Reserve in Altona Meadows, a stone’s throw from the Altona Sports Centre. The vision is a state-of-the-art visitors centre suitable for all ages, stages, and abilities. A place where people can improve their health and wellbeing by connecting with nature and learning about the importance of our precious natural environment. 

    The centre will feature dedicated visitor and research facilities; classrooms; nature and water-based play areas; indoor/outdoor public spaces; a café and office space; accessible walking trails and boardwalks; landscaping and an ephemeral wetland.  

    With a team led by Grimshaw Architects, the centre has been co-designed in consultation with Elders of the Bunurong Land Council using Australian-first biophilic and indigenous design architectural principles. 

    Enhancing one of the largest open spaces in Melbourne’s West, the proposed centre will complement the many other recreational attractions including the Altona Sports Centre, Truganina Park and the 100 Steps of Federation, connected by easy access from the very popular cycling/walking paths, the Bay West Trail and Laverton Creek Trail.

    Together we can all learn about and engage with one of the world’s most endangered eco-systems so that we will be better able to and more inclined to protect and care for it. 

    For more information on the proposed Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre visit:  

    The Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc is hosting an Open Day on Saturday October 8th. Come along to learn more about the importance of wetlands from experts in the field, engage in art and science activities for all ages, take a walking tour and enjoy a free sausage sizzle.  

    It will be a fun filled day for the whole family as we also welcome back the many thousands of migratory birds that journey along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway to call Hobsons Bay home for the summer months.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #97 June 2024

    Recent editions


    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles