Experience the Dandenongs

Mount Dandenong & Surrounds


The Changing Face of the Dandenongs’ Culture

The Dandenong Ranges are a temperate rainforest region dominated by towering mountain ash trees, pine needles, and tree ferns. Snowfall occurs several times annually at higher elevations.

Capital Alliance’s plan includes plans for new apartment towers, shops and community centres in Dandenong’s central area as well as an addition of a Little India precinct.

Afghan Bazaar

As an important economic hub, the bazaar provides both autonomy from state authority and close ties that foster cooperation. Here, traders meet customers to trade goods and services; creating an unmatched cultural space often seen as a model for Afghanistan’s future.

Though its challenges persist, the money bazaar remains resilient and continues to thrive. One factor contributing to its success can be found in an increase in development work after 2001; various local and international non-governmental organizations launched numerous projects across the country that required large sums of money be transferred quickly and securely (Marsden 2015 and Bizhan2018a). Money exchangers stepped in quickly, providing essential financial architecture through which hundreds of millions could be safely moved quickly and quickly (Marsden Reference Bizhan2018a).

But this increased activity hasn’t necessarily translated to higher customer confidence in the bazaar. Some exchangers may be complicit in handling funds from illegal activities involving not just opium traffickers but also corrupt government officials and criminals whose funds may damage its reputation; so it is crucial for communities to know which exchangers they can trust.

At Turquoise Mountain, an organization providing training for Afghan artisans, Mr. Wide aims to disprove this notion of money bazaar by emphasizing craftsmanship involved in its products’ production. His objective is to inspire pride among upper middle-class Afghans – something he acknowledges is difficult due to many preferring shopping at mega malls where everything they need can be found all in one convenient spot.

Jaker’s has seen its number of shoppers diminish over time, yet that doesn’t indicate its death. Military presence in the area has helped offset mall competition; Marines bring in customers from nearby villages; the bazaar expands; Golf Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment’s commanding officer noted “there are shops everywhere”. A dozen more are under construction with an estimate that it could cover six square miles by end of year.

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Little India

Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam are three key spots that Singapore’s Indian population frequent to shop, meet friends, dine out and pray. “Little India holds great religious significance for my community,” Kokila Annamalai – an active member and third generation Tamil Singaporean – tells CNN. This place serves as home and is where they can practice their faith.

At first, this area was home to limestone pits, brick kilns and race tracks; later its streets were lined with merchants selling Indian silks, spices and jewelery. Today it’s mostly residential but comes alive during festivals like Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations.

Little India wasn’t given its formal title until the 1980s; prior to this it had long been known by other names, such as Sunnambu Kambam or Kandang Kerbau, and later Tek Kia Kah (“Little Lime Village”). Little India is particularly symbolic for Indian identity in Singapore due to their participation in political activism during Singapore’s independence movement. Even today it remains a hub of South Asian culture, religion and cuisine despite increased Chinese, Eurasians and Malays setting up businesses there as well.

As well as discovering unique shops and restaurants, take some time to appreciate the impressive street art in this historic district. A quick detour from Abdul Gaffoor Mosque at 10 2 Dickson Road will lead you directly to an eye-catching floral mural by artist duo sobandwine; perfect for #OOTD photos!

Experience Little India like never before by going on a guided tour with a local. A knowledgeable guide will show you all of its religious sites, from temples and mosques to small altars dedicated to various personal beliefs; some hidden inside shophouses or small spaces but definitely worth looking at! Tour companies like Urban Adventures and The Local Project provide these tours, too.

William Ricketts Sanctuary

William Ricketts Sanctuary can be found tucked into a quiet inlet at Mt Dandenong and provides visitors with a stunning visual feast depicting that all life is connected. A walkable park, it provides visitors with over 100 sculptures which embody Rickett’s philosophy that we must act as custodians of nature, maintaining and respecting it just as Aborigines did prior to European settlement. Many visit to reflect upon its message.

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Born in Richmond, Ricketts (known by his nickname of Bill) did not receive formal pottery training and his works were far from technically superior, yet their powerful message of Aboriginal spirituality and respect for nature made up for any shortcomings in technique. After spending some time as an apprentice jeweller and violinist in cinema orchestras, Ricketts eventually saved enough money to purchase an expansive tract of native forest on Melbourne’s outskirts and move there, living out his days in a primitive wood shack while augmenting his basic lifestyle with income from public exhibitions of his sculptures.

Ricketts held an immense passion for Indigenous culture and used its iconography throughout his gallery. His clay works frequently included depictions of Aboriginal faces and hands intertwined with vegetation and small Australian marsupials such as possums and kangaroos; he even used natural elements like running water as symbolic gestures to represent life’s constant renewal.

Ricketts created an homage to nature at his ‘Mountain Gallery,’ located in Olinda near towering Mountain Ash trees and winding bush paths, by way of kiln-fired clay sculptures made in his “Mountain Gallery.” These sculptures spoke volumes for their need of bridging cultures while protecting our natural world from human rapacity – as well as offering personal mysticism inspired by Aboriginal beliefs about totemic beliefs about the world.

Ricketts was an internationally acclaimed artist, making an impactful mark on Australian art circles during his heyday in the 1930s and 40s. The Victorian government purchased Ricketts land and adjoining blocks during the 1960s, creating the Sanctuary public reserve – it remains open daily except Christmas Day and Total Fire Ban days; perfect for strolling contemplatively or picnicking, particularly with young families in mind. Critics point to problematic naivete in some of its more exuberant representations of Indigenous affairs or attempts at recreating lost mythologies within.

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Dandenong Community Cemetery

Melbourne cemeteries were often neglected, but this has changed with modern design opening up cemeteries to the public and encouraging visitors to learn more about our city’s past, according to Kirsten Bauer of Aspect Studios. Bunurong Memorial Park and Cemetery is an outstanding example.

Ascending to provide stunning views of the Dandenong Ranges, the cemetery boasts an enduring cultural and natural landscape. Established around 1857 along with Cranbourne and Pakenham cemeteries, its arrival filled it with families from across West Gippsland farming districts such as Kirkham Masters Rossiter Frawley Suding Twiss families; Ordish Orthgies Hutton Bowman Keys pioneers are interred here along with several notable community leaders and politicians buried here as well.

St Kilda Cemetery holds considerable heritage value due to its integral association with settlement in the area, and in particular St Kilda (Criterion A.4). Additionally, its townscape value is enhanced by undisturbed headstones and memorials along with undisturbed iron, stone and brick fences (Criterion F.1). Furthermore, this cemetery boasts several notable trees such as several large Bhutan cypresses (Cupressus torulosa); three Camphor Laurels (Cinnamomum camphora); London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia); Himalayan Cedar (Cedrus deodara).

As well as housing a cemetery, the site features a cafe, children’s playground, walking and running trails, picnic areas and space for events. Furthermore, this region hosts various species of flora, fauna and birds, such as an endangered koala population living amongst eucalyptus trees.

The site is managed jointly by Yarra Glen Shire Council and Necropolis Springvale under a long-term lease agreement, and hopes to form a community management partnership to safeguard it for future generations. Unlike many cemeteries, which operate under independent Trusts, Springvale Cemetery does not. As it is a popular location for weddings, memorial services and baptisms; hopefully through this partnership arrangement its cultural significance for community can remain secure.