Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

Displaying 26 - 50 of 130

Johanna Curtain, Mother Mary of Mt Carmel


Nun, third Mother Superior of the Convent of the Good Shepherd

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Sister Mary of Mt Carmel Curtain arrived in Melbourne in July 1867 with three other nuns to join the community of the Convent of the Good Shepherd at Abbotsford which had been set up in 1863 under the leadership of Mother Mary of St Joseph Doyle.  Sister Mary of Mt Carmel became the third Prioress or Mother Superior in 1873 and was to remain in that position until her death in 1888.

William Thomas Dartnell


Soldier, Victoria Cross recipient

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Dartnell was one of two Collingwood boys who were awarded the Victoria Cross, but unlike William Ruthven, Dartnell spent only his early years in Collingwood, as his parents later moved to Fitzroy.  Also unlike Ruthven, he did not survive his act of bravery. 

Mildred Demaine


Memoir writer

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The Snowdens taking tea on the veranda, 1904

Mildred Snowden was the daughter of solicitor Arthur Snowden (later Sir Arthur) and was born at the family home in St Helier’s Street Abbotsford. In later life she wrote reminiscences of her childhood and youth, giving us a rare insight into domestic and social life of the times.

John Dight


Early settler, flour miller

Dight has bequeathed his name to Dight’s Falls where he harnessed the flow of the Yarra to operate the first water-driven flour mill in Melbourne.  In 1840s Melbourne the stretch of the Yarra in what is now Abbotsford attracted people to build houses on large landholdings in an almost rural environment, but Dight was the first to combine home and industry.

Charles Jardine Don


Stonemason, councillor, Member of Parliament

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At his death, The Age wrote that Don ‘had opened for his whole class the portals of the senate’.  He was a pioneer labour parliamentarian as member for Collingwood in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. Don claimed to be the first working tradesman to sit in a parliament of the British Empire.

Bridget Doyle, Mother Mary of St Joseph


Nun, founder of the Convent of the Good Shepherd Abbotsford, first Mother Superior

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Bridget aged about 22

Bridget Doyle, born in Roscrea (County Tipperary) Ireland in 1835, grew up in Rahan (County Cork) during the Famine Years 1847-50. In the late 1850s she entered the Order of the Good Shepherd in Angers, France. She led a party of four nuns to Melbourne in June 1863 at the invitation of Bishop James Goold, who believed that ‘A penitentiary for Females and a juvenile reformatory for girls are much needed.' The little band of sisters immediately set about looking for a suitable house in which to establish their Convent of the Good Shepherd.

Anne Drake



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Mr and Mrs Drake c. 1870, by George Reed

Mrs Anne Drake was a well-known teacher and resident of Abbotsford. She spent twenty years as the head mistress of Abbotsford School, established in 1855 under the Denominational system, followed by twelve years at Cambridge Street State School.

Joel Eade


Builder, architect, councillor, magistrate

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Eade in 1899. CHC PIC 123

Eade was prominent in various aspects of Collingwood life but is now probably best remembered for his involvement with the Collingwood School of Design. Pupils included the inventor Louis Brennan, who showed some of his work at the first exhibition, and the artist, Tom Roberts, who recalled the encouragement of 'higher aspirations in lads who might otherwise have dragged on as common plodders’.

Caroline (Carrie) Earle


Charity worker

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Caroline in 1924

The name ‘Mrs W J Earle’ made a very frequent appearance in newspaper articles from the 1890s to the 1930s. Caroline Earle was a tireless committee worker for several charities, including the Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital, and the Collingwood Crèche. The last had been established in 1886 by the Reverend Dr Strong of the Australian Church and his wife Janet. Caroline became honorary treasurer and later president of the Crèche committee, while living for over forty years at Rathgael on the corner of Hoddle Street and Noone Street in Clifton Hill.

Thomas Archibald Eunson

1872 -1958


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Rev T A Eunson

Reverend Eunson was the pastor of the Sackville Street Baptist Tabernacle from around 1908 to 1950, an extraordinary ministry of 42 years. He became well-known for his social work, helping the many poor of the Collingwood district. On the occasion of the commencement of the 35th year of his ministry the secretary of the Baptist Union of Victoria (Rev. G. P. Rees) paid tribute to Eunson, stating that his social service work had made him so widely known and beloved of the people of the district that he might well be known as ‘the Bishop of Collingwood.’

John Pascoe Fawkner


Early settler, Member of Parliament, magistrate

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In 1835 Fawkner arrived in Port Philip with a small group of men, and competed with Batman for the title of the ‘founding father’ of Melbourne. Unlike Batman, who died in 1839, Fawkner would live on to be an influence on the developing town and to see it grow into a thriving metropolis. He was very much a self-made man, having travelled to Tasmania with his convict parents at the age of ten, and tried a variety of careers including baker, publican and printer. His energy and involvement in many aspects of the life of Melbourne and Collingwood were legendary. He became a ‘grand old man’ of politics and a Melbourne institution.

William Guard Feild


Cooper, estate agent, councillor, Member of Parliament

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Feild was a Collingwood councillor from 1879 to 1887 and again from 1890 until he resigned in June 1894.  The first Australian born Collingwood mayor, he held the position in 1881-82 and was MLA for the seat of Collingwood from 1886 to 1889.  He was a cooper by trade, following in his father’s footsteps. Feild Street in Clifton Hill was named in his honour, although nowadays it is misspelt, and his name may be seen on the foundation stone of Collingwood Town Hall.

Robert Fennell


Early settler, shipping agent, farmer

In the 1850s Fennell and his wife Maria, the eldest daughter of Melbourne pioneer John Batman, lived and farmed at Yarra Grange, a riverside property in what is now Abbotsford. While Fennell’s primary business was a shipping agency, at Yarra Grange the couple produced fruit and vegetable crops, and ran dairy cows. Several of their children were born on the property. 

John Ferguson


Coach builder, blacksmith, wheelwright

John Ferguson, a Scotsman, arrived in Melbourne around 1840 and worked in what was then the essential occupation of blacksmith and coachbuilder. In partnership with George Roberts, he had a city business in Bourke Street and Collingwood premises near the corner of Hoddle Street and Victoria Parade. He and his wife lived in Campbelltown Cottage in Islington Street, next door to the extensive blacksmith’s works shown on surveyor Hodgkinson’s January 1858 map. Although called a cottage, the double-fronted brick house set in garden surrounds was substantial for this area.

Robert Flockhart

c. 1830-1870

Tanner and currier, councillor

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Ad in the Leader 9 April 1864

Flockhart was a Scottish-born Protectionist industrialist. Like many like-minded men of industry, he saw the banks of the Yarra in Abbotsford as a profitable place to establish an industry that relied on a copious supply of running water. Flockhart Street Abbotsford was named in his honour.

Charles Gabriel


Chemist, conchologist, naturalist

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Charles in 1901

Son of Joseph Gabriel, a chemist, and Elizabeth Baker, daughter of well-known Anglican layman Charles Baker, Charles Gabriel followed his father’s footsteps in the pharmacy profession as well as his interest in natural history.

Joseph Gabriel

c. 1847-1922

Chemist, naturalist

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Hygeia, the Goddess of Health, carved on the chemist shop

Joseph Gabriel was a Victoria Street chemist who devoted his spare time to the study of natural history, becoming a noted amateur naturalist. He was an early member and office-bearer of the Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria and an honorary collector for the National Museum of Victoria; his reports on marine expeditions to the Bass Strait islands were a major part of the twenty-one papers he published in the Victorian Naturalist. He was a committee member of the Microscopical Society of Victoria.

John Alexander Gilfillan



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Gilfillan with one of his daughters in 1856

Born on the isle of Jersey of Scottish parents, Gilfillan led a varied and eventful life, before spending his last decade in a cottage in Collingwood, continuing to paint and exhibit while working for the Customs Department.

Richard Goldsbrough



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Goldsbrough, published 1872

Richard Goldsbrough was a bluff and hearty Yorkshireman who became a leading woolbroker in Melbourne. He played an important role in the development of Australian wool-broking practices  and his name lived on in the name of the well-known company Goldsbrough Mort and Co (later Elders Ltd) and their distinctive wool stores. His residential property TheRest bordered  the Yarra at Abbotsford.

James Graham


Merchant, early settler, Member of Parliament

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James Graham was among the first European people to live in Collingwood. He lived in a hut on land owned by JDL Campbell near Dight’s Falls on the banks of the Yarra, and supervised the building of his house Campbellfield. His copious letters and the records of his business dealings provide details about personal and commercial life in Melbourne from 1839.

Joseph James Greathead


Chemist, missionary, teacher

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Joseph and Sarah Greathead

Greathead arrived in Melbourne on the Diana in 1853, accompanied by his wife and four of his children. As a trained chemist, he acted as the ship’s surgeon on the voyage. In the mid 1850s Greathead worked for the Melbourne City Mission as a missionary in Collingwood.  The Mission was established in 1854 by Mrs Hester Hornbrook and Dr John Singleton as an interdenominational mission to the poor. Greathead’s Journal of the Collingwood Flat District for the City of Melbourne Missionary Society, 2 Oct 1854-29 June 1856 gives a detailed account of his work and includes statistical reports to the committee. The journal revealed among other information how few children were attending either day school or Sunday school, which inspired Mrs Hornbrook to establish Ragged Schools for children who due to poverty were unable to attend ordinary schools. It also revealed Greathead as vehemently anti-Irish and anti-Catholic.

Eugen Louis Hamel

c. 1827-1900

Lead shot maker

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MMBW plan showing Hamel's properties in 1900

Referred to variously as Louis, Eugene Louis, and Eugen Louis, Hamel was the owner and operator of Collingwood’s first shot tower, built before Richard Hodgson’s well-known shot tower in Clifton Hill, but demolished many years ago.

John Hancock


Compositor, trade unionist, Member of Parliament

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Born in the London district of Clerkenwell, Hancock was a compositor who migrated to Melbourne in 1884 with his wife Charlotte and their children. He had been influenced early in life by Chartism, especially under the tutelage of his teacher Mr Tuck, and in Australia became interested in the possibilities of working-class representation in Parliament. While no firebrand, his wide experience led to his becoming the Secretary of the Typographical Society and President of the Trades Hall. In January 1890 he was elected to the council of the Working Men’s College (later RMIT).

Isaac Hart


Importer and commercial agent

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Isaac Hart lived in Collingwood for over thirty years, was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1870 and took an interest in the Collingwood School of Design. He was a well-known Melbourne identity as a founding member of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, a committee member of the Board of Education, a board member of the Metropolitan Gas Company, and a trustee of the Melbourne General Cemetery. In the last role he was very active in the establishment and development of the Jewish section of the cemetery.

James Bond Hayman

c. 1832-1892

Tanner, currier, leather cutter

Hayman was one of a number of men who saw the banks of the Yarra in Abbotsford as a suitable place to establish an industry that relied on a copious supply of running water, and access to a refuse drain. Also like many others in the nineteenth century, he did not shy away from his noxious trade, but lived right next door to the Grosvenor Tannery with his family. His daughter married one of the tannery employees.

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