1993, 55 Minutes
A look at some of the problems created by the urban sprawl syndrome.
When Nell was a girl, her parents were regularly evicted from the workers’ cottages they rented around Port Melbourne. Now a great-grandmother with 87 descendants, Nell still lives in the Port. But the cohesion of Nell’s extended family and neighbourhood is threatened by the pressures of modernisation and an influx of young professionals into the area.
The old inner city suburb of Port Melbourne is the traditional home of working people whose community is bound by ties of class, church, sport and family. Now their beaches are being eyed off by developers, and their streets are choked with cars—no longer the domain of their kids.
The West Gate Bridge helped to change Port Melbourne from a protected enclave to a busy drive through suburb. But the bridge has also provided a way out—a direct route to the west’s new outer suburbs, where cheap land and housing packages beckon. Younger people who can’t compete economically with the professional classes are pulling up their traditional roots and moving out to these new suburbs. However, now they find they no longer experience that sense of community, of ‘belonging’.
A Place to Belong considers some of the problems created by the urban sprawl syndrome. It shows how the struggle for housing can affect our identities and shape our lives.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director/Writer: Brian McKenzie
Running Time: 55 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Heritage Studies (local history); HSIE; Identity, Place and Culture; PDHPE; Sociology; SOSE; Town Planning; Urban Development; Urban Studies.