Exploring Melbourne’s Laneways Culture

Melbourne’s Laneways are a throwback to the city’s Victorian heritage where they formed part of the Hoddle Grid designed to provide service passages for horses and carts. From a somewhat dubious past, where the Laneways were used as slums during the Gold Rush, they have become a hub of unique food, coffee, alcohol and shopping experiences. Despite a certain level of gentrification, the laneways are also home to urban artists who leave their colourful marks on the walls. The Laneways have developed an international following and are often portrayed in tourism promotions, film and television. It’s also important to note that Laneways is used as a catch-all to describe what in reality is a variety of lanes, places, arcades and streets.That’s Melbourne provides an excellent guide to the al fresco eateries, one-off shops and cosy little bars that occupy the laneways threading throughout the city. Each arcade has its own individual character and charm; check out their website to find out more.

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In 2016, RANZCO will play its part in Melbourne’s Laneway culture by replicating these well-known and celebrated structures as part of its Welcome Ceremony. Below, RANZCO’s Professional Conference Organiser, Denise Broeren, explains;

“The idea this year is about providing an opportunity for as many Fellows as possible to start the Congress with some collegial interaction. In the past we have chosen venues for the Welcome Reception that highlighted the unique attractions of the destination. But it was often difficult for those attending meetings to reach the venues in time. So this year, we’ve combined the concept of the Laneways of Melbourne with making it easy to get to by holding it in the Convention Centre. So after the Saturday meetings and workshops it’s just an easy stroll to discover the eclectic mix of street art, buskers, food and culture that Melbourne is famous for.

“When you arrive you’ll be directed down ‘Flinders Lane’ or ‘Little Bourke’, enjoying street art and buskers along the way. Arrive in ‘City Square’ to the aromas of live cooking stations serving up the multicultural delights that Melbourne is famous for – from souvlakis to san choy bau and dumplings, paella to croquettes – you will delight in the colours, sounds, aromas and tastes that Melbourne is famous for.”

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