Culture and Heritage of Banyule
Banyule’s culture and heritage is rich and diverse and includes features of architectural, environmental, aboriginal, social and cultural significance. Banyule is known for its historic buildings - the Banyule Homestead, Ravenswood and Saxam - and the Heidelberg School of Painters including Roberts, Streeton, McCubbin Withers and Condor, impressionist painters who depicted the Australian landscape. It is also known for the Olympic Village which housed the 1956 Olympians, and Australian architect Walter Burley Griffin who designed Mount Eagle Estate and the Glenard Estate.
Banyule has always nurtured cultural activity, and artists have found inspiration from the unique bush landscape from the turn of the century to the present day. Some artistic groups have existed for more than two decades, including the Heidelberg Theatre Company, Heidelberg Historical Society, Heidelberg Brass Band, Ivanhoe Photographic Society, Ivanhoe Reading Circle, Diamond Valley Choral Society and the Diamond Valley Arts Society.
The Banyule Art Collection, owned by Banyule City Council, comprises more than 450 traditional and contemporary artworks and is one of Australia’s most significant local government art collections. It includes works by artists such as Clifton Pugh, Lloyd Rees, Mike Parr, Susan Cohn, Stephen Benwell, Jan Senbergs and Bea Maddock. Works are displayed in Council Service Centres and community venues.
Banyule is also renowned for its environmental and Aboriginal heritage. The Yarra and Plenty Rivers and the Darebin Creek wind through areas with unique fauna and flora. There are many significant sacred sites, canoe trees and scarred trees in the area.