You Are Where You Live

Words by Hannah Schauder
Art by Angharad Neal-Williams

We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But what about judging people by their postcode?

Research has shown that one’s suburb can determine their style, budget, political views and food preferences. With Melbourne’s collection of 321 suburbs, there’s plenty of variety when it comes to the stereotypes that shape personalities or preferences.

So hop on this express bus as we take a tour of Melbourne’s different suburb stereotypes.

Starting off in Melbourne’s CBD, you’ll find business men in suits (never wavering even in 40  degree heat) grabbing their morning flat whites. Over in Carlton, students eat instant ramen every second day and wear ripped jeans and Dr. Martens to uni.

Brunswick: the suburb full of vegan hipsters who vote Greens and use plants as an alternative to furniture. In Collingwood, politically engaged youths eat lunch in abandoned trams on Easey Street. They compete with Richmond babes who eat cashew cheese, mango chutney and don’t believe they need a driver license.

Boys in Coburg hit up ASOS for skinny jeans before heading to Lygon Street’s Little Italy. Northcote is your stop for 20 year olds in share houses with peroxide-blonde hair who call their style ‘grungy chic’.

Ah, Fitzroy. In this dreamboat of a suburb, people who can afford to live in terrace houses spend too much money looking like they’ve gone to an op shop. Not to mention the fact that they substitute most meals for brunch.

In the western suburbs, helicopter parents in striped t-shirts and boat shoes walk the streets of Altona. Residents of Albanvale have life easy because they don’t have to worry about replacement buses but have life tough because they have no trains.

And the south-western suburbs (where?) consist of individuals living on bistro food in Williamstown and people in Werribee going out to bars that don’t exist.

Enter the inner east. Retired Liberal voters walk the streets of Camberwell before heading to a game of tennis or golf. Yuppies from Box Hill argue that they have the best dumplings and people in Hawthorn are surrounded by every private school ever and consider FroYo a hobby.    

The only people we see in Burwood are Deakin students. That’s it.  

Down in the south-eastern suburbs, organic yummy mummies in Prahran make homemade quiches for their six month old while 25 year old ‘influencers’ drink kombucha on the way to pilates in Windsor. Meanwhile, trust-fund kids in Toorak get keratin treatments and shellac nails while Mummy runs errands in her Lululemon activewear before getting a buddha bowl in Toorak Village.  

Early in the morning, luxury home owners in Brighton go for a 6am beach run with their small pampered dog (probably a french bulldog) and mums will catch up with their girlfriends for a chai latte in Hampton.

St Kilda is swarming with ‘aspiring’ artists and blonde beach babes in ripped denim shorts and 30 year old new mums sporting 2XUs Beers litter the beach, and uni students who wanted to live in Melbourne’s ‘party suburb’ will regretfully suffer insomnia because it’s never quiet.

Head to the south-eastern metropolitan area and all you’ll hear talk of is school zones and housing construction. There’s no escaping kippahs or falafels in Caulfield, while every corner of Oakleigh claims to have the best lamb souvlaki.

Finally, if we head more south, you’ll be subjected to tradies in high-vis vests and chicks with tongue piercings in Frankston, while most residence in Nar Nar Goon sport a ‘can I speak to the manager’ haircut and big hoop earrings.

And remember that no matter what suburb you live in, you’re going to get judged. No one is safe.

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