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Where we began

Let’s venture back to Melbourne in the 1850s

Boatloads of immigrants flocked to the city in a quest for fortune during the gold rush. In the chaos that followed, Hester Hornbrook and Dr John Singleton united to form an ideal that would lead to the birth of Melbourne City Mission.

Victoria’s gold rush was abuzz in the 1850s, giving the promise of quick fortunes to dreamers near and far.

The allure of riches brought an influx of immigrants to Melbourne, with populations soaring to more than 45,000 in 1854, with 50,000 also in the goldfields.

Despite the number of visitors, many people never made it out of the city to search the goldfields

Most who sought their fortune never found it and families — especially women and children — suffered. Overcrowding led to poverty and, as the population grew, social order ebbed.

The need for relief was undeniable.

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