‘Family group’ [undated]. Glass negative. Kew Historical Society collection.

People from many nations have contributed to our population long before the successive waves of immigration transformed Melbourne into a multicultural society. While this pattern occurred more slowly in Kew, the city has always housed distinctive populations and groups. It is instructive to read the data about country of origin and religions of residents in Kew between 1854-1901 in the Historical Census and Colonial Data Archive to understand the unusual degree of social diversity in Kew.

Articles by members of the Society about ‘Communities’ include:

Funeral Rites for Mr Levien, 1906
His death notice on the 25 May 1906 had simply given his name as Mr. J. Felix Levien. Most press reports described him more formerly as Mr. J. F. Levien. Historians now felicitously give him his full name: Jonas Felix Australia Goldsmid Levien. No press reports refer to his Jewish heritage, yet this is more interesting to us now. He was, reputedly, the first Jewish child born in the Port Phillip District in 1840.
Read more … Funeral Rites for Mr Levien (PDF, 138 Kb)

Eleanor Haidee Simeon (1824-1910)
Some of the details of Eleanor Simeon’s life are surprisingly well known; others have remained until now undocumented. She merits three paragraphs at the end of the entry of her husband James Simeon (1815–1874) in John Levi’s chronicle of the lives of more than 1,500 Australian Jewish lives.
Read more … Eleanor Haidee Simeon (PDF, 158 Kb)