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Melbourne Docks 1900's

Melbourne – A Great Maritime City

Melbourne has in effect turned its back on its rich maritime heritage. Melbourne was, and is still, a great port city.  Trade by sea was, and is still, crucial in underpinning Melbourne’s economic prosperity. Melbourne remains the nations largest port.  This cultural and economic strength in Melbourne has not been adequately acknowledged in the public realm and thus far remains undervalued and inadequately exploited by government. The Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) was formed to address these ‘deficits’and to facilitate cooperation, collaboration and coordination across stakeholder groups.

The MMHN membership is not constrained by single-interest groups or confined to specific locations. It seeks to sharpen the focus upon the richness of Melbourne’s maritime heritage and upon the crucial role of its port facilities in delivering social, cultural and economic benefits to Melbourne and regional Victoria.

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Balbirnie's wooden toll bridge over the Yarra, the first bridge over the Yarra River, built 1844

Source: State Library of Victoria, reference is H5011.

Foster greater recognition that Melbourne was, is, and will continue to be, a great port city

Ensure that Melbourne’s maritime trade heritage is acknowledged, celebrated, preserved and sustained

Facilitate cooperation and collaborations amongst stakeholders, advocating for policy reform, and developing integrated maritime sector initiatives

Develop Melbourne’s global reputation as a Maritime Skills and Education Centre

Optimize Return-on-Investment (cultural and financial) made by multiple maritime stakeholders e.g. cultural tourism, education, heritage preservation, ports


... Advocacy and Projects


Network Approach

Advocating to State Government for the adoption of a Maritime Network Approach throughout Greater Melbourne to develop collaboration around dispersed assets. e.g. consistent informational signage (conventional and digital) shared ticketing and cross promotion

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Single Authority

Advocating to the State Government the establishment of a single Maritime Authority with responsibility for coordinating and sustaining all aspects Melbourne’s maritime management


Advocating for greater collaboration and connectivity amongst Melbourne's existing Maritime organisations



Docklands Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum at Docklands
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Marine Skills Specialist Centre
Marine Skills Specialist Centre at Kangan TAFE, Docklands
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Maritime Waterways Trail
Maritime Waterways Trail along the North Bank of the Yarra from Birrarung Marr, to the along Collins Wharf and Harbour Esplanade, through to Ron Barassi Senior Park with informational signage about existing structures and other installed maritime artifacts to appropriately reflecting Melbourne’s maritime trade heritage
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Marine Operations Service Depot
Marine Operations Service Depot at Bolte West Precinct, Fishermen’s Bend
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Melbourne’s Foundation Heritage Fleet
Expansion and support for Melbourne’s Foundation Heritage Fleet at Victoria Harbour, Docklands