The FITZROY RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION INC. (FRA) is a community organisation formed in 1969 in response to the planned large scale demolition (by the state government) of Fitzroy and North Fitzroy for redevelopment. FRA aimed to maintain and renew the 19th century housing stock and associated architecture of Melbourne’s first suburb. After largely, but not entirely, winning this battle the FRA was very influential with the Fitzroy City Council through to the early ’80s on many policy fronts.
The objective of the FRA is simple: to keep Fitzroy liveable.
Our mission statement is to promote, protect and enhance residential amenity.
Hence our areas of interest include:
- maintaining a proper balance between residential and commercial interests
- concerns over safety and noise levels in the streets, particularly in residential areas late at night.
- trying to ensure new developments do not ruin Fitzroy’s unique character.
- the preservation of heritage buildings.
- opposition to encroachment of late trading nightclubs, entertainment venues and bars because of their detrimental effect on residential amenity.
- reasonable car parking arrangements so that residents can park within walking distance of their homes
- support residents on local issues and amenities.
Fitzroy’s most southern boundary is just 1/2 a kilometre north-east of the centre of Melbourne, and home to about 20,000 people. Melbourne’s first suburb, Fitzroy was a traditional meeting place for indigenous Australians prior to European settlers moving in to dispossess them in the late 1830s. Most current housing stock was built from the 1850s to 1890s and is largely terrace or row houses. Much of the streetscape is Victorian.
Much of the area is intact because Melbourne’s development moved outwards into undeveloped land. Initially a middle class area, Fitzroy became a working class area in the early to mid 20th century as inner city living lost its attractions for the middle class in the wake of the automobile and urban sprawl. Many migrant families moved in, giving the area a rich diversity.
In the 1960’s State Government planners decided the “slums” of the inner city should be demolished wholesale and replaced with high rise public housing blocks. It was in this environment that FRA was formed to protect the 19th century fabric of buildings and the sense of community that had developed here.
In the last thirty years Fitzroy has partly gentrified, giving us now a suburb that is one of the most diverse and densely populated in Australia. Fitzroy had its own municipal council until 1994 when it was amalgamated with surrounding areas North Carlton, Collingwood and Richmond to form the City of Yarra.