With increased population growth anticipated to reach 32% by 2023, Melbourne’s inner west is one of Australia’s fastest growing areas represented by over 130 cultural groups and 150 languages.

Through deep emotional and historical connections, Arts West has an extensive and diverse reach, providing cultural services to over 200,000 people annually. Arts and culture have a significant role to play, in framing community engagement, well-being and social cohesion over coming generations.

As an alliance, Arts West aims to better understand and engage with the diverse communities and audiences this unprecedented growth will bring.

Socio-­economic transformations of Melbourne’s inner west brought about through gentrification, has been spearheaded by highly skilled professionals and the arrival of qualified migrants from regions such as South Asia. (Updating Melbourne’s West: Centre for Economic Studies: 2010).

Melbourne’s west at a glance:

  • Languages other than English spoken at home sits at 51% (national average 32%).
  • Population growth across the west has come mainly though immigration. Maribyrnong’s population has grown by 10,000 since 2006 and is projected to rise by 32% by 2036.
  • 28,421 of Maribyrnong’s residents were born overseas, and 29% arrived up to five years prior to 2011
  • 30,368 residents in Melton were born overseas, with 18% arriving within the last 5 years.
  • Melton and Wyndham areas are growing at the rate of 11 families per week, a growth rate expected to continue until 2031.
  • The largest ancestry groups outside the Anglo Celtic are Vietnamese, South Asian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Maltese, Arabic, Filipino and Spanish.
  • The seven organisations of Arts West service as the six Local Government Areas of Melbourne’s west which include Maribyrnong, Brimbank , Hobsons Bay, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham City

In 2017, Arts West undertook a postcode data analysis project.