Suburb Profile: Abbotsford

Council: City of Yarra Council

KMs from CBD: 2km

Population: 8,184

Top languages spoken other than English:

  1. Vietnamese 462
  2. Mandarin 355
  3. Greek 204
  4. Cantonese 173
  5. Spanish 115

Abbotsford is the home of an internationally recognised Chinese/English bilingual primary school and over 50 different languages are spoken in the suburb, with 28% of households speaking a language other than English. This household percentage puts Abbotsford just above the state average, however, if you stroll past the shops and restaurants of Victoria Street, you’ll realise these numbers don’t tell the whole story and understand why the area is known as ‘Little Saigon’.

While the impressive selection of Vietnamese restaurants will get your attention, there’s food on offer to suit all tastes with Thai, Korean barbecue, ramen, and the obligatory parma to name a few. There’s also a great selection of multicultural shops and grocers – the famous Minh Phat Asian supermarket on Nicholson Street taking pride of place since 1988 – so you can cook up a storm at home after getting some inspiration on Vic Street!

It’s not just food that draws people to the area – on the banks of the Yarra river is the deceptively named Collingwood Children’s Farm – neither is it based in Collingwood nor in the business of farming children. It is, however, a great place to take the kids (adults too!) to learn about animals, farming and gardening through fun activities like weeding, feeding, farm craft, story-telling and letting the chooks out in the morning!

Next door to the Children’s Farm is the Abbotsford Convent, an educational and cultural hub offering key programs such as the Ngulu-nganjin (Our Voice), created by Wurundjeri Elders, musicians and artists, that takes visitors on a self-guided sound trail that tells the story of the area’s Traditional Owner history and heritage. This National Heritage site also offers regular classes and workshops in movement practices such as Qigong and Yoga, and is the home of the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council – an advocate for ethnic and multicultural broadcasting across Australia.

To understand the area’s history, make a trip to the Abbotsford Convent and the home of the Wurundjeri people, then explore the Asian food scene on Victoria Street – you won’t be disappointed!

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