Trawalla Avenue – Thomastown
At the very south-west corner of the City of Whittlesea, close to Mahoneys Road and the Merri Creek, is a small street called “Trawalla Avenue”
It is in an industrial area (in fact it runs off Industrial Avenue) and includes the Boral Brick Company, Pantalica Cheese Co, Bertocchi Smallgoods and five Monumental Stonemasons.
Trawalla Avenue in the 1960’s gave access to four farms on or close to the Merri Creek, but these were compulsorily acquired by the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works in 1969 for a proposed flood retarding basin, but now, 40 years later, it is still not built.
All is not lost however as Parks Victoria is currently in the process of creating a large Metropolitan Park along the Merri Creek from Mahoneys Road to Craigieburn Road. This will include the retarding basin site, the Merri Creek Gorge (where the creek has cut through the overlying bluestone and exposed the underlying sandstone) and the Merri Creek Grasslands.
It is however the name Trawalla Avenue that is intriguing. Trawalla is a small hamlet about 45km west of Ballarat, the name deriving from an Aboriginal word meaning “lots of rain” or “flooding”. Because of this there is no other Trawalla anywhere else in the world, and for the same reason it is not a surname.
The interesting aspect is that in the index at the back of the Melway there are five streets around Melbourne using the name Trawalla and in Victorian Company records there are six Companies which incorporate the name Trawalla.