MELBOURNE AND SURROUNDING AREA
There is a large number of Croatian immigrants living in Melbourne and the surrounding area. Northeast of Melbourne are the towns of McIntyre and Moliagul, where two Dalmatian gold mining companies were founded in the period between 1877 and 1881. One of them was the Dalmatia Gold Mining Company, and the other one was Maximilian Gold Mining Company. Due to problems with flooding, their dig sites were closed down, and the companies went out of business before they could turn any kind of significant profits. And so today, so many years later, there is a Dalmatian Street and a Dalmatian well in McIntyre, which serve as permanent reminders of the Croatian presence in this area.
The city of Korumburra in Victoria dedicated Radovick Street to its founder, Antonio Radovick, who came from Potomje on Pelješac in 1862, and worked as a hotelier. Radovick was well known for his donations and initiatives for the development of the town, and is still regarded as the father of Korumburra.
Members of the Geological society in front of Radovick’s hotel in the mid-1890s
In Prahran, a suburb in the south of Melbourne, there is a street called De Murska, as well as a street called Tripovich. Melbourne itself has Zagreb Court, Dalmatia Way, and Dalmatia Court, while Geelong has Karlovac Court and Croatia Place, as well as Nicola Court and Emilija Court, named after the Sutalo couple, and there is a process underway to name a street Sutalo.
Not two hundred kilometers north of Melbourne is the town of Mooroopna. This was where Trojan Drvenica (Trojano Darveniza, born in Trnovica in the Dubrovnik coastal area, in 1838) moved to in 1860. By 1871, he had become the owner of the largest vineyard in the entire area state of Victoria. He kept a great many varieties of grapevine, and had invited over the biggest wine expert at the time, Henry Fortin, from Bordeaux, France. Fortin help advance his production, and decided to stay, as he had ended up marrying a Croatian woman in his time spent among the Croatians. With his help, Drvenica managed to expand his wine exports to all over the world, and was winning awards in every competition. He was elected president of the Wine Association for the entire region, and founded the Excelsior Vineyard company in 1922, which Excelsior Avenue was named after. Trojan Drvenica died in Mooroopna, in 1927, and as he had not married, his cousin was his inheritor.
Drvenica's Excelsior winery
Trojan Drvenica (1838 – 1927) and one of his vineyards
Drvenica’s wine labels included a picture of a kangaroo on the left side, and an emu on the right, according to Drvenica’s own designs and registered trademarks. After some thirty years of using his emblem, the united areas of Australia (1901) wanted to use it on what was the official national crest at the time. As it would have been illegal to do so without his consent, they started to pressure him, and he was even threatened with being taken to court. He defended himself with his registered trademark, which was approved by Queen Victoria herself. He was offered money to sell his brand, but he refused these offers. Ultimately he did relent, and allowed the kangaroo and emu from his brand to be used on the national crest, for free. Thus the Australian crest came to be in 1912, and it was approved by King George V.
Drvenica’s emblem, which the Australian national crest is based on, is on the left, and the current look of the crest is on the right