Melbourne ( /ˈmɛlbərn/, locally [ˈmælbən, -bn̩]) is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia after Sydney. The Melbourne City Centre (also known as the "Central Business District" or "CBD") is the hub of the greater geographical area (or "metropolitan area") and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater geographical area had an approximate population of four million. Inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melburnians.
The metropolis is located on the large natural bay known as Port Phillip, with the city centre positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River (at the northern-most point of the bay). The metropolitan area then extends south from the city centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. The city centre is situated in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne, and the metropolitan area consists of a further 30 municipalities.
Melbourne was founded in 1835 (47 years after the European settlement of Australia) by settlers from Van Diemen's Land. It was named by governor Richard Bourke in 1837, in honour of William Lamb—the 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. In 1851, it became the capital city of the newly created colony of Victoria. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it then served as the interim seat of government of the newly created nation of Australia until 1927. Today, it is a centre for the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, sport and tourism. It is the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian film (as well as the world's first feature film), Australian television, Australian rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement (known as the Heidelberg School) and Australian dance styles (such as New Vogue and the Melbourne Shuffle). It is also a major centre for contemporary and traditional Australian music. It is often referred to as the "cultural capital of Australia". Melbourne has been ranked as one of the top three World's Most Livable Cities by the Economist Group's Intelligence Unit (since 2002), top 10 Global University Cities by RMIT's Global University Cities Index (since 2006) and top 20 Global Innovation Cities by the 2thinknow Global Innovation Agency (since 2007). The metropolis is also home to the world's largest tram network. The main airport serving Melbourne is Melbourne Airport.
Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was occupied for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years by under 20,000 hunter-gatherers from three indigenous regional tribes: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong. The area was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance, as well as a vital source of food and water. The first European settlement in Victoria was established in 1803 on Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento, but this settlement was abandoned due to a perceived lack of resources. It would be 30 years before another settlement was attempted. In May and June 1835, the area that is now central and northern Melbourne was explored by John Batman, a leading member of the Tasmanian Port Phillip Association, who negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village", and returned to Launceston in Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land). By the time a settlement party from the Association arrived to set up the new village, a separate group organised and financed by John Pascoe Fawkner had already arrived (on 30 August 1835) aboard his ship the Enterprize and established a settlement at the same location. The two groups ultimately agreed to share the settlement.
Melbourne is an international cultural centre, with cultural endeavours spanning major events and festivals, drama, musicals, comedy, music, art, architecture, literature, film and television. It was the second city after Edinburgh to be named a UNESCO City of Literature and has thrice shared top position in a survey by The Economist of the world's most livable cities on the basis of a number of attributes which include its broad cultural offerings.
Melbourne has a highly diversified economy with particular strengths in finance, manufacturing, research, IT, education, logistics and transportation, conventions and tourism. Melbourne is headquarters for many of Australia's largest corporations, including five of the ten largest in the country (based on revenue), and five of the largest six in the country (based on market capitalization) (ANZ, BHP Billiton (the world's largest mining company), the National Australia Bank, Rio Tinto and Telstra); as well as such representative bodies and thinktanks as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The city is home to Australia's largest and busiest seaport which handles more than $75 billion in trade every year and 39% of the nation's container trade. Melbourne Airport provides an entry point for national and international visitors, and is Australia's second busiest airport. Melbourne is an important financial centre. Two of the big four banks, NAB and ANZ, are headquartered in Melbourne. The city has carved out a niche as Australia’s leading centre for superannuation (pension) funds, with 40% of the total, and 65% of industry super-funds including the $40 billion-dollar Federal Government Future Fund. The city was rated 34th within the top 50 financial cities as surveyed by the Mastercard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2007), between Barcelona and Geneva, and second only to Sydney (14th) in Australia. Melbourne is Australia's industrial centre. It is the centre of Australia's automotive industry, which includes Ford and Toyota manufacturing facilities, and the engine manufacturing facility of Holden and parts suppliers. It has the Australian automotive headquarters and design centres. It is also home to a very wide variety of other manufacturers, ranging from petrochemicals, aircraft parts and pharmaceuticals to fashion garments, paper manufacturing and food processing.
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