Skip to main content

Our History

Friends of Damper Creek Conservation Reserve

A dam in Damper Creek near the Park Road entrance.
Taken from the window of a home in St John's Wood Road looking across the hill towards High Street Road. The white building on the right is now Alvie Hall.
Jubilee plaque


Damper Creek is located on Wurundjeri land. The Wurundjeri people are the traditional custodians of the land in which Damper Creek is located. For at least the last 60,000 years they have held a deep spiritual connection to the land.

By the 1830s, it also became a rest place and water source for stockmen. Today Damper Creek takes the storm water from the surrounding area to Gardiners Creek, on into the Yarra River and eventually Port Phillip Bay. Alongside and under the actual creek stream there is the sewer main for the surrounding area. This takes the sewerage down to East Malvern where it connects with the south east trunk sewer to the Eastern Treatment Plant at Carrum.

Damper Creek’s resources played a small part in the building of St Stephens Anglican Church (now St Stephens and St Marys) in High Street Road Mt Waverley. The plans for the church were drawn up in 1864 and donations were requested to pay for the building. The congregation contracted a William Stevenson (Stephensons Road (name variation) was named after him) to make the bricks for the church construction. The bricks were fired in a kiln built near Damper Creek (and the church members carried them up the hill).

Up until the 1950s the intersection of Stephensons and High Street Roads was difficult to negotiate as the south-east tributary of Damper Creek passed through the centre of the intersection and there was a deviation to the west in Stephensons Road to by-pass the “hole”.

Orchards, market gardens and farms soon surrounded the creek up until after World War II when the city began to spread eastward. Alvie Hall (the current meeting place of the Friends of Damper Creek Reserve) at the corner of Alvie and High Street Roads was originally created as a motor garage which included plans for a future residence above. The addition of the residence was never built. The building was subsequently used as a church meeting hall and then purchased by the Council.

In the 1930s, a local farmer created a large dam in Damper Creek (just north of High St.Rd.) which was used for stock and crop irrigation. Later, with subdivision of the land in St Johns Wood Road, the dam was removed.

In September 2018, the Friends Group celebrated its 50th year and a plaque was placed at the south end of Park Rd to mark the occasion. A jubilee pictorial book was produced to recognise the growth of the group.

Download a PDF of the book here.

Key events in history

On Sunday 28 May 2023 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Friends of Damper Creek Reserve with a planting day, sausage sizzle celebration and an awards ceremony.  During the celebrations, Local Federal Member for Chisholm, Dr Carina Garland, thanked members of  the group for their continuing interest in the maintenance of the reserve.  A similar endorsement of appreciation was made by Matt Fregon, local state member for Ashwood, who had participated in the planting session.

Carina Garland subsequently made a speech to Federal Parliament on 1 June praising the work of the FODCCR and emphasised the contribution of local groups to the community.

You may view Carina Garland’s presentation here.

Celebrating 50 Years

On 30 September 2018, a Jubilee celebration was held at Alvie Hall by the Friends of Damper Creek Reserve.

Highlights 2010 – 2018

Some highlights of events from 2010 to 2018

Celebrating 40 years

In 2008 the annual End of Year Barbeque incorporated the 40 years celebration of the saving of the Damper Creek and surrounding bushland.

Creek bed and Bank Restoration

The proposed project attracted much initial comment and discussion. Melbourne Water, was supportive and in 1993 it was agreed that Stage 1 be constructed to demonstrate the method and assess the results following high flow rates from winter rains.

Creek Restoration Project

The Council had announced it planned to commence maintenance work in Damper Creek Reserve, and were seeking assistance from the community. A restoration program was to be partially funded by the Waverley Council and the Board of Works and this proposal was strongly supported by the residents.

Saving the bushland by Damper Creek Conservation & Development Group

In 1968, Damper Creek and the surrounding bushland were saved from being barrel drained, road construction and residential subdivision.