is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 9 km north from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Darebin. At the 2011 Census, Preston had a population of 29,925.
High Street, Preston
The area where Preston now resides was first surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1837 for sub-division. Parcels of land between 300 acres (in the southern area) and over 1000 acres (in the north) were all sold during the Melbourne 'land boom' sales of the late 1830s. The first permanent white resident was Samuel Jeffrey in 1841 and from him the area's early name was Irishtown.
The first church was accompanied by a growing number of hotels and other stores, which had emerged some 2 kilometres south of Wood's store at the junction of Plenty Road and High Street, the latter of which served as a route to Sydney. Throughout the 1880s the area between Wood's Store and the junction would be known as "Gowerville".
In April 1939, Mr. Vara Tidd, aged 91 years, who had lived in Preston since arriving with his family as a seven year old, recalled the early settlement
Urban growth accelerated in Preston during the 1920s, thanks largely to the establishment of a direct rail link between Collingwood and Flinders Street in 1904 (later electrified in 1926), and a building of a tram line linking Melbourne and the city in 1920. The now famous Preston Tram Sheds would later be built in 1925. The reticulation of electricity took place in 1914, with the building of Preston's sewers taking place between 1909 and 1915. 1915 also saw the establishment of the West Preston Primary School, which by 1927 had grown to accommodate more than 1,000 students. West Preston Primary School would later be joined by a primary school in Preston East in 1927, and later by a girl's high school in 1929. By 1922, Preston had been formally recognised as a Borough, two months later it had become a Town, and finally by 1915, Preston had been proclaimed a City.
Preston is bordered to the east by the Darebin Creek, a small tributary to the Yarra River and consists largely of flat terrain, ideal initially for farming, but later for industrial and residential development.
The original abundance of land resulted in low density urban development of Preston's former farmland, however population pressures and Preston's locality with respect to the Melbourne CBD has led to a growing tendency to medium to high-density urban redevelopment.
Preston is part of the Darebin City Municipality, whose offices are located at the former Preston Town Hall. Preston lies within the Federal electorate of Batman, which is the current seat of The Hon. David Feeney, M.P., a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). In the Legislative Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of Victoria, the State Electoral district of Preston incorporates all of Preston (and some parts of Reservoir), and is currently represented by Robin Scott, of the ALP.
Preston has also been home to the Preston Lions Football Club since its inception in 1947 and currently competes in the highest soccer league in Victoria, the Victorian Premier League. The Preston Lions Football Club play their home games atB. T. Connor Reserve. The club has a large successful junior base with teams from under 8's to under 18's and also have a women's team who also compete in the highest league in the state, the Women's Premier League. In 2007 the Lions finished the season as Minor Premiers and then went on to claim the Championship in front of more than 5,500 people as the Lions won 3-1 against the Whittlesea Zebras.
There are few large grounds around the Northland Shopping Centre, adjacent to Wood Street. Grounds are maintained very well, and people play cricket in summer and footy during other times. Joggers are visible in all grounds.
Preston is home to many schools. The primary schools include :
The high schools are :
There is also the Northern College of the Arts & Technology which caters for Year 10, VCE, VCAL and post-secondary students seeking a specialised education.