Footscray is an inner-city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 5 km (3.1 mi) west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Maribyrnong local government area and its council seat. Footscray recorded a population of 17,131 at the 2021 census.Footscray is characterised by a very diverse, multicultural central shopping area, which reflects the successive waves of immigration experienced by Melbourne, and by Footscray in particular. Once a centre for Greek, Italian and former Yugoslavian migrants, it later became a hub for Vietnamese and East African immigrants in Melbourne. It has recently begun to undergo rapid development and gentrification, and Time Out magazine placed Footscray at 13th in its '50 Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World' for 2019, reflecting its evolving reputation, citing in particular its diverse array of international cuisine, bars and nightlife, as well as its arts scene.Footscray is named after Foots Cray, on the River Cray in London, England. == History == Footscray is part of the City of Maribyrnong and was built largely on the traditional lands of the Kulin nation.For thousands of years, Footscray was the meeting place of the lands of the Yalukit-willan, the Marin-balluk and the Wurundjeri. Koories stalked game, collected food and fished along the river junction, estuaries, swamps and lagoons. Within Melbourne's western region, the Marin-balug and Kurung-jand-balug clans of the Woiwurrung cultural group, and the Yalukit willam clan of the Boonwurrung cultural group shared the luscious resources around the Maribyrnong Valley.The first European to visit the area was Charles Grimes in 1803. A park, where he landed, is named after him at Napier St.In 1839 a punt (cable ferry) was built on the Maribyrnong River, it was the only connecting link between Melbourne and Geelong, Ballarat, Castlemaine and Bendigo. The Punt Hotel opened three years later and was the first building in the area. During the first decade drovers transporting cattle and sheep provided the only business at the hotel.
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