Melbourne campaign to perceive the smell of Vegemite for its heritage value


The taste of Australia’s notorious spread has long been divisive. Presently the smell of Vegemite is being perceived by its own doing.

The City of Melbourne council has perceived the heritage worth of the particular smell as a feature of its depiction of a Port Melbourne processing plant where the yeast spread has been long manufactured.

The previous Kraft Vegemite factory on 1 Vegemite Way, Fishermans Bend, was constructed over a century prior. Presently possessed by Bega, the industrial facility has created the country’s inventory of Vegemite since the 1920s.

The plant is one of three destinations of neighborhood importance in Fishermans Bend that were given heritage insurance by the City of Melbourne after an audit.

“The precinct of Fishermans Bend is an area of Melbourne anticipating lots of growth in the coming years,” Felicity Watson, head of advocacy at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), told the Guardian Australia.

“It is important for future urban planning in that area to be underpinned by an understanding of its historical significance to Melbourne’s industrial history.”

The Vegemite factory, “and the smell coming from it,” is a large part of that historical significance, Watson said.

The particular smell of the manufacturing plant – close to the Westgate road, a significant traffic vein – is something “you get a whiff of when passing from place to place”, Watson said.

“The National Trust wanted to acknowledge the sensory experience of the place as part of the City of Melbourne’s heritage study.”

Nonetheless, the council avoided announcing the Vegemite smell “significant”. This is with an end goal to guarantee no “future development of Fishermans Bend” is placed in jeopardy, the deputy lord mayor, Nicholas Reece, said in a statement.

He recognized the “attachment many people have towards the distinctive smell of the beloved spread” that exudes from the plant, yet said the council tried to keep away from tying “a smell to the ongoing use of the land”.

However, he said the distinctive smell would be recorded as a “recognised part of the site’s history” in the City of Melbourne’s heritage study.

“We see this as an appropriate outcome. We are pleased the smell will still be recognised,” Watson said.

“Our campaign for the smell to be recognised is about acknowledging that the significance of this place goes beyond the bricks and mortar of the factory building.”

Perceiving smells as having heritage importance was strange, Watson surrendered, and it was the first run through the Trust had proposed it according to a heritage place.

Globally, nonetheless, it is a thought that is acquiring footing, with Unesco World Heritage perceiving the smell of scent in the Grasse district of France as one of a kind and important to its heritage in 2018.

“It is an emerging field called olfactory heritage,” Watson said. “It is really looking at the smells and fragrances that people associate with important historical places or practices, and how they can be acknowledged and recorded as meaningful to their community.”

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