Even today, the contentious question remains: who is Melbourne's rightful founder?

Early histories of Melbourne not only piece together the answer to this question, they also reveal the fascinating, sometimes scandalous secrets of Melbourne's most revered men.

Learn about Batman's womanising ways and his final battle with syphilis, Fawkner's convict past, and both of their colourful histories.

John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner are credited as Melbourne's first pioneers, but who arrived first?
This respected figure in Melbourne's history has a past that is fraught with scandal.
John Batman's contract with the Wurundjeri people presents some inconsistencies.
He was a man of strong opinions, and a central figure in the early years of Port Phillip.
Before Melbourne was even established, John Pascoe Fawkner was dreaming of how he wanted it to be.
It lacked the complexity of newspapers today, but Fawkner's ‘rag' was the beginning of Melbourne's media.
They may have both been called 'Eliza', but Batman and Fawkner's wives were very different women.
Most accounts of John Batman's life focus on his success, and overlook the tragedy of his final years.
In the 1930s, an educational pamphlet taught children a version of their town's history.