Former Docklander returns to her rightful home

Sean Car

Once found at NewQuay in Docklands, the Dame Nellie Melba sculpture has now been immortalised in bronze at the home she built in the Yarra Valley in 1912.

One of Australia’s most famous opera singers, the statue of Dame Nellie Melba created by artist Peter Corlett has been permanently moved to the Coombe Yarra Valley Estate in Coldstream.

The Victorian Government’s development agency Development Victoria, in consultation with Mr Corlett, facilitated the move with the public now able to visit Dame Nellie Melba as she looks over her former home and welcomes visitors from the front gate.

“I am delighted that my statue of Dame Nellie Melba has found a new permanent home where people can appreciate and pay tribute to an Australian entertainment icon,” Peter Corlett said.

Dame Nellie Melba built Coombe Cottage on the site of the current estate in 1912, and it has remained in the family since her death in 1931.

Coombe Yarra Valley retains close ties with the Melba Opera Trust with scholars visiting Dame Nellie’s home as part of their program.

Dame Nellie Melba was an internationally renowned opera singer in the late 1800s and early 1900s and became one of the first Australians to achieve global success.

Development Victoria’s group head precincts Geoff Ward said the statue was moved from Docklands due to ongoing development.

“The bronze statue of Dame Nellie Melba by Peter Corlett was moved from NewQuay in Docklands as part of ongoing development in the precinct,” Mr Ward said.

“We’re delighted to support her relocation to Coombe Yarra Valley where she will remain eternally on display and create another reason for people to visit the Yarra Valley region.”

Coombe Yarra Valley managing director Grant Cummin said, “We’re honoured to display the statue of Dame Nellie Melba at her spiritual home – in the courtyard welcoming visitors to the estate.” •

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