Why Sunshine is the best place to live in Melbourne

Cal Wilson smiling against a blue background.

Cal Wilson

Posted October 04, 2019

It’s not Brighton, but comedian Cal Wilson says there is a lot to love about Sunshine.

I proudly live in Melbourne’s Wild West, specifically Sunshine. Formerly one of Melbourne’s punchline suburbs, Sunshine has come up in the world. Now when I say we’ve lived here for 12 years, people don’t say, “You bought in Sunshine?” they say “You bought at the right time.” 

Sure, Sunshine is no Brighton, but it’s finally become a respectable place to live. I mean, there was an auction in the next street recently, and they had a coffee van turn up. A COFFEE VAN. On purpose. Not burnt out and dumped.  

That was a tiny joke for all of you who still respond to hearing that I live in Sunshine with “Ewww SCUMSHINE?!” like it’s a clever thing you thought up by yourself.  

There’s so much that I love about Sunshine: my excellent neighbours, for starters, and our extended community, and I love that it’s so multicultural. 

There are so many great places to eat in Sunshine, including Pho Hien Saigon for the best pho, Co Do for the best prawn spring rolls, and Sunshine Social for the best burgers, and most innovative use of an old service station. In fact, I thought about rewriting ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’ as ‘I Eat Everywhere’ but I got stuck on finding a rhyme for Afghan Master Kebab, so I had to stop.

I love the industrial heritage of my suburb – there’s a Sunshine Harvester suspended above the Brimbank City Council foyer – which is either a lovely nod to history, or some truly innovative parking.

The suburb started out as Braybrook Junction but changed to Sunshine because singing, “You are my Braybrook Junction, my only Braybrook Junction,” just didn’t have the same ring to it. 

The only thing we’re missing is a good nickname (no, not Scumshine). As a Kiwi, I’ll never quite get my head around the Aussie rules for shortening a name though. Wollongong is “the Gong”, but you’d never call Geelong “the Long”.

Closer to home West Footscray has got all fancy and become ‘WeFo’. I guess we could go the same route and turn Sunshine into ‘SuShi’, but telling people, “I live in sushi” would only lead to confusion and concern for my wellbeing. 

Other nicknames I’ve been toying with are Sunzie, Shine-O, Shiny, and The Shine, but that just sounds like a Breakfast Radio crew. Maybe I should posh it up a bit and just start claiming I live in Upper Seddon, or Yarraville Valley Heights.

Cal Wilson is a stand-up comedian, author, radio and television presenter. calwilsoncomedy.com.au