Andrew Clarke was one of Northcote’s most prominent residents. Son of a West Australian Governor, Clarke arrived in Australia in 1847. However the sudden death of his father thwarted Clarke’s early plans to settle in Western Australia and he relocated to New Zealand.
In 1853 he moved to Victoria to assume the postion of Surveyor-General. He lived in a two storey stone building on the corner of St. Georges Road and Eunson Avenue. Clarke was a primary mover in the development of a Bill calling for the establishment on municipal institutions in Victoria. This was the foundation of local government in the State.
Clarke named the area the area between the Merri Creek and Westgarth Street Northcote after Sir Stafford Northcote, purportedly an intimate friend.
In 1858 Clarke left the colony to further his career, which included serving as Inspector-General of fortifications in England, and Agent-General for Victoria in London.
Clarke only spent five years in Victoria but in that short time laid much of the foundations for local government in the State.