This area was originally occupied by the Wurundjeri Indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation.
In 1837, John Gardiner (after whom Gardiners Creek was named) and his family were the first Europeans to settle in the area. Robert Hoddle surveyed the area in 1837 and declared it the “Parish of Boroondara”. The area was densely wooded, so he took a word from the Woiwurrung language (as spoken by the Wurundjeri), meaning “where the ground is thickly shaded”.
The first Local Government body was the Boroondara District Road Board, formed on 11 July 1854 and incorporating the areas which were to become the City of Hawthorn, City of Kew and City of Camberwell. Hawthorn and Kew were created as separate municipalities in 1860 and the remaining area of the Road Board became Shire of Boroondara on 17 November 1871, which later became the City of Camberwell.
The three municipalities were amalgamated in June 1994 to create the City of Boroondara. Existing councillors from the three municipalities were replaced initially by three commissioners – David Glanville (chair), David Thomas and Marion Macleod. The commissioners were in turn replaced by ten councillors following elections in 1996.