Few places anywhere in the world got their names in the same way that Wantirna did.

The area around Ringwood, in Melbourne’s outer north east, has always been characterised by high unemployment. And as is ever the case, there some people who, when they lack jobs, will attempt to create their own by going into business for themselves. There are also, inevitably, some who see the wisdom of such a course, but are temperamentally too passive or unimaginative to embark upon it. They are not necessarily unmotivated people – they just find it hard to devise their own solution. Such people form the natural market for purchasing franchises, but if they have been unemployed for a long time, they may lack the resources to do so.

Which lead, in this particular case, to a large sign being posted in what is now this suburb, alongside the major road leading to the central business district of Melbourne. It became a well-known local landmark, and even something of a joke to those who saw it – and as its fame grew, people would detour just to do so. The sign was concise, if poorly spelled, and read (correcting for the mispelling) simply “Want Earner”

Suburbs near Wantirna: