Slow English

Podcasts about Australia for intermediate learners of English

Podcast 8 – Melbourne’s Federation Square


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack

Podcast Number 8 – Melbourne’s Federation Square


Melbourne is a great city for sports, art and culture.  One of the places where these things come together is Federation Square.  Federation Square is Melbourne’s central public square.


In many ways, it is the real centre of Melbourne. But it is much more than just a square. Like every city square, Federation Square has large open spaces where people can gather.  It has an open air theatre which holds more than 15,000 people.


It has large television screens so people can watch major television events such as the Olympics.


But as well as outdoor spaces, Federation Square has many excellent indoor areas and spaces.


It has many cafes and restaurants where people can meet and enjoy a meal, or a snack, along with some of Melbourne’s famous coffee.


Federation Square also has art galleries, museums, exhibitions, studios, cinemas, a theatre and many shops.

And most of all, Federation Square is a place where things happen.  Musicians perform their work, artists show their paintings, their drawings or their sculptures, conferences are held, television programs are made, festivals are held and book and wine fairs are held.

One special museum is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.


This museum explores film, television and digital culture.  It holds exhibitions and screenings, and educates all visitors about the important role of film, television and computer imaging in modern society. Another important gallery at Federation Square is the The Ian Potter Centre.  This art gallery is part of the National Gallery of Victoria and is Australia’s first major art gallery for Australian art.

You can even rent a bicycle at Federation Square so that you can cheaply explore the city of Melbourne.  Or you can take part in one of the many activities. Regular concerts at Federation Square include rock, classical, pop, hip hop, folk and R n B music.

Federation Square was opened in 2002 and it now has over 10 million visitors each year.  It is built over a working railway yard right next to Flinders Street station, one of Melbourne’s major city railway stations.  The buildings and open spaces at Federation Square rest on a huge concrete deck built over the railway yard.  In spite of that, the design of the deck means no noise or vibration from the railway disturbs the space or the buildings in Federation Square.

Federation Square has become one of the most important meeting places in Melbourne.  People call it ‘Fed Square’.  When our 2012 Olympic team came home, Melbourne welcomed them at Federation Square.  The main tourist information centre for Melbourne is also here.


There is no doubt that Melbourne would not be the same without Federation Square. When you come to Melbourne, make sure you visit Fed Square.   For more information, go to

If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story. You can leave your comment in English or in any language and I will translate it. Or, you can send me an email at I would like to hear any suggestions you may have. I would especially like your suggestions for podcast topics. Goodbye until next time.


Podcast 8 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?

You can take the quiz as many times as you like.



art = beautiful things made by people

cafes = a place where you can buy and drink coffee

central = in the centre

cinema = where you to to see a film

classical = music of a certain type, not rock, not jazz, not hip hop

computer imaging = a picture made on a computer

concerts = when artists perform music

conferences = when people meet together to talk about something

culture = the way we live and the things we like

design = the plan for something

digital = to do with computers

disturbs = when something stops you from doing something

drawings = pictures drawn by artists

educates = when someone learns something

excellent = when something is very, very good

exhibitions = a large number of things to see in a museum or art gallery

fairs = when people come together to talk about the same thing

famous = when everybody knows this person or thing

festivals = when people come together to see organised music, art and other activities.

film = a story taken by a camera and shown in a cinema

galleries = a place where you go to see art

gather = when people come together

happen = when something takes place, when something comes to pass

holds = the number of things or people that can fit inside

huge concrete deck = a large space made of concrete

in spite of that = when something happens even though it’s difficult or hard

meal = when you eat food, usually at morning, noon and night. Usually with your family or friends

meeting = when 2 or more people come together to talk about something

museums = a place where you go to see art and valuable things

musicians perform = when people play music for you. For example, play the piano or guitar

no doubt = when you are very sure of something

noise = when something can be heard in your ears

paintings = pictures painted by artists

programs = a show on radio or television

public = when something is for everyone

regular = when something happens again and again

rent = when you pay someone so you can stay in a house or a building

restaurant = a place where you can buy and eat food and drink

screenings = when a film is shown

sculptures = beautiful shapes made by artists

snack = a small amount to eat or drink. Not with your meal

society = all of the people in a country

square = a large area in a town or city, usually in the town centre. People can gather there

studios = where television shows are made

theatre = where you go to see a show or a play

together = when there are 2 or more things at the same time

vibration = when you can feel something shaking

visitors = people who come to visit

welcomed = when someone is happy to see you

wine = a drink with alcohol


  1. i like the way that you teach english. it is best app i have getten from a learning english app for chinese. it attaches 2 languages that is easy for me to understand. but it only show part of it. i am living australia now. i’d like to get more if it is possible

    • Hi Mona,

      Many thanks for your comment. I appreciate your feedback. I am interested in what you mean when you say that ‘it only shows part of it’. Perhaps you could write me an email at and give me some more detail about what you mean by that. Then I could answer your query.
      Have a great day.

  2. Hello Rob
    How are you
    ? listened 8 podcast but didn’t find quiz.
    Please help me. ? think you dont remove quiz.
    Thank you ? like it

    • Hi Ipek,
      Thanks for your message. Actually there are a few of my podcasts which don’t yet have a quiz, including number 8. My apologies for that.
      I plan to add a quiz to these podcasts in the near future.
      Have a great day.

  3. Hi Rob,
    first thank you man then hey could I know whether is it ok in the english grammar using identical articles(or even words) together like in “the The Ian”?? I know it’s part of the name and all but is there another case?
    Have a great week man,

    • Hi Losif,
      Thanks for your comment and your question. Yes, in English it is possible to have a situation where you have the same word repeated, but I think it is quite rare. Usually, people try to avoid this situation as it sounds a little wierd. Most often, they will write it another way. Even so, sometimes it happens. For example, “The lady I saw, saw something else”. “I had had enough.” “That that actually happens is strange.” No doubt there are many other examples like these. Another situation is where words are spelt the same and sound the same but have different meanings. These are called homonyms. For example, you could say, “That is a glass glass.” (meaning the glass which you are drinking from is made of glass.) “Can the rock rock?” (meaning does the rock move back and forward).
      As for identical articles, perhaps there are some situations but I can’t actually think of one.
      Thanks again for your question.
      Have a great day.

  4. Lovely place. It remembers me The Barbican in London but more open.
    We live in a 200.000 inhabitants town, Jerez, which hasn’t got anything similar.
    I suppose the finantial investment for building the square was public. In Spain, we have had a bitter discussion about the mega public investments which, now that we are suffering a huge crisis, have to be paid by our taxes.
    Time to dinner. Thank you for your podcast. You are a good ambassador of your country.

    • Hi Ignacio,
      Many thanks for your comment. I have not been to the Barbican in London. I missed it when I was in London recently. I think our Federation Square was funded jointly by government and the private sector. That is a very common model here in Australia for building infrastructure, including roads. But I guess in a smaller town, it’s harder to get things like that built.
      Have a great day,

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.