Discover Melbourne with Kate Miller-Heidke

Singer-songwriter, and Australia's Eurovision contestant, Kate Miller-Heidke loves the creative energy of her Northcote home in the Victorian capital.

Eurovision contestant Kate Miller-Heidke shows us around her local neighbourhood.
  • Rachel Gray
  • May 2019

Kate Miller-Heidke is an award-winning singer-songwriter best known for hit songs “Caught in the Crowd” and “The Last Day on Earth” as well as penning tunes for "Muriel’s Wedding The Musical" and most recently, coming in at ninth place in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

At home, the lyrical storyteller prefers a low-key life among laid-back live music venues, local bars and cosy cafés, making the inner Melbourne suburb of Northcote (or “North-kit” as the locals say) the perfect base for her. Here, Kate gives us a glimpse into daily life in her neighbourhood.

You’re originally from Brisbane. Why did you move to Melbourne?

My mother lives here and nearly everyone I know has moved here. There are also more APRA AMCOS [Australia’s music rights and royalties association] members in Northcote and nearby suburbs than in any other postcode in Australia. There is a cluster of vibrant, diverse cultures here – and great food.

What do you like most about living in Northcote?

The village ambience – getting to know people in the cafés and feeling like you’re part of a community.

Northcote has small town charm despite its inner city location.
Northcote has small town charm despite its inner city location.

Describe a typical day for you.

My son Ernie [who’s nearly three] gets up at about 6am and we eat porridge together, read a few books and hang out. Then I’ll drop him at childcare and return home to work in my music studio, where I’ll sing, write and work on projects. I’ll head out for a coffee mid-morning, go out for lunch if I’m feeling decadent and pick up Ernie in the afternoon. Then rinse and repeat.

How important is a sense of place to you as a creative person?

It’s supremely important for me and I love that buzz of being able to walk out my door and feel energy. Rather than hide myself away at a rural retreat, I prefer to feed off the energy of a city when I’m making music.

What are some of your favourite places in Melbourne for a night out?

Northcote Social Club opens in new window is laid-back venue hosting live bands in a space with an all-important stage curtain and brilliant sound. The Thornbury Theatre opens in new window is a beautifully preserved, regal 1920s building that oozes character. Head here for dinner and a show with a variety of live music performances. And Palace Westgarth opens in new window makes for a memorable cinematic experience with its Art Deco-style interior. It’s popular for indie movies and film festivals. Plus, it has a lovely courtyard bar.

Kate's favourite local venue is the Northcote Social Club
Kate's favourite local venue is the Northcote Social Club.

Tell us, what inspired you to write your Eurovision entry “Zero Gravity”?

It’s a song that captures that feeling of coming out of a period of depression – of when the fog lifts. The idea for the song came about after I went through a period of feeling very low after the birth of my son. It tries to capture the emotions I had when I felt like I was getting my life back.