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54 Hyde St
Adelaide, SA, 5000

A study of Burnside Village


A study of Burnside Village

Alexandra Lekis

Burnside Village is an upscale shopping centre situated in the City of Burnside, in the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide. Burnside Village is home to many high-quality lifestyle and fashion stores, a supermarket, a pharmacy, bakeries, delis, a smattering of cafés and more. 

As a faithful employee at a couple of shops at Burnside Village over the past eight years I feel that I have a right, nay, a duty to provide you with a report of the everyday life and practice of the Burnsidian. This is a systematic study of the people and cultures that make up The Village.

Firstly, let me elucidate:

Plural Burnsidians. Alternative spelling of Burnsidean.

        1. One that frequently shops (window-shopping included…let’s be real here), works, dines or cafés at Burnside Village.

Have you ever watched Gossip Girl? If you have, then imagine that if GG was set in Adelaide, Serena and Blair would spend their days sitting at Burnside Village’s Cibo under the tree (which is, sadly, no longer with us) as opposed to the Met steps. They would be Burnsidians.

I have spent eight years exploring the cultural phenomenon that is the ‘Burnside Mum’, the ‘Burnside Worker/Abuse-taker’ and, arguably the most common species found at The Village, the ‘Seniors of Burnside’. Whilst there are other types that can be spotted at The Village, these formerly identified individuals make up a large majority.

1.      The Burnside Mum
This popular species can usually be sighted at Burnside Village in the mornings post school drop-off or at 3 pm after picking up the kids from school. They are immaculately dressed, well-groomed and obviously fit. They particularly enjoy drinking mugs of skinny latte, treating themselves to a new skirt from Witchery (every week) and buying their kids Cheesymite scrolls from Baker’s Delight as an after-school snack.  

2.      The Burnside Worker/Abuse-taker.
These folk can be found standing behind the checkout at Coles, polishing the handrails of the travelator or serving at any of the food outlets located within The Village. They receive flak from patrons on an hourly basis but can be found smiling behind counters, mopping up spillages or personally delivering trollies laden with groceries to helpless over-enthusiastic customers who can no longer steer their spoils back to their BMWs parked in the downstairs car park.

3.      The Seniors of Burnside
This is the most common form of human being that you will find at Burnside Village. Whether they have flooded across Greenhill Road from the conveniently located Trak cinema which screens movies predominantly targeted at an “older” audience, or have come for a day trip to The Village, they can be found walking slowly with what seems to be minimal purpose and enjoying the ambience that The Village provides. They can be overhead exclaiming such things as “this coffee isn’t hot enough” and asking staff whether they do “senior’s discount?”

Whilst this report may have a faint tinge of mockery laced within it, eight years spent observing this unique society of seemingly privileged folk has left me with a strange feeling. After all this time, I now consider myself a true Burnsidian. I have been a Burnside Worker, I hope that I can one day be classed amongst the most well-dressed Burnside Mum’s and, in my autumn years, aspire to be one of the gentle, purple-rinsed Seniors of Burnside.  Burnside Village is home to many. Whether you visit Burnside Village just for the spectacle, to splurge on a new outfit, to work hard earning your week’s wage or to meet with friends you will be guaranteed an experience like no other.

Location: 447 Portrush Road, Glenside SA 5065

General Trading Hours:
Monday: 9am – 5.30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 5.30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 9am – 9pm
Friday: 9am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm

All images via Burnside Village Facebook page