The formation of the Waverley Arts Society (WAS) in 1970 heralded the beginnings of change in attitudes and appreciation of the visual arts in the former City of Waverley, supported by the then Mayor John Taylor.
In the late 1970‘s the situation improved further with the establishment by Council of two bodies – the Art Acquisition Committee, which was allocated funds to acquire art for the City, and Arts Waverley, an advisory board to foster a wired range of the arts, including the visual and the performing, followed later by the Waverley Arts Council.
In 198o the Waverley City Council established the Waverley Art Gallery at 1 4 The Highway, Mount Waverley. A main function of the Gallery was to display the substantial art collection the City of Waverley had built up over the preceding years. In 1990 the Waverley Art Gallery moved to a new building in Wheelers Hill and after a few name changes finally became the Monash Gallery of Art (MGA).
With full support of the local arts community and the Waverley Arts Council the original Gallery building in The Highway was re-assigned as The Highway Gallery for the benefit of the local arts and wider community, with the first exhibition opening on January 19, 1990.
Since then The Highway Gallery has been the venue for a wide range of exhibitions by artists and community groups. The Gallery is operated by the City of Monash and its use is open to groups and individual applicants.
Over recent times, The Highway Gallery has seen a diverse variety of exhibitions and associated workshops. Some by individual or small groups of visual artists; other exhibits and events are supported by Monash and Eastern Suburbs community organisations. Examples of these are the Waverley Art Society (who managed the Gallery from 2010 to 2014), Mount Street Neighbourhood House, Hughesdale Art Group, the Monash Reconciliation Group (annual Aboriginal events for NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation Week), the Museum of Indonesian Arts, Essex Heights Primary School, Holmesglen College of TAFE, Chelsea Heights Yarn Art, Mount Waverley North Primary School, the Monash Chinese Friendship Association (MCFA), Highmount Pre-School, the Chinese Photography Club of Victoria, Wesley College, Avila College and others.