Footscray is an up and coming suburb. There's a gorgeous new estate called Banbury Village, lots of young families and professionals - I have quite a few friends that live there and love it.
There's good public transport, and it's close to the city, about 30 mins driving to the airport. Lots of shops and cafés within pretty easy walking distance.
And I'm in Sunshine - there's nothing wrong with it. Like anywhere there are dodgy areas, but you get that in any suburb. We are only a 15-20 minute drive to the airport, and about 30 to the CBD. But from where we are public transport is terrible - about a 2km walk to the bus, and there's no shops or anything within walking distance.
You could also look at Kensington - you should be able to find something within your price range and the local facilities are awesome for families.