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Looking east towards One-tree Hill
|Population||20,825 (2011 census)|
|• Density||1,827/km2 (4,731/sq mi)|
|Area||11.4 km2 (4.4 sq mi)|
|Location||32 km (20 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Knox|
|State electorate(s)||Monbulk, Bayswater, Ferntree Gully|
|Federal Division(s)||La Trobe|
Boronia is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 29 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District in the local government area of the City of Knox. At the 2011 Census, Boronia had a population of 20,825.
Prior to European settlement, Boronia and surrounding suburbs were often visited by Aborigines from the Westernport and Yarra Yarra tribes, hunting during the summer months in the Dandenong Ranges and its foothills. The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation are the acknowledged traditional custodians of the land on which Boronia and all of City of Knox is located (source: Knox City Council publication).
In its early days of European settlement, Boronia was predominantly an orchard, flower growing and farming area.
Boronia was named in 1915 by local Councillor A. E. Chandler (prior to this, Boronia was considered part of Bayswater). Chandler named the suburb Boronia after the plant, boronia, which grew on his property at The Basin. The plant was discovered by Ferdinand von Mueller, an Austrian botanist, who came to Australia during the colonial period.
Boronia's most impressive historical building is Miller Homestead. Originally built in 1888 for John Miller, who was originally from Bayswater, London and the first president of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully (from which City of Knox separated in 1963) and Justice of the Peace. The original property included stables and horse training facilities and was over 77 acres (310,000 m2) in size. The property was sub-divided in 1971. Miller homestead is classified by the National Trust of Australia (Vic).
Boronia is a tree-lined suburb, with views of the National Park and the city of Melbourne (from the foothills themselves). There are also nature reserves and extensive bike paths/lanes. Boronia includes sections of the Dandenong Ranges foothills and thus possesses many hills itself. It has the beautiful, natural, green backdrop of the hills and the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Knox City Council have endeavoured to protect this green backdrop to Melbourne by developing pro-environment planning guidelines.
For years, Boronia had been split in two by the Belgrave railway line and a bottleneck railway crossing across the two main thoroughfares—Boronia and Dorset Roads. In the mid-1990s, VicRoads proposed the reconstruction the Boronia and Dorset Roads intersection, with the railway line being located underground and a new railway station built in a concrete cutting—ending the separation of the two halves of the suburb and uniting Boronia. The new tunnel and intersection opened in 1998, with the land which the railway used to occupy (housing the Country Fire Authority, railway station and large playground/park) being converted into a new shopping centre and carpark.
There are numerous community and service groups in Boronia, including a Lions Club, a Rotary Club, the Returned and Services League (RSL), YWCA Women's Group, Probus Clubs, Country Women's Association, VIEW Club, Scouts and various church groups that build community and/or provide meals, such as St Paul's Anglican, Boronia Road Uniting Church, Mountain District Vineyard, Boronia Church of Christ and St Joseph's Catholic Church.
Sport and leisure
Amenities include a Jetts 24-hour gymnasium and Knox Leisureworks, a swimming pool and exercise centre run by the YMCA.
The suburb has an Australian Rules football team, the Boronia Hawks, competing in the Eastern Football League. The club is based at Tormore Reserve, which is a cricket ground in the summer months as the home ground of the Boronia Cricket Club.
Other activities include the Boronia Bowls Club, health and fitness centres, netball clubs, an internet cafe, swimming schools/clubs, martial arts schools, a pool club, bike paths and numerous small parks and playgrounds, Boronia Weightlifting Club and calisthenics schools. Knox Basketball Stadium is one of several venues utilised by the Knox Basketball League, claimed to be the largest Basketball League in Australia. There is also a library and a radio-control car club and raceway in the basketball stadium precinct. A new Dance and Cheerleading school was opened in February 2008.
Boronia Junction, a relatively new shopping centre, was completed over 2000–2001. Boronia Junction includes an AMF Bowling Centre, a number of restaurants and a hairdresser. There has been a cinema in Boronia for many decades (although not continuously). Metro Cinemas opened in 2005 (in the former Village Cinemas complex in Dorset Square). Boronia boasts over 11 restaurants, including Indian, Thai, Malaysian, Chinese and Italian cuisine.
The other two shopping precincts in Boronia are Boronia Village and Dorset Square (including Boronia Mall). There is also the Dorset Arcade and Chandler Arcade, both run by the Boronia Chamber of Commerce. Boronia is currently being targeted by Knox City Council for rejuvenation, in consultation with resident interest groups. Major works are intended for the Dorset Square retail and entertainment precinct during 2008.
Dorset Calisthenics College is also located in Boronia.
There are a number of kindergartens located in Boronia. There are also five primary schools in Boronia; Knox Central Primary School, Boronia Primary, Boronia Heights Primary, Boronia West Primary and St Joseph's Catholic Primary school. There is one secondary school; Boronia Heights College, with Boronia High School (later named Tormore Secondary College) closing in 1991.
Politics and representation
Boronia contained seven polling booths at the 2010 Federal Election—six in the electorate of La Trobe and one in Aston. Usually something of a "bellwether" area (that is, fairly competitive and indicative of general voting patterns), the combined results of Boronia's seven booths produced a primary vote result of 41.5% Labor, 41.7% Liberal, and 11.1% Greens. Despite the narrow lead of the Liberal candidate on first preferences, the two-party result after preferences was 53.2% Labor and 46.8% Liberal.
The offices of the Knox Leader weekly local newspaper (part of the News Corporation group) are located in Boronia. The Boronia and The Basin Community Newspaper (BBCN) is also produced and distributed locally by volunteers and focuses on local stories and history, including feature articles on immigrants' stories and local businesses. The community newspaper is produced on a monthly basis.
Places of worship
There are a number of groups providing for the local community. These include; St Paul's Anglican Church, Boronia Uniting Church, Boronia Church of Christ, The Potter's Church, Vineyard Church, Wesleyan Methodist Church of Boronia (pictured), Jehovah's Witnesses of Bayswater and Boronia, Christadelphian Hall of Boronia, Knox Community Baptist Church, Martin Luther Home for the Aged, Tenrikyo Melbourne Shinyu Church and St Joseph's Catholic Church.
Wadi Street, Boronia, is also the location of the first Templer Community Church Hall in Australia. Built in 1957 entirely by local volunteer Templers, the building, with its unusual belltower and the attached nine-pin bowling alley, has been assessed by the Heritage Council in 2003 as "culturally significant" and placed on the Register of Heritage Victoria.
Notable former residents
- Davey Lane – Guitarist of rock band You Am I, grew up in Boronia.
- Shane Bourne – Comedian, attended Boronia High School. Has also made references to growing up in Boronia before it was a bona fide suburb.
- Ian Turpie – TV personality, attended Boronia High School in the early 1960s.
- Boronia was the residence of several members of the folk-pop band The Triangles.
- Bill Scott – 1980 Olympian
Many of the streets in Boronia follow a botanical theme, such as Sycamore Crescent, Cypress Avenue, Daffodil Road, Iris Crescent, Pine Crescent, Tulip Crescent, Hazelwood Road, Olive Grove and Oak Avenue. Others are named after important local residents; Chandler Road, Rathmullen Road, Dinsdale Road, Kleinert Road.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Boronia (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Full Point Footy, Eastern Football League, retrieved 21 October 2008
- Boronia Library: http://www.erl.vic.gov.au/branches/boro.htm
- "AEC". Election 2010: Virtual Tally Room.
- "AEC". Election 2010: Virtual Tally Room.