Looking east along the Great Alpine Road in Bruthen from the western side of town
|Population||624 (2006 census)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of East Gippsland|
|State electorate(s)||Gippsland East|
Bruthen is a small town located alongside the Tambo River between Bairnsdale and Ensay on the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. At the 2006 census, Bruthen had a population of 624. Bruthen is 26 km (16 mi) east of Bairnsdale and 311 km (193 mi) east of the state capital Melbourne.
Bruthen is an Aboriginal word from the Brabiralong people of the Gunai/Kurnai tribe meaning ‘long wooden point’. Alfred Howitt claimed the proper name for the area around Bruthen was Murloo, meaning ‘pipeclay’.
Noted explorer of Gippsland, Angus McMillan, first passed through the area of what is now Bruthen on 14 April 1840 on his early explorations from the Omeo region. The Post Office opened on 15 January 1862 and the first school opened in 1872.
On 27 November 1958 an RAAF Avon-Sabre Fighter Jet crashed on the outskirts of Bruthen, narrowly missing the populated area of town. Flight Lieutenant Ralph Oborn was flying from New South Wales to the RAAF base in Sale when his engine ‘flamed out’. Oborn ejected at 500 ft, suffering only minor injuries, and became the first person to safely eject from an aeroplane in Australia.
Bruthen has a small shopping centre, including a general store (established in 1860 and it continues to be run out of a period building), bakery, Post Office, hotel, service station, as well as speciality stores and cafes. One of the new local features is the Bullant Brewery which offers meals and a variety of locally brewed Victorian beers. Bruthen also has a Police station, State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority (CFA) branches, an Anglican church, a cemetery and a primary school.
A railway line used to pass through town, with the railway station just to the east of the township; the station site remains as does a former railway tunnel under the main road and a railway bridge, the Storer Bridge, over the Tambo River, these facilities remaining in use as part of the shared use East Gippsland rail trail.
The Bruthen community holds a number of activities throughout the year. These include the "Mixed Bag" art exhibition, the Bruthen Village Markets (every 4th Saturday of the month), annual Parish dance, and the Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival on the 3rd weekend of February each year. The 96 km (60 mi) East Gippsland rail trail, which runs from Bairnsdale to Orbost, passes through Bruthen, providing an excellent facility for cycling, walking and horse-riding. In November 2012, 3,500 cyclists spent their first night in Bruthen as part of the nine day Great Victorian Bike Ride from Lakes Entrance to Phillip Island.
Geocachers will enjoy a visit to Bruthen, there is an active group of Geocachers in the area with plenty of individual caches and multis near the town.
In Australian rules football the Bruthen Football Club competes in the Omeo & District Football League (ODFL), and has the nickname ‘The Bulldogs’. The club has won six premierships (1979, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, and 2003) since joining the league in 1978. The affiliated Bruthen Netball Club competes in the associated netball competition.
The Bruthen colours are red, white and blue. Bruthen football jumpers consist of red and white hoops on a blue background, essentially the design of what was formerly Footscray, and now the Western Bulldogs AFL club. The netball club wears a white shirt with red stripe and navy blue skirt.
Geocaching is also popular in the Bruthen area with a range of single and multiple caches to be found!
The Bruthen Lions Club actively participate in local events and constantly raise a substantial amount of money for local causes each year.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bruthen (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- East Gippsland Shire Council (2007). "East Gippsland Rail Trail". James Yeates Printing & Design.
- "Bruthen". Victorian Railway Stations. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- Gardner, P.D. (1997) Names of the Great Alpine Road Between Bairnsdale and Omeo. Ensay: Ngarak Press.