Main street of Clunes
|Elevation||310 m (1,017 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Hepburn|
|State electorate(s)||Ballarat East, Ripon|
Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, in the Shire of Hepburn. At the 2006 census it had a population of 1,026. The 2011 census recorded a population of 1,656 usual residents.
The Djadja Wurrung people were the first inhabitants of the region including the settlement which later became Clunes. The words Djadja Wurrung defines the name of the tribe and the language they spoke. It is a combination of 'djadja' (yes) and 'wurrung' (speech). Being called the "yes people" suggests that the tribe were considered to be a friendly group of people. The "Gurabungalid Gundidj" clan were part of the Djadja Wurrung tribe and based around Mt Beckworth. The clans were also made up of small family groups. There is no evidence of their presence in the town of Clunes, however on farms and near outlying streams middens and stone formations can be found.
Discovery of gold
The town was home to Victoria's first registered gold discovery made by James Esmond. His discovery, first published in the Geelong Advertiser on 7 July 1851 triggered the first gold rush in Victoria. The township was established a few years later and subsequent gold mining, predominantly driven by the Port Phillip and Colonial Mining Company saw the town's population rising to well over 6,000 residents in the late 1880s.
In 1873 mine employers attempted to introduce Saturday afternoon and Sunday shifts. The miners refused to sign the new terms outlined in their contract renewals and went on strike. Some days into the action the miners organised the Clunes Miners' Association and what were to become known as the Clunes Riots, successfully resisting the use of foreign labour as strikebreakers. The Clunes Miners' Association is one of the earliest antecedents of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.
From the 1850s through to 1893, when gold mining eventually came to an end, Clunes was an important gold production location in Victoria. During this period gold in excess of 1.2 million ounces was produced at Clunes. Surrounded by grassland, meadows and pastures, the town has preserved many of its elegant historic buildings until today and is recognised as one of the architecturally most intact gold towns in Victoria.
The idea of transforming Clunes into a European-style booktown was first conceived and developed by Councillor Tim Hayes, Linda Newitt, Graeme Johnston and Tess Brady. Clunes held its first 'Booktown for a Day' event on 20 May 2007. Over 50 booksellers from around Australia set up shop for the day in the town's heritage buildings.
Renamed to 'Back to Booktown' a year later and to 'Clunes Booktown Festival' in 2012, the township now holds the event each year on the first weekend in May. With more than 60 booksellers, millions of books and 15,000 visitors, it has become the largest collection of books in any regional centre of Australia and the major Victorian regional book event.
Awards and recognition
- In 2008 'Back to Booktown' was awarded as Hepburn Shire's Community Event of the Year.
- On 21 January 2010 the Hon John Brumby, Premier of Victoria, made the following statement during the Australia Day Luncheon: ‘In Victoria we even have our very own booktown. The regional community of Clunes in north-west Victoria sees its future as a cultural destination centred around literature. As well as their successful ‘Back to Booktown’ festival, just last month our Government helped launch the new Creative Clunes Community Bookshop.’
- On 23 November 2010 'Clunes - Back to Booktown' was awarded the Australian Civic Trust 'Award of Merit' in the Human Category for its use of heritage buildings in a 'respectful, as against destructive use.'
- On 19 April 2012 Clunes was given 'International Booktown' status - a title awarded to the town by the 'International Organisation of Booktowns'. Clunes is the 1st town in the Southern Hemisphere and the 15th town world-wide to have received the official recognition.
- The Australia Day awards for 2013 for Hepburn Shire's Community Event of the Year were awarded to 'Children's Booktown 2012'
Wesley College campus (Wesley@Clunes)
In recent years Clunes has undergone a noticeable transformation and rejuvenation following the decision by Wesley College, Australia's largest co-educational private school, to establish a campus for Year 9 students in the town. Opened in 2000, about 80 students take up residency in the Wesley Clunes Residential Learning Village in the centre of town and become part of the local community for an eight-week period each term.
Many of the external scenes and some internal scenes in the 2003 film Ned Kelly, starring Heath Ledger, were shot in Clunes. The Old State Bank in Fraser Street was used for the internal scenes featuring the "Euroa" bank robbery.
Clunes also appears in the films Mad Max starring Mel Gibson and the remake of the 1950s classic On the Beach. It also appears in the ABC television series' Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude, Something in the Air and Halifax f.p..
Clunes was once closed off to the public for the TV show The Mole in 2001. The mission in that episode was to direct one of the contestants to pick up another contestant in a blacked-out car.
The most recent film shot in Clunes is Julius Avery's 13-minute movie Jerrycan. Jerrycan won the 2008 Jury Prize at the 61st Cannes Film Festival in France for short films, with its portrayal of restless teenagers in rural Victoria.
Golfers play at the Clunes Golf Club on Golf Course Road.
- Clunes has a cricket club playing in the Maryborough District Cricket Association.
- Clunes has a lawn bowls club that competes in the Ballarat Bowls Association.
- Clunes has a basketball club and league.
- Clunes has a local badminton competition.
Clunes railway station is located on the Maryborough railway line, Victoria. Services operate daily with one train in each direction.
When the State Government announced the Victorian Transport Plan, along with V/Line services being extended to Maryborough, Clunes was not part of the plan (with the only stations being Creswick and Maryborough). However as a result of protest by the town, the Government announced on 17 June 2010 that Clunes would be reopened and included on the line.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Clunes (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "2011 Census QuickStats". ABS. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- "Clunes Back to Booktown". Clunes.org. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- "Who’s Owning Whom and Why Does It Matter? – Looking at Learning as Community Development". Doug Lloyd and Tamara Downey. http://www.aare.edu.au. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- "From Cairns to Clunes to Cannes". Jo Roberts. www.theage.com.au. 27 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Full Points Footy. "Clunes". Retrieved 2008-07-25.[dead link]
- Golf Select. "Clunes". Retrieved 2009-05-11.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clunes, Victoria.|
- Class and racism in the 1873 Clunes Riot
- Clunes tourism information
- Clunes community website
- Wesley College - Clunes campus webpages
- Clunes Football Netball Club