Mill Park, Victoria
|Population||30,517 (2011 census)|
|• Density||2,330/km2 (6,033/sq mi)|
|Area||13.1 km2 (5.1 sq mi)|
|Location||23 km (14 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Whittlesea|
Mill Park is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 23 km north-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Whittlesea. At the 2011 Census, Mill Park had a population of 30,517.
History and development
The area is named after the Mill Park property owned by Henry "Money" Miller (1809-1888). He bred racehorses and conducted a range of dairy and grazing activities, sufficient to occupy 65 persons housed in a village on the property. The Findon Hounds and the Findon Harriers Hunt Club—a name connected with Miller's residence—Findon in Kew, were at Mill Park.
The Mill Park property specialised in horse breeding into the next century and the Findon Harriers continued there until 1930. Mill Park's rural landscape was largely unaltered until the 1960s, apart from the opening of a quarry in 1964. Following is an article on how the quarry came about.
Prior to 1957, the land today known as Yellow Gum Park where the quarry is located was part of the historic "Clear Hill" property, which stretched from the Plenty River east to Oatland Road. These lands were predominantly used for dairy farming along with grazing and minor cropping. As a result of severe bushfires during 1957, the Clear Hill estate was subdivided into smaller allotments. The portion now known as Yellow Gum Park was purchased by Reid Quarries Pty Ltd who quarried the area to produce materials that were used in the construction of many of Melbourne's early 'Sky Scrapers'. Quarrying operations commenced during 1959 and Boral Australia took over the site in the 1960s. The plant was closed in the early 1970s because of ground water seeping into the quarry hole. The ground water seepage has produced the lake which many locals know as "Blue Lake".
Following on from residential development in Bundoora, subdivisions occurred in the 1970s and a kindergarten, pre-school centre and shopping complex were built by the end of the decade. The shopping centre has several historic place names: The "Stables Shopping Centre" and Redleap Avenue commemorate the solidly built Redleap racing stables on the Miller property and the Plough Hotel commemorates the Plough Inn which formed a nucleus village in the Mill Park area during the 1850s.
The street "Mill Park Drive" is a large oval ring, which was once a horse racing track. Many of the streets pay homage to past race horses, such as Phar Lap, Carbine, Eaglet, Whernside, Studley and Redleap.
During the 1980s Mill Park underwent rapid residential development, with State and church primary schools (Mill Park Primary School, Saint Francis Primary School). Mill Park Post Office opened on 1 August 1983.
There are several neighbourhood reserves, and three large ones in the west of Mill Park. A freeway reservation runs north-south, parallel to Mill Park's western boundary along Darebin Creek. The east of Mill Park extends to pollution-control wetlands which border the Plenty River. The area is serviced by two main shared paths; the Hendersons Road Drain Trail and the Darebin Creek Trail. The extreme north boundary is the South Morang railway line.
The continued rapid residential expansion spawned a state secondary college (Mill Park Secondary College) and recreational facilities and the RMIT Bundoora East Campus is inside Mill Park's border.
The Mill Park Secondary College was opened in 1992, starting out with year 7 students only, with year 7 enrollments doubling in 1993. By 1994 there were 1000 students attending the college, and it was clear that the Campus would not physically support many more students. Therefore the Senior Campus was built on Civic Drive in Epping, and was operational in time for the original year 7 students of 92 to attend year 11 in 1996. The Senior Campus originally taught year 11 and 12 students only (VCE); however, since Term 3, 2005, Year 10 students now attend the Senior Campus.
Modern Mill Park
Modern Mill Park consists of both the traditional Mill Park land and the expanding neighborhood of Mill Park Lakes, located to the Northeast.
Shopping in Mill Park consists of The Stables Shopping Centre, located on Childs Road, Plenty Valley Shopping Centre, located on McDonalds Road and Mill Park Plaza, located on the corner of Plenty Road and Development Boulevard close to the edge of the suburb of South Morang. Mill Park is not short of fast food restaurants, with McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Domino's Pizza all within close proximity of one another. Mill Park is also the home of other Bistro restaurants including Shuga, Kitchen Ku and La Porchetta.
Mill Park Plaza located on Plenty Road is a Shopping Strip containing a variety of retail and consumer based outlets, including the Bank of Queensland, TAB, Italian Restaurant, East West Homes, Aquastyle Swimming School, Buzykids Indoor/Outdoor Children's Playcentre, Fish and Chips, Pizza, Malaysian, Real Estate etc.
Mill Park boasts both private and state Primary Schools in the form of St Francis Primary School, Mill Park Heights, Plenty Parklands, Findon and Mill Park Primary Schools. Mill Park is also home to Mill Park Secondary College, with both its Junior and Senior campuses within its regions.
The Mill Park Library built in 2002 is a vastly modern and spacious building designed by Oaten Stanistreet Architects and used liberally by the residents of Mill Park and other suburbs alike.
Mill Park is also home to a community radio station, Plenty Valley FM (3PVR), which broadcasts on 88.6 MHz. The station's studios are located at 284 Childs Road. The station is officially designated as emergency broadcaster for its broadcast area, which includes the shires of Nillumbik and Whittlesea.
Mill Park serves as the northern suburbs home of softball. Northern District Softball Association is based in Mill Park Reserve on Morang Drive and is the only softball association in the area, the next closest being Fawkner Park based Melbourne Softball Association. N.D.S.A offers softball to all ages and abilities and has sent several players to State and National teams. Any Saturday in summer can see the park alive with children and adults alike.
- Yellow Gum Park (Parks Victoria)