|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
|• Density||1,586/km2 (4,107/sq mi)|
|Area||23.8 km2 (9.2 sq mi)|
|Location||32 km (20 mi) from Melbourne city centre|
|LGA(s)||City of Wyndham|
|State electorate(s)||Lara, Tarneit|
Werribee is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 32 km south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Wyndham. At the 2011 Census, Werribee had a population of 37,737.
Werribee is situated on the Werribee River, approximately halfway between Melbourne and Geelong, on the Princes Highway. It is the administrative centre of the City of Wyndham Local Government Area and is the City's most populous centre. Werribee is considered part of the Greater Melbourne metropolitan area and is included in the capital's population statistical division.
Since the 1990s the suburb has experienced rapid suburban growth into surrounding greenfield land, and becoming a commuter town in the Melbourne-Geelong growth corridor. Due to this urban sprawl Wyndham and its suburbs have merged into the Melbourne conurbation.
It was established as an agricultural settlement in the 1850s, originally named Wyndham and was renamed Werribee (derived from the aboriginal name meaning "backbone" or "spine") in 1904.
The name Werribee is an aboriginal name meaning "backbone" or "spine". It is thought that this name was given as the shape of the Werribee River valley and the landscape look like a backbone. The Werribee River seems to have provided a boundary between the territories of the Woiwurong aborigines to the north east and the Wothowurong to the south west, although other tribal groups visited the area. One of these tribes was the Yawangi tribe, whose last survivor "King" Bill Leigh died on Wooloomanata Station (on the Geelong side of the You Yangs) in 1912.
Early leasing of pastures was led by members of John Batman's Port Phillip Association. A rural township began in the early 1850s. This village was named Wyndham (the name of the local Municipality today). The name derived from a suggestion by the owner of a local village inn, Elliott Armstrong, who sought to honour Scottish soldier Sir Henry Wyndham. The Post Office opened on 12 January 1858 as Wyndham and was renamed Werribee in 1904. However, its adjacent river was called the Werribee River, and the town's name was later changed to Werribee in 1884, and the Shire Council at that time was also renamed Werribee in 1909.
Werribee at this time was very popular for development. Thomas Chirnside, a person famous in this area even today, was attracted to the open plain's suitability for agricultural uses. By 1863 he controlled more than 280 square kilometres around Werribee. Chirnside bought other smaller holdings of land at this time. The town grew steadily, helped by a railway line from Melbourne to Geelong, with a station at Werribee in 1857.
On 10 October 1862, the first Local Council – the Wyndham Road District – was started, but it was replaced by a Shire Council in 1864. The Shire was huge, extending from the inner suburbs of Melbourne to Little River to the northward town of Melton and covering 715 square kilometres.
Thomas Chirnside committed suicide in 1887. He was found dead in the laundry at Werribee Park with a shotgun lying beside him. His brother Andrew died three years later, and the property was now divided between Andrew's two sons. A new mansion was built, called "The Manor" (not in the same place as the current suburb of Manor Lakes).
In 1881 a quarter of the Shire's population lived in the Werribee Township. There were hotels there, as well as recreational venues such as the Werribee Racecourse (built in 1879) as well as the Mechanics' Institute (built in 1883).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2012)|
Farmland around Werribee was subdivided to form new suburbs, mostly north of the railway line. The oldest of these areas is between Market and Tarneit Roads. Houses are mostly privately built and may be timber or brick. The area north to Shaws Road were developed from the mid-1960s onwards, after the purchase by the Housing Commission of Silk Bros "Glen Devon Stud". Cement Housing Commission homes surround Glen Devon Primary School near the river, while brick RAAF homes are more common east of Market Road.
In 1970 a Catholic Secondary College, MacKillop College, was built on what had been part of the grounds of the Corpus Christi Catholic Seminary. In 1973 Corpus Christi was sold to the State Government, and renamed Werribee Park. After 30 years of restoration and development, the property now includes the Open Range Zoo, the State Rose Garden, an Equestrian Centre, the restored Werribee Park Mansion and a luxury hotel.
By the mid-1970s the area's facilities included numerous sports grounds, pubs (hotels serving alcohol and meals), churches, primary and secondary schools and a hospital.
Many students left school at 15. Some continued their studies at local secondary schools, some attended boarding school and many travelled to schools in Geelong or Melbourne. In 1978 the Williamstown Grammar School established what is now its main campus, Westbourne Grammar School. Those who went on to university and wished to continue living at home in Werribee had few choices: the University of Melbourne, Footscray Institute of Technology or Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Travel time could be as much as five hours per day. These difficulties prompted the formation of the first planning committee for a university in the area. However, it took almost 20 years before a campus of Victoria University could be established in Hoppers Crossing.
Construction of the West Gate Bridge over the Yarra River reduced the driving time required to reach Melbourne's central business district to a mere 30 minutes. Werribee's attractiveness as a Commuter City was further boosted when the suburban electrified rail network was extended to Hoppers Crossing and Werribee in 1985. Previously Werribee was only served by less frequent diesel trains.
Werribee, east of Tarneit Road and Hoppers Crossing started to be developed from the 1970s, with modest brick veneer homes predominating. A small shopping centre opened at Hoppers Crossing in the 1980s. There is also extensive light industrial development along the Princes Highway and further east at Laverton North.
In the 1990s many of the research facilities were relocated to other regions and the bulk of the RAAF facilities were moved to Northern Australia. The change impacted Werribee in several ways. Hundreds of RAAF owned homes were released onto the market, which depressed housing prices for several years. There was reduced pressure on local schools for a high-quality academic education, and schools changed their curricula to accommodate what were seen as the differing aspirations of the changed population.
Werribee's central business district is located along Watton Street; the civic centre (council chambers) being just 500 metres away also makes it the administrative centre of the City of Wyndham. Werribee is surrounded by several mostly residential suburbs: Wyndham Vale to the north-west, Hoppers Crossing and Tarneit to the north, Truganina and Williams Landing to the north-east, and Point Cook to the east. The market gardens and well-known tourist precinct are found in Werribee South, on the other side of the Maltby Bypass.
Werribee's town centre and its Civic Centre (council offices) are located adjacent to the Princes Highway, known locally as Synnot Street. Major local arterial roads Derrimut Road and Old Geelong Road (as an extension of Morris Road) connect the highway to the City of Wyndham's north, as does Cherry Street. Ballan Road is the major arterial to Wyndham's north-west.
The CBD also links with the Princes Freeway via Duncans Road to the south-east, and via Geelong road (the continuation of the Princes Highway) to the south west. The Princes Freeway circumvents the township via a section known as the Maltby Bypass.
There are two major railway stations in the area - Werribee railway station and Hoppers Crossing railway station to the east, both part of the Melbourne metropolitan network. Werribee Station is the terminus of the Werribee line, but also a stop for VLine services to and from Geelong.
A disused station exists on the line near Werribee Racecourse, which at times has had calls to be reopened. Additionally, tracks have been left spread apart for a future station near Derrimut Road. Further suburban stations in the area are also proposed as part of the Regional Rail Link to be joined with the regional rail network.
Major trails include:
- The Federation Trail - from Werribee River to Millers Road, Altona North;
- The Werribee River Trail - from Davis Creek, Tarneit, connecting with the Federation Trail, and continuing south towards Werribee Park.
The City of Wyndham and surrounding areas are serviced by the Werribee Mercy Hospital, which opened in 1994 to replace the now defunct Werribee District Hospital. It is a major provider of mental health care and maternity services for the local area.
A new multi disciplinary, purpose-built medical facility was recently built opposite the Mercy Hospital, to be known as Wyndham Private Medical Centre. It includes a general practice clinic, specialist suites, allied health, mental health and pathology services.
Primary education is provided by numerous public, private and Catholic schools, some of which are combined with secondary education as one P-12 college (denoted c.).
- Werribee Primary
- St Andrews Primary
- Corpus Christi Primary
- Glen Devon Primary (now merged with Glen Orden)
- Wyndham Park Primary (formerly Glen Orden)
- Heathdale Christian College (c.)
- Bethany Catholic Primary
- Westgrove Primary
- Manorvale Primary
- Thomas Chirnside Primary
- Cambridge Primary School
Secondary education is provided by a range of public, private and Catholic colleges, also with some being combined with primary education as one P-12 college.
- Werribee Secondary College
- MacKillop Catholic Regional College
- Heathdale Christian College (c.)
- Galvin Park Secondary College (which is now Wyndham Central College)
- Suzanne Cory High School, a new public selective entry school(YEAR 9-12 ONLY)
- Victoria University, Werribee campus provides both university and TAFE services, and includes the Industrial Skills Training Centre
- Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, Werribee campus (incorporating the Innoven division and the National Centre for Dairy Education
- University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science, Werribee campus is a specialised training centre and includes a Veterinary hospital
- Brooke Addamo (stage name: Owl Eyes) - singer
- Tim Blair - newspaper columnist
- Anthony Callea - singer
- Merv Hughes - former cricketer
- Russell Mark - Olympic shooter
- Danny Tiatto - Soccer player
- Brent Prismall - AFL footballer
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Werribee (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- http://www.vcec.vic.gov.au/CA256EAF001C7B21/WebObj/MelbourneSD/$File/Melbourne%20SD.pdf Melbourne Statistical Division
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- http://www.werribeehospitalfoundation.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99&Itemid=111 . Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- http://www.mercy.com.au/Hospital_Clinical_And_Mental_Health_Services/Our_Hospitals_And_Clinics/Werribee_Mercy_Hospital/ . Retrieved 13 July 2012.