Aerial view from the east
|Population||9,328 (2011 census)|
|• Density||365.8/km2 (947.4/sq mi)|
|Elevation||169.5 m (556 ft)|
|Area||25.5 km2 (9.8 sq mi)(ABS Community Profile)|
|LGA(s)||Rural City of Benalla|
Benalla // is a small city located on the Broken River in the High Country north-eastern region of Victoria, Australia, about 212 kilometres (130 mi) north east of the state capital Melbourne. At the 2011 census the population was 9,328.
It is the administrative centre for the Rural City of Benalla local government area.
It was first sighted by Europeans during an expedition of Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824, when the area, first named "Swampy" was noted that agricultural settlement. The expedition was followed by that of Major Thomas Mitchell in 1834.
Reverend Joseph Docker settled in 1838 creating a pastoral run called Benalta Run, said to be from an Aboriginal word for musk duck. An attack by indigenous people on the camp of sheep herders George and William Faithful became known as the Faithful Massacre; eight settlers were killed in the incident. Following the massacre in 1839 a police station was established and the name of the settlement became Broken River.
A bridge was built over the Broken River in 1847 and the following year the town was surveyed. In 1861 it was proclaimed a town.
It was proclaimed a city in 1965.
Benalla is situated on a mostly flat floodplain of the Broken River catchment situated directly to the north and west of the Great Dividing Range. Lake Benalla is an artificial lake created in 1973 from the Broken River as an ornamental feature for the centre of the city. Broken river forms a green belt along the north-south spine of the city. There are three major crossings of the river at Benalla. The main street in the Central Business District is Bridge Street East.
Another large artificial lake, Lake Mokoan is 7 kilometres to the north east. To the south of the freeway is the heavily forested Reef Hills State Park.
Benalla has two major secondary schools, Benalla College (which has two campuses), FCJ College and a primary school Australian Christian College - Hume. McCristal's College was a private grammar school that also existed in Benalla. There are also state primary schools.
The Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE has a campus in Benalla which includes the Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre opened in 2004 by Lynne Kosky MP, the then Minister of Education and Training. The campus includes GRADA, a regional academy of dramatic art offering courses in Acting, Dance and Production.
Benalla's cultural facilities include the Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre which includes a cinema and theatre. The city also has a major art gallery which forms a landmark perched over Lake Benalla on the site of the original police station.
The Rose Festival is an annual local garden festival dating from 1967.
Sport and recreation
Benalla Gardens Oval is the home of the Benalla & District Cricket Association. The ground has hosted touring teams since the 19th century. In the Rural City of Benalla there are numerous cricket grounds.
Benalla is also home to the Benalla Bandits Baseball Club who compete in the North East Baseball Association, The team plays out of Racecourse Reserve, Benalla.
Benalla is home to the Gliding Club of Victoria at the State Gliding Centre located on the Benalla airfield. This club is the longest continuous operating gliding club in Australia and has played host for the World Gliding Competition in 1987 and 2016. Many of the club's members travel from Europe each summer to enjoy the warm weather and ideal soaring conditions of the region.
- Stringybark Creek Site, famous in the Ned Kelly story.
- The former Shire Offices in Mair St, Benalla.
- The Kelly Gang camp site.
Another heritage site is Lake Benalla - the site of the former Police Station. The listed Police Members were Corp. Thomas Whitwell, Troopers John Phealy, Patrick Monahan, Thomas Cornwark and Dismounted Trooper Edward Beech; these officers were Gazetted on 30 April 1839. Benalla Police is Victoria's longest serving.
- Prue Acton - fashion designer
- John Brady - former VFL/AFL footballer - North Melbourne FC
- Robin Close - former AFL footballer - Essendon FC
- Baden Cooke - Olympic cyclist, Commonwealth medalist and winner of Tour de France green jersey
- Tommy Dunderdale - member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- Edward "Weary" Dunlop - surgeon and World War II Prisoner of War.
- Ivan Durrant - Painter, Sculptor, Writer, Performance Artist.
- James Flynn - former VFL/AFL footballer - Geelong FC, Carlton FC
- Shayne Greenman ( Australian and World Champion Baker)
- Albert Ernest Kitson - geologist and naturalist
- Tom Long - actor
- Lisa Maxwell - rock/pop/alternative solo artist.
- Tom Rockliff- AFL footballer for Brisbane Lions FC
- Hugh Sawrey - artist
- Mark Seymour - lead singer of Hunters & Collectors and solo artist.
- Nick Seymour - bass player in Crowded House.
- Jarrad Waite - AFL footballer for Carlton FC and North Melbourne FC
- Hector Waller - captain of the light cruiser HMAS Perth in the Second World War
- Jaclyn Symes - Politician, Member for Northern Victoria in the State Parliament [Vic]
Benalla has a local newspaper, the Benalla Ensign, which is published weekly.
Health services are provided by Benalla Health, which operates the Benalla & District Memorial Hospital.
Road transport and the motor vehicle is the main form of transport. The Hume Freeway (National Highway M31) bypasses Benalla to the south, while the Midland Highway (A300) runs through the city centre. The road system is also the main form of public transport. Benalla Bus Lines run a service every hour on each of two routes, servicing the west and east sides of the city. Its main terminal is at the ANZ Bank in Nunn St.
Rail transport includes both passenger rail and freight rail. The city's only station is Benalla railway station which is on the North East railway line. The Albury V/Line rail service stops at Benalla as does the twice dailyNSW TrainLink XPT service to and from Sydney.
Benalla Airport YBLA (BLN) began life as a major RAAF training base during World War II and now also serves as the home of the Gliding Club of Victoria as well as a ballooning & ultralight centre and the Benalla Aviation Museum.
Water is supplied by North East Water. The main water supply is Loombah Weir and McCall Say Reservoir in the Ryan's Creek Catchment approximately 13 kilometres south of the city with a total 1800 megalitre capacity.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Benalla (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- Media Release, Minister for Education Kosky opens $4.2 Millon Benalla Performing Arts Centre, Lynne Kosky, Victorian Government, 12 November 2004. Accessed 8 September 2008
- Full Points Footy, Benalla, archived from the original on 16 May 2008, retrieved 2008-07-25
- Country Racing Victoria, Benalla Racing Club, archived from the original on 19 July 2008, retrieved 2009-05-07
- Golf Select, Benalla, retrieved 2009-05-11 Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "golf" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- "Benalla & District Cricket Association". Cricket Victoria. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Ryan, Christian (2 March 2012). "Sachin of Benalla". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- "Benalla Cricket Grounds". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Wilson, Robert, The Book of Australia, Lansdowne Press, 1980
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