Deer Park, Victoria
Kororoit Creek at Deer Park
|• Density||1,949/km2 (5,048/sq mi)|
|Area||9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)|
|Location||17 km (11 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Brimbank|
Deer Park is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 17 km west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Brimbank local government area. Deer Park recorded a population of 18,126 at the 2016 Census.
The suburb was originally named Kororoit Creek, after the creek running through the suburb but was renamed after the Melbourne Hunt Club used the area to house their stock of game deer. The original Hunt Club building still stands on Ballarat Road, next to the Deer Park sports oval and is now a community centre. The Hunt Club was opened on Saturday, 11 July 1885. The Post Office opened in 1878 as Kororoit Creek and was renamed Deer Park in 1889.
Following the discovery of gold in Ballarat and Bendigo, to the west, there became a great demand for explosives. Deer Park was chosen as the site of Melbourne's first explosives factory, commenced by Jones Scott and Co in about 1874 and later reformed as Australian Explosives and Chemical Co, then Nobel (Australasia), Imperial Chemical Industries of Australian and New Zealand (ICIANZ) and most recently Orica. The site was chosen for its isolation, as it was several miles from the outskirts of Melbourne. The availability of water in Kororoit Creek was also a factor. In the 1920s, Nobel constructed a number of houses around its factory for workers and managers, expanding the former rural village into a substantial industrial suburb.
A fatal accident at the factory in 1923 led to production of Black powder being stopped. In 1928, Imperial Chemical Industries of Australia and New Zealand (ICI, now Orica) took control of the factory. A new Black Powder factory was built in Deer Park in 1936 and enlarged during World War II. Charcoal from Australian timbers also began to be manufactured.
Suburban expansion in the 1920s was slowed during the 1930s depression, but in the post war period the suburb expanded rapidly. With labour shortages and a large demand for products during the post-war boom, ICI commenced housing development in Deer Park to attract workers to the area and many of the surrounding streets are named for localities in the UK, where ICI had operations.
The electrification of the train line to Deer Park was expected to occur in the 1980s, however the project has been ignored by successive State Governments. Many residents believe the delay in upgrading the train line is related to the fact that Deer Park is situated in one of the safest Labor seats in the country.
Melbourne bus routes 215, 216, 400, and 420 service the area.
The main road through Deer Park is Ballarat Road, which carries traffic between Melbourne and Ballarat, Victoria's third largest city. Station Road intersects north-south with Ballarat Road and is a major local route. The Deer Park Bypass, completed in 2009, allows motorists to avoid the suburban streets of Deer Park on their journey from Melbourne to Caroline Springs, Ballarat and beyond.
Deer Park boats two public primary schools, a Catholic primary school, and a secondary college.
- Deer Park North Primary School
- Deer Park West Primary School
- St Peter Chanel School
- Victoria University Secondary College - Junior Campus
Flora and fauna
Kororoit Creek is located on the northern boundary of the suburb. This area (particularly in the West) has been home to large healthy populations of native reptiles for thousands of years, including Tiger snake, Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard, Stump-tailed skink and Eastern brown snake. Unfortunately due to development these species are now rarely seen in the area.
Due to more recent development of the Cairnlea estate and improved vegetation on the banks of Kororoit Creek, native species of frogs have taken advantage and have taken up residents in the new wetlands and lakes. The Common Eastern Froglet and even the now endangered Growling Grass Frog have been seen and heard in the new wetlands and around Kororoit Creek.
On the southern outskirts of the suburb there are large farm properties which have now being developed for housing under the development names Brimbank Gardens and St Andrews Field. This area surrounds Mount Derrimut, which saw the relocation of the Sunshine Golf Club to allow its former location East of Fitzgerald Road to be redeveloped as housing.
Victoria's main maximum security female prison, the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre is located in Deer Park.
Deer Park has also gained a slightly tarnished reputation, due to the maximum security prison that is located there. This myth was the subject of an advertisement by the radio station Nova 100, in which comedian Dave Hughes claimed that he had seen a car on fire on a Deer Park street. In a letter they received from a resident, they came to the said resident's house and then, whilst talking to her, the car they had arrived in was attacked by several men and a woman, though this was staged for the commercial.
- Marlene Kairouz
- Nathan Phillips (actor)
- Marilyn Anderson, fellow of the Australian Academy of Science 
- Brigitte McDonald, Deputy Principal Thomas Carr College 
- John Riddell, early settler 
- Brian Barnett OAM, amateur herpetologist
- Lillian Calleja OAM, Founding Member and Social Secretary, Newport Maltese Association
- DUC Dung Luu, high-level drug trafficker 
- City of Sunshine – Deer Park was previously within this former local government area.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Deer Park (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Orica History, From the Gold Fields to the ASX
- HO2 – ICI Residential Area, Deer Park
- National Trust of AustraliaDeer Park Explosives Factory Complex
- City of Brimbank Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study, 2000, pp14-19
- Full Points Footy, Deer Park, retrieved 15 April 2009
- Australian Biochemist Vol 42 No 2 August 2011, Page 32
- Thomas Carr College – Tarneit 2011, web page
- OBITUARY. (1940, July 12). Sunshine Advocate (Vic.), p. 1. Retrieved January 24, 2014
- The Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat