Watsonia, Victoria

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Shops on Watsonia Road, Watsonia.jpg
Shops on Watsonia Road, Watsonia
Watsonia is located in Melbourne
Coordinates37°42′29″S 145°04′59″E / 37.708°S 145.083°E / -37.708; 145.083Coordinates: 37°42′29″S 145°04′59″E / 37.708°S 145.083°E / -37.708; 145.083
Population5,352 (2021 census)[1]
 • Density2,230/km2 (5,780/sq mi)
Area2.4 km2 (0.9 sq mi)
Location16 km (10 mi) from Melbourne
LGA(s)City of Banyule
State electorate(s)
Federal division(s)Jagajaga
Suburbs around Watsonia:
Bundoora Watsonia North Greensborough
Watsonia Greensborough
Macleod Yallambie Yallambie

Watsonia is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 16 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Banyule local government area. Watsonia recorded a population of 5,352 at the 2021 census.


Watsonia originally belonged to the Wurundjeri people.[2] It is named after early property developer and landowner Frank Watson.

Watsonia was surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1838 as part of the parish of Keelbundora, for subdivisional sale as farms.[2] Until the 1870s, much of Watsonia remained part of the vast property holdings of John Brown. The Grace Park area was purchased in 1877 by Frederick Augustus Nell, and then by Frank Watson[3] in the early twentieth century. Watson subdivided the property for housing in 1924. The area remained primarily rural until the 1940s, when property prices became affordable.

Watson and other local landowners paid for the establishment of a railway station in order to attract property buyers. Subdivision commenced with the sale of 44 allotments from the Grace Park Estate, next to the new railway station, in June 1924.[4] Watsonia railway station was named after Mr. F. Watson[4] and was opened on Monday 23 June 1924, between the existing Macleod and Greensborough Stations. It was initially intended to be called Collins.[4] Watsonia Post Office opened around 1934.[5]

In 1931, 40 acres of land at Watsonia was purchased to build a novitiate for the Jesuit Order of the Roman Catholic Church.[6] November 1932, a foundation stone was laid for the construction of a Jesuit seminary.[7] The studies and retreat house was opened in 1934.[8] In 1974, the Watsonia Institure of social welfare opened on the site.[9] Months later plans to use the site as a periodic detention centre were rejected by the local community.[10] In 1979, the land was donated to the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for the purpose of building a Catholic secondary school. Loyola College was established in 1980 and is set on 27 acres. It is a member of the Ignatian Network, a group of Jesuit and non-Jesuit schools worldwide.[11]

Watsonia Station is in Zone 2 on the Hurstbridge railway line and is currently served by Metro Trains Melbourne. The North East Link Project will impact Watsonia,[12] with a tunnel being constructed from Watsonia to Bulleen. There will also be a new tree-lined Greensborough Road boulevard from Watsonia to Rosanna.[13]

Loyola College Alumni Association organise an annual classic car show.[14]


78.0% of Watsonia residents were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth other than Australia are England 2.3%, China (excluding SARs and Taiwan) 2.0%, India 1.3%, Italy 1.0% and Sri Lanka 0.8%.


The Simpson Army Barracks, Yallambie was originally known as the Watsonia Military Camp during World War II. This complex was built on the property formerly owned by Ainslie Meares. In 1951, surrounding land was purchased for the extension of the barracks.

Local schools include Watsonia Primary School, Greensborough College and Loyola College.

Watsonia Library is a bright, modern, well-equipped community library located in Watsonia's shopping precinct with ample parking and adjacent to the Watsonia train station. It is a branch of Yarra Plenty Regional Library[15]


Watsonia Football Club, an Australian Rules football team, competes in the Northern Football League.[16]

Popular culture[edit]

The early 2000s punk indie band Klinger mentions a long trip from St. Kilda to Watsonia north in their hit song Hello Cruel World.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Watsonia (Suburbs and Localities)". 2021 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b Banyule City Council - About the City. Retrieved 14 March 2007
  3. ^ Monash University archives. Retrieved 25 March 2007
  4. ^ a b c "Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic.)". 27 June 1924.
  5. ^ Phoenix Auctions History, Post Office List, retrieved 2 April 2021
  6. ^ "JESUIT NOVITIATE - 40 Acres Bought At Watsonia NEW PROVINCE FORMED - The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954) - 29 Oct 1931". Trove. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  7. ^ "New Jesuit Seminary at Watsonia". Advocate: 19. 24 November 1932 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "AERIAL VIEW OF JESUIT NOVITIATE AT WATSONIA. - The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) - 17 Dec 1934". Trove. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Institute is set to go, bought out only last week". Diamond Valley News: 1, 26. 5 February 1974.
  10. ^ "Anger over detention plan". Diamond Valley News: 1, 2. 18 June 1974.
  11. ^ "Our College". Loyola College. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Watsonia Station and Shops". North East Link Project. 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  13. ^ "North East Link Tunnels Urban Design and Landscape Plan". engage.vic.gov.au. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  14. ^ "LCAA Classic Car Show (Vic)". cartorque.co. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Yarra Plenty Regional Library". yprl.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  16. ^ Full Points Footy, Northern Football League, retrieved 15 April 2009
  17. ^ "Klinger - Hello Cruel World - YouTube". YouTube.