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Geelong Suburb Profile

Geelong Suburb Profile


Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River, in the state of Victoria, Australia, 75 kilometres south-west of the state capital; Melbourne. It is the second most populated city in Victoria and the fifth most populated non-capital city in Australia. The urban area runs from the plains of Lara in the north to the rolling hills of Waurn Ponds to the south, with the bay to the east and hills to the west, an area with an estimated population of 160,991 people. It is the administrative centre for the City of Greater Geelong municipality which covers the urban and surrounding areas and is home to over 191,000 people. An inhabitant of Geelong has been known as a Geelongite, or a Pivotonian, in the past.

Geelong was named in 1837 by Governor Richard Burke, with the name derived from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal name for the region, Jillong, thought to mean 'land' or 'cliffs'. The area was first surveyed in 1838, three weeks after Melbourne, and the Post Office was open by June 1840 (the second to open in the Port Phillip District). The first woolstore was erected in this period and it became the port for the wool industry of the Western District. During the gold rush Geelong experienced a brief boom as the main port to the rich goldfields of the Ballarat district. The city then diversified into manufacturing and during the 1860s it became one of the largest manufacturing centres in Australia with its wool mills, ropeworks, and paper mills.

It is known for being home to car manufacturer Ford Australia and also the Geelong Football Club, nicknamed The Cats.

GeelongCity and suburbs

Development in Geelong started on the shores of Corio Bay in what is now the inner city. Development later spread to the south towards the Barwon River, and the hill of Newtown and Geelong West. Major development south of the river in Belmont did not start until the 1920s, stimulated by the construction of a new bridge over the river in 1926, and the extension of the Geelong tramway system in 1927. Industrial areas were traditionally located on the Corio Bay for port access, or the Barwon River for waste disposal.

In the interwar and post World War II years heavy industry continued to establish itself in the flatter northern suburbs, where today industries such as the Shell oil refinery and Ford Motor Company engine plant reside. Residential development also spread to Corio in the north, with new Housing Commission of Victoria estates built to cater for employees of the new industries. From the 1960s residential growth spread to the Highton hills in the south, followed by Grovedale in the 1970s. A number of light industrial areas were also established in Breakwater, Moolap and South Geelong.

Changing cargo handling methods at the Port of Geelong left woolstores in inner Geelong unused, redevelopment beginning in the 1980s with the expansion of Westfield Geelong towards Corio Bay, and culminating in the Waterfront Geelong development. Gentrification of former working class inner suburbs such as Geelong West, North Geelong and South Geelong has also occurred. Today the major residential growth corridors are north towards Lara, east towards Leopold, and south towards Mount Duneed.


More than 10,000 businesses employ over 80,000 people in the Geelong region, with manufacturing and processing industries providing around 15,000 jobs, followed by 13,000 in retail, and 8,000 in health and community services.

Geelong's major employers include the Ford Motor Company engine plant in Norlane, aircraft maintenance at Avalon Airport, the head office of retail chain Target, the Bartter (Steggles) chicken processing plant, Alcoa's Point Henry aluminium smelter, and the Shell oil refinery at Corio.

The Geelong region attracted over 6,000,000 tourists during 2001. Major tourist attractions include the Waterfront Geelong precinct and Eastern Beach on the shores of Corio Bay, the Ford Discovery Centre and National Wool Museum in the city, and more than 30 historical buildings listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Geelong area hosts regular international events which are also tourist drawcards including the Australian International Airshow.

Geelong has a number of shopping precincts in the CBD and surrounding suburbs. The two main shopping centres are located in the CBD - Westfield Geelong and Market Square, with smaller centres in the suburbs including Belmont Plaza and Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre in the south, Bellarine Village in Newcomb in the east, and Corio Village Shopping Centre in the north. The opening of the major shopping centres have seen a decline in strip shopping on Moorabool Street, with many empty shops and few customers. Geelong is also home to Mitre 10's largest franchisees Fagg's operating five stores across the town and employing over 160 people.

Located in Geelong are major research laboratories, the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory in East Geelong, CSIRO Division of Textiles and Fibres Technology in Belmont and the Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute at Queenscliff.


As of the 2006 Census, there were 160,000 people residing in 68,000 households. The median age of persons in Geelong was 37 years. 19.4% of the population of Geelong were children aged between 0–14 years, and 26.6% were persons aged 55 years and over. Each dwelling is on average occupied by 2.59 persons, slightly lower than the state and national averages. The median household income was $901 per week, $121 less than the state average, partly due to higher reliance on manufacturing for employment. The population of Geelong is growing by 2500 people each year, and the City of Greater Geelong had the highest rate of building activity in Victoria outside metropolitan Melbourne.

78.4% of people from Geelong are Australian born, with the most common overseas birthplaces being: England (3.6%), Italy (1.1%), Croatia (1.0%), Netherlands (0.9%), Scotland (0.8%). 14.2% of households speak a language other than English in the home. Notable ethnic groups in the city are the Croatian community, who first came to the city in the 1850s and with migration since World War II are now the largest Croatian community in Australia, and the German settlers who founded Germantown (now Grovedale) in 1849 to escape repression in Prussia for their Lutheran faith.

The 2006 Census found the most common religious affiliations in Geelong were Catholicism at 29.4%. St Mary of the Angels Basilica is the largest congregation in the city. Other affiliations of resident of Geelong include No Religion 20.5%, Anglican 14.6%, Uniting Church 7.9% and Presbyterian and Reformed at 4.3%. The city has a large number of traditional Christian churches, as well as Orthodox Christian churches in the northern suburbs.


Geelong is served by a number of public and private schools that cater to local and overseas students. Over 40,000 primary and secondary students are enrolled in schools in Geelong, with another 27,000 students enrolled in tertiary and further education courses. The first schools in Geelong were established when the town was settled from the 1850s, among them were the elite private schools The Geelong College and Geelong Grammar School.

The Gordon Memorial Technical College opened in 1888, and is known today as the Gordon Institute of TAFE. In 1976 the Gordon Institute was divided into two parts, with academic courses becoming part of the newly formed Deakin University based at the Waurn Ponds campus. Deakin University enrolled its first students at its Waurn Ponds campus in 1977. Today the university is located on a 365 hectare site and has over 1,000 staff and over 4,000 on-campus students. The university also has a campus located on the waterfront of Corio Bay in the Geelong CBD, and from 2008 the campus at Waurn Ponds will be home to Victoria's first regional medical school.


Skilled Stadium GeelongGeelong is home to the Geelong Football Club Australian Football League team, the second oldest AFL club and one of the oldest in the world. For many years it was the only VFL/AFL club to exist outside of the greater Melbourne metropolitan area. It continues to participate in the national competition, based at Kardinia Park stadium and Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, and also fields a reserves side in the Victorian Football League. The club won the 2007 grand final against Port Adelaide by 119 points, the biggest grand final winning margin in history and the first Geelong premiership victory for 44 years. The club also won the 2009 AFL grand final held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. There are also three independent football leagues running in the area, the Geelong Football League, the Geelong & District Football League, and the Bellarine Football League.

Geelong has a horse racing club, the Geelong Racing Club, which schedules around 22 race meetings a year including the Geelong Cup meeting in October. The Geelong Cup was first run in 1872, and is considered one of the most reliable guides to the result of the Melbourne Cup. It also has a picnic horse racing club, Geelong St Patricks Racing Club, which holds its one race meeting a year in February.

Geelong Harness Racing Club conducts regular meetings at its racetrack at Corio, and the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club holds regular meetings.

The Geelong Baseball Centre in Waurn Ponds is home of the Geelong Baycats. The Baycats are the only provincial team in Baseball Victoria's Division One competition and were the 2005/2006 State Champions. The Geelong Baseball Centre has hosted a number of National Championship, the 2002 Women's World Championships and was home to the Chiba Lotte Marines for spring training in 2005 and 2006.

The Arena stadium in North Geelong is the home of the Geelong Supercats basketball team, and was also used during the 2006 Commonwealth Games for basketball matches.

The Eastern Beach foreshore and nearby Eastern Gardens regularly host internationally televised triathlons, and annual sports car and racing car events such as the Geelong Speed Trials.Geelong Cats

Corio Bay is also host to many sailing and yachting events. Geelong also has many golf courses, sporting and recreation ovals and playing fields, as well as facilities for water skiing, rowing, fishing, hiking, and greyhound and harness racing. Geelong Athletics holds athletic competitions during both the summer and winter months including high profile events such as Victorian and sometimes national and international track and field meets.

This information has been sourced from Wikipedia.

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