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Berwick, Victoria

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Berwick, Victoria

Berwick is located in Melbourne
Location in metropolitan Melbourne
Population 44,779 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 1,897/km2 (4,914/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 3806
Area 23.6 km2 (9.1 sq mi)
Location 41 km (25 mi) from Melbourne
LGA(s) City of Casey
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) La Trobe
Suburbs around Berwick:
Narre Warren North Harkaway Upper Beaconsfield
Narre Warren Berwick Beaconsfield
Narre Warren South Clyde North Officer
A picture of Berwick main street and general store taken in 1957

Berwick is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 41 kilometres (25 mi) south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Casey. At the 2011 Census, Berwick had a population of 44,779.[1]

It was named by an early leaseholder after Berwick-on-Tweed in Northumberland.


  • History 1
  • The Berwick Inn 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
  • Employment 5
  • Facilities 6
    • Adult education 6.1
    • Retail 6.2
    • Transport 6.3
  • Sport 7
  • Media 8
  • Notable residents 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11


The town of Berwick was originally part of the Cardinia Creek run. Subdivision commenced in 1854 and a store, post office, hotel and other businesses were established. Wheat, barley and potatoes were grown, with a flour mill operating for several years. Dairy farming and cheese making later became the main activities. The Berwick Agricultural Society, originally started in 1848 as the Mornington Farmers' Society, is one of the oldest farmers' societies in Victoria.[2]

The area grew with the construction of a coach road between Melbourne and the Gippsland region, the Post Office opening on 18 September 1858.[3]

A quarry opened in 1859 to supply ballast for the railway line along the same route, which opened in 1877, and a spur line was constructed to Berwick railway station to transport the metal. The site of the quarry is now occupied by Wilson Botanic Park. From 1861 until 1902, Berwick was also the headquarters of the Shire of Berwick, originally formed as the Berwick Roads Board.

Poplar trees lining the High Street and on into Beaconsfield were planted as an Avenue of Honour to commemorate the fallen in the First World War. Originally name plaques were supposed to have been mounted at the foot of each tree but this was never carried out, despite the plaques being produced.

Late in the 20th century Melbourne sprawled eastward to Berwick and the surrounding rural land was subdivided becoming a popular destination for first home buyers with the population exploding with new housing developments from the 1990s to the 2000s, while retaining much of the character of the original township.

The Berwick Inn

The Berwick Inn on the corner of High Street and Lyall Road, was licensed at Berwick in 1857 as the Border Hotel. The original one-storey section is now the bar. The two-storey section was added in 1877 as the railway approached. The western section was built later in the century. The first licensee was Robert Bain who owned the town's first store and post office and donated the land on which the shire hall was later built.

The Border Hotel was an important local centre in the early days. Aside from being the first pub on the townsite it was also a stopping place for coaches en route to Gippsland, as it involved climbing the hill in Berwick the horses were watered and rested then they stopped at Beaconsfield over the hill to rest after the climb and descent. Bain was the first secretary of the Berwick Roads Board and its initial meetings were held at the hotel from 1862 to 1865. The first local police court was held at the hotel in 1865 and it also served as a licensing court.


Berwick's census populations have been 60 (1861), 636 (1891), 887 (1954), 25,461,[4] (2001) 36,420[5] (2006) and 44,779 (2011). The median age in 2011 was 35.[1]


The town's first school, Berwick Primary, was originally established in an old shepherd’s hut near the old Berwick hospital in 1857.[6] It was the first school in the Berwick area and school number 40 in Victoria. School buildings were later built on a triangular parcel of land between Peel Street and Harkaway Road. The school operated from this site until 2003 when a new school was built in Fairholme Boulevard. Subsequently, the Peel Street site was redeveloped as Pioneer Park, a community open space. The original school buildings were retained during the redevelopment and now operate as a restaurant.

As well as the State School, a Boys' Grammar School operated from 1882 to 1922. St Margaret's Girls' School (originally called Berwick Presbyterian Girls' School) opened in 1920 with Junior boys being admitted during the 1960s. It ceased providing boarding placement in 1978, being one of the first of the St Margaret's Schools in the world to change. Berwick Secondary College and Kambrya College, public high schools, and the Village campus of Beaconhills College and the Berwick Campus of St. Francis Xavier College are located in the suburb. Berwick is also home to the third and most recent campus of Haileybury, Melbourne, Victoria, with the campus having been simply named 'Edrington'. Berwick Lodge Primary School also opened up in 1990, today being one of the best primary schools in Melbourne. In addition Berwick is also home to Victoria's first coeducational selective entry school, Nossal High School.


61.5% of people living in Berwick are employed full-time, 28.6% employed part-time. Berwick has a lower than average unemployment rate at 4.5% as compared to the Victorian average of 5.4%. People in Berwick also have a higher than average personal income, at $656 per week. The most common occupations are professionals, clerical and administrative workers, technicians and trade workers.


Adult education

Berwick also has adult education facilities, including Chisholm Institute of TAFE and a sizable campus of Monash University.


Berwick has its own large retailers, including a Woolworths, and a Coles. Many small shops and businesses are also situated along the shopping precinct on old Princes Highway (Main street of Berwick village). These shops include a selection of restaurants, cafés, and other services including a library and post office .


Berwick has a train station and bus network. Due to poor public transport infrastructure, Berwick is a car-dependant suburb, with 75.7% of people using a car to travel to work, compared to the Victorian average of 66%. Less than 1% of people in Berwick walk to work.


The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League.

The town also has a successful cricket club known as the "Wickers" and later changed to the Berwick Bears that compete in the DDCA competition and a tennis club that competes in the BDTA (Berwick & District Tennis Association).

Golfers play at the Berwick-Montuna Golf Club on Emerald-Beaconsfield Road, Guys Hill.[7]

There is also Little Athletics at Edwin Flack Reserve.


Berwick is in the coverage range of all the commercial radio stations in Melbourne, yet are also locally serviced by 94.3 Star FM, whose studios are situated in Warragul.

Notable residents

The Berwick Mechanics' Institute and Free Library was built in 1862 at the corner of Peel and Edward Streets. In return for a nominal rent Robert Bain agreed, in 1878, to lease a block of his land to the library for 500 years, so long as a library remained on the property for that period. In 1880 it was moved to its present site in the main street and extended the following year.

Berwick was also the home of Edwin "Teddy" Flack, Australia's first Olympian and Olympic gold medal winner (800 metres (870 yd) and 1,500 metres (1,600 yd)) at the inaugural Athens Olympic Games. He was laid to rest in Berwick Cemetery, and is commemorated by a statue in the main street.[8] The Edwin Flack Reserve includes several sporting grounds, such as the Edwin Flack Oval, Edwin Flack Athletics Track and Edwin Flack Netball Courts, all named in his honour. They are located alongside Berwick Secondary College.

Richard Casey, later Baron Casey of Berwick and Governor-General of Australia was a resident of Berwick. His home of Edrington has now been converted to an aged care facility. Gagan Scott McDonald, Australian International football (soccer) player, striker for Celtic FC in Scotland and top scorer in the Scottish Premier League in the 2007–08 season grew up in Berwick.[9] AFL games record holder Michael Tuck and former Hawthorn defender Mark Graham hail from Berwick as does 2009 number one draft pick Tom Scully and Melbourne Demons team-mate Stefan Martin.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Australia Bureau of Statistics. "2011 Census QuickStats: Berwick". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  4. ^ .  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Berwick Primary School. "Berwick Primary School - Our History". Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  7. ^ Golf Select. "Berwick-Montuna". Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  8. ^ "Edwin Flack - Our first Olympic champion".  
  9. ^ Star News Group - Casey pitches for A-League team - By Callan Date
  • Beaumont, N.E. "Early days of Berwick and its surrounding districts of Beaconsfield, Upper Beaconsfield, Harkaway, Narre Warren and Narre Warren North". 3rd ed. 1979.
  • Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society. "In the wake of the pack tracks: a history of the Shire of Berwick, now the City of Berwick and the Shire of Pakenham". 1982.
  • Wells, J.C. "Berwick: some aspects". 1980.
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