Source: Geelong Historical Records Centre and City of Greater Geelong
Geelong - Victoria's second largest City, is located on the shores of Corio Bay some 75 kilometres south-west of the State Capital, Melbourne.
Geelong is governed by the City of Greater Geelong which was proclaimed by Royal Assent on the 18th May 1993 following the amalgamation of the former municipalities of Bellarine, Corio, Geelong, Geelong West, Newtown and parts of South Barwon, Barrabool and Bannockburn. The City of Greater Geelong is Victoria's largest municipality with a population of 175,400 covering an area of 1,240 square kilometres.
The City is the leading industrial centre for the State's south-west with some 10,000 business enterprises and a labourforce of 78,700 people.
Geelong - A Historical Overview
Geelong was first surveyed and declared a town in 1838 with a local population of 545. The City's humble beginnings were founded in the rich pastoral hinterland and the prosperity of the local wool trade.
By the 1850s Geelong was swept-up in "gold fever" becoming the principal seaport for the gold industry around Ballarat. The City's population ballooned to more than 23,000 people making Geelong the fourth largest town in Australia.
In the later half of the 19th Century, as prosperity in the goldfields began to wane, Geelong turned its attention to emerging industrial development. The City became the major trading port for the export of wool to Britain and textile industries flourished along the Barwon River.
Following the establishment of the Phosphate Co-op (1919) and the Ford Motor Company (1925), other international and national manufacturing industries also moved to Geelong. This included Pilkington Glass (1937), Grain Terminal (1940) and Shell Refining (1954). Aided by post-war immigration and the rapid expansion of industry, the population of Geelong increased to 88,000 by 1956.
The establishment of large-scale industries continued in Geelong throughout the 1960s and 1970s with the likes of Alcoa Aluminium Smelter, Geelong Cement and felt makers, Huyuck.
Today, Geelong enjoys a reputation as one of Australia's leading industrial centres. The City has built-up industrial and commercial infrastructure second to none, with major strengths in the production of automotive components, transport equipment, metals, wool, textiles, clothing, footwear, chemicals and food processing. The City has also developed as a centre of excellence in the area of education, research and development, health, hospitality and tourism.
The City's natural location as a transport hub continues to drive development. Geelong has excellent road and rail services, an international deep-water port and airfreight infrastructure, linking the region with local, interstate and overseas markets.
The Region's bay and ocean beaches are the main leisure/recreation destinations outside the State Capital of Melbourne, with over a million tourists per annum.
Significant Events in Geelong's History
1802 - Matthew Flinders climbs the You Yangs
1824 - Hume & Hovel travelled overland from Sydney to Corio Bay
1838 - Geelong surveyed and declared a town
1840 - First shipment of wool for London sent from Point Henry
- First edition of the Geelong Advertiser is published
1849 - Geelong Town Council is proclaimed
1852 - Geelong Hospital opens
1856 - Worlds first ice-making and refrigeration machinery is invented in Geelong by James Harrison
1857 - Australia's first country railway line - Williamstown to Geelong - becomes operational
1868 - Victoria's first woollen cloth made in Geelong
1887 - Gordon Technical College opens
1888 - Cheetham Salt works established
1912 - Geelong Telephone Exchange opens
1914 - Geelong Grammar School establishes at its Corio location
1916 - First sewerage connection
1919 - Phosphate Co-op founded
1925 - Ford Motor Co. locates at Norlane
- Geelong Football Club wins its first VFL premiership
1930 - Geelong's first public radio station (3GL) commences broadcasting
1937 - Pilkington Glass established
1940 - Grain Terminal Completed
1944 - Grace McKellar House established
1946 - CSIRO wool research complex established at Belmont
1954 - Shell Refinery commences operations
1962 - Marcus Oldham Agricultural College opens
1963 - Alcoa begins operations at Point Henry
1977 - Deakin University opens
1980 - Marine Sciences complex at Queenscliff commences operations
1983 - Elders IXL Woolstores complex establishment at Lara
1984 - Australian Animal Health Laboratories begins operations
- Market Square Shopping Centre is opened
1988 - National Wool Centre opens
- Bay City Plaza commences operations
1993 - City of Greater Geelong proclaimed
1996 - Work commences on the redevelopment of Geelong's Waterfront