Harman Patil (Editor)

Churchill, Victoria

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Population  4,750 (2011 census)
Postcode(s)  3842
State electorate(s)  Morwell
Postal code  3842
Federal division  Division of McMillan
Established  1965
LGA(s)  City of Latrobe
Founded  1965
Local time  Friday 11:09 PM
Churchill, Victoria httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons44
Location  160 km (99 mi) from Melbourne 11 km (7 mi) from Morwell
Weather  19°C, Wind E at 16 km/h, 80% Humidity
University  Federation University Australia, Gippsland campus

Churchill is a town in the Latrobe Valley, located in central Gippsland in the east of Victoria, Australia. The town had a population of 4,750 at the 2011 census, and is part of the Latrobe City local government area. The town was named in honour of former British leader Sir Winston Churchill.

Contents

Map of Churchill VIC 3842, Australia

Town history

Churchill was formerly known as Hazelwood, Victoria and began as a service centre for the Hazelwood Power Station and future replacement for Yallourn and Morwell townships. The site was chosen for its pleasant location at the foot of the Strzelecki Ranges, overlooking Hazelwood pondage. It was relatively free from air pollution, is not above rich coalfields and is in close proximity to the larger towns and power stations in the Latrobe Valley.

Construction of Churchill began in 1965. In that year the first two houses in Churchill were completed and occupied by the Arch and Ayers families who received morning paper deliveries from Yinnar General Store, and milk delivery from John Koedijk. Within a week five more families arrived and so the town began to grow street by street. The town was sufficiently advanced for the Post Office to open on 11 April 1966. The shopping centre in Churchill was officially opened on July 1967, the first two shops (butcher and pharmacy) having opened 19 May 1967. In that year many new traders opened for business. All the shop keepers were offered a commission house in Churchill for their use. The Churchill Newsagency opened in 1967 and was run by Ian and Winifred Jones who had previously run the Yinnar General Store. A Tattersalls agency was established in 1975. The Churchill Newsagency business was later purchased in April 1978 by Jack and Olive Robson

The town was planned with a well-defined commercial centre, expansive parklands, a mix of government and privately owned quarter-acre (1,000 m²) town blocks and light industrial estates spaced from residential areas by a belt of parkland. The transport system was to be a network of restricted-access highways and a ring road fully encircling the town. Population was anticipated to reach 6,000 by 1971, rising to around 40,000 by 2000. However, the discovery of offshore gas in Bass Strait resulted in the closure of the Lurgi plant to the town's north, and the SEC's development in the region slowed. This, combined with the slow development of services in the town and prohibitive residential sales conditions meant that the Churchill project would never be fully realised. Population peaked at a modest 5500 in the early 1990s before a small decline. Signs of renewed growth have appeared, with several new housing estates being released during the past decade.

The town's retail precinct was redeveloped in the late noughties, with the Richies IGA supermarket expanded, and a new mall constructed to replace the aging West Place mall (constructed in the late 1960s) containing a new Woolworths supermarket, KFC outlet and other shops. After closing in 2006 the hotel was remodeled and reopened in January 2011.

In 2009 Churchill also suffered the shock of the Black Saturday bush fires. Lit deliberately on Glendonald Rd, these fires burnt the surrounding hills of Churchill through to Yarram and killed 11 people.

Names

The area now known as Churchill was originally named Hazelwood, but was renamed after Sir Winston Churchill's death. The change of name has not been without its critics, and residents who pushed hard to restore the Hazelwood name were finally heard in 1989, when the town was asked to vote on whether the town would be renamed to Hazelwood or stay as Churchill. The name Churchill won by narrow vote.

Some of the names in Churchill have a distinctly local flavour. Estates in the town were named after various early settlers. These include Silcock, Medew, McMillan, Glendonald, and Northways. Roads have also been named after people (such as McDonald, Canterbury, Philip, and Manning), flora (Acacia, Hawthorn, Blackwood and Birch), and Aboriginal names (Amaroo, Gundaroo).

Landmarks

Churchill Cigar
Churchill has an outstanding landmark, a tall square "golden" tower. It was not designed with any intention of replicating Churchill's cigar, but merely as an item of interest. Near its base is a commemorative brick wall built by the Rotary Club of Hazelwood which gives the names of the first families to move into the town.
Binishell
The Binishell located at the Federation University (formerly Monash University) campus was once a prominent feature visible from much of the eastern side of town, this has since been pulled down.
Mathison Park
Close to Churchill is Mathison Park, with walking tracks around Lake Hyland. Remote Control Model Power Boat Drivers Stand was built in 1996. A variety of trees and plants are being planted. This has now been enhanced with the walking path and fishing decks that were completed in 2005. The Lake continually has fish added to the eco-system for recreational fishing.

Education

Churchill has several education facilities. There are several primary schools within the town, as well as the Churchill and Precinct campuses of Kurnai College.

Federation University Australia
Federation University Australia's Gippsland campus (formerly Monash University Gippsland) is located in the town, and is a major employer with approximately 400 staff.
Gippsland Education Precinct
Gippsland Education Precinct includes the colocation of Kurnai College's VCE/senior Campus, Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (aka. GippsTAFE) and Gippsland Group Training (Apprenticeships Victoria). The precinct aims to increase youth engagement in the transition from secondary school to tertiary education, training and employment.
Kurnai College - Churchill Campus
"The Churchill Campus is set adjacent to a picturesque lake and wildlife corridor. The school has a variety of outdoor and sporting fields with easy access to Federation University and the Latrobe Leisure Centre which incorporates an indoor 25 metre pool and gymnasium facilities."
Primary Schools
  • Churchill Primary School
  • Churchill North Primary School
  • Lumen Christi Catholic Primary School
  • Sport

    Australian Rules Football Club
    The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the North Gippsland Football League, known as the "Churchill Cougars". They have been the premiers of the North Gippsland Football League on three occasions. They have also won seven Mid Gippsland Football League premierships prior to joining the North Gippsland league. The town also has a junior team compeating in the Traralgon and District Junior Football League, under the same name, in the Under 10, Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16's divisions.
    Soccer Club
    Soccer is also very popular with the Churchill Rams catering for both sexes of all ages.
    Hockey Club
    Churchill is also home to a field hockey club. Churchill Hockey Club plays within the Latrobe Valley Hockey Association and fields Under 8's, Under 12's, Under 16's, senior Women's and Men's teams.
    Golf Club
    The town also has a golf club, known as the "Churchill and Monash Golf Club".
    Pony Club
    On the banks of Hazelwood Pondage can also be found the Jeeralang Pony Club grounds.
    Baseball Club
    The Churchill Braves play throughout winter with their home ground bing located at Andrews Park west, a ground shared with the cricket club. The club is the reigning Latrobe Valley Baseball Association A grade champions two years running in 2011 and 2012 seasons.
    Basketball Club
    There are two basketball clubs in Churchill: Senior and Junior Clubs. The senior club currently only runs competition for male players at Churchill Leisure Centre, but it used to run competition for the female players as well. The junior basketball club: The Blue Devils runs competition for Under 8s (mixed), Under 10s, Under 12s, Under 14s and Under 16s for both boys and girls. The Summer Season normally runs from October through to February and the Winter Season runs from April to September.

    References

    Churchill, Victoria Wikipedia


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