AskDefine | Define geelong

User Contributed Dictionary


Proper noun

  1. A semi-rural city, 75km south-west of Melbourne, Australia. Gateway to the surfcoast of Victoria, and Great Ocean Road.

Extensive Definition

Geelong () is the second largest city in the state of Victoria, Australia and is the largest regional centre in the state. It is a port city with an urban population of 160,991 people, The area was first surveyed in 1838, three weeks after Melbourne. The first woolstore was erected in this period and Geelong became the port for the wool industry of the Western District. The gold rush in Ballarat saw the population of Geelong increase to 22,000 by the mid 1850s. The city then diversified into manufacturing, rivalling Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne as wool mills, ropeworks, and paper mills were established, but the next few decades saw the population stay relatively constant until the 20th century.
Geelong was proclaimed a city in 1910, with industrial growth from this time until the 1960s establishing the city as a manufacturing centre for the state, Population increases over the last decade were due to growth in service industries, as the manufacturing sector has declined. Redevelopment of the inner city has occurred since the 1990s, as well as gentrification of inner suburbs. Geelong now has a population growth rate higher than the national average, and is the 12th largest city in Australia.


1800s: White settlement

The area of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula was originally occupied by Aboriginal tribes, notably the Wathaurong people, before white settlement in the early 1800s.
The first non-Aboriginal person recorded as visiting the Geelong region was Lt. John Murray, who commanded the brig Lady Nelson. Led by John Bowen they explored the immediate area, returning to the Lady Nelson on 4 February. On reporting favourable findings, the Lady Nelson entered Port Phillip on 14 February, and did not leave until 12 March. During this time, Murray explored the Geelong area and, whilst on the far side of the bay, claimed the entire area for Britain. He named the bay Port King, after Philip Gidley King, Arriving not long after Murray was Matthew Flinders, who entered Port Phillip Bay on 27 April 1802. In October of the same year, the HMS Calcutta led by Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins arrived in the bay to establish the Sullivan Bay penal colony. The party spent 22 October to 27 October on the north shore of Corio Bay, where the first Aboriginal death at the hands of European in Victoria occurred. and it was at this time they reported that the Aborigines called the area Corayo, the bay being called Jillong. In 1835, John Batman used Indented Head as his base camp, leaving behind several employees whilst he returned to Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land) for more supplies and his family. In this same year, Buckley surrendered to the party led by John Helder Wedge and was later pardoned by Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Arthur, and subsequently given the position of interpreter to the natives.

1830s: Town beginnings

In March 1836, three squatters, David Fisher, James Strachan and George Russell arrived on the Caledonia and settled the area. Fyans constructed a breakwater to improve the water supply to the city by preventing the salty lower reaches from mixing with fresh water and pooling water.
The Geelong Keys were discovered around 1845 by Governor Charles La Trobe on Corio Bay. They were embedded in the stone in such a way that he believed that they had been there for 100–150 years, possibly dropped by Portuguese explorers. In 1849, Fyans was nominated as the inaugural Mayor of the Geelong Town Council.

1850s: Gold rush

see also Victorian gold rush
Gold was discovered in nearby Ballarat in 1851, causing the Geelong population to grow to 23,000 people by the mid 1850s. and extended to Ballarat in 1862. One of Geelong's best known department stores, Bright and Hitchcocks, was opened in 1861, In 1866 Graham Berry started a newspaper, the Geelong Register, as a rival to the established Geelong Advertiser. When this proved unsuccessful, he bought the Advertiser and made himself editor of the now merged papers. Using the paper as a platform, he was elected for West Geelong in 1869. In 1877 he switched to Geelong, which he represented until 1886, and served as Victorian Premier in 1875, 1877–1880, and 1880–1881. On the Market Square in the middle of the city, a clock tower was erected in 1856, and an Exhibition Building was opened in 1879, ahead of Melbourne.

1860s: Growth slows

The gold rush had seen Ballarat and Bendigo grow larger than Geelong in terms of population. Melbourne critics dubbed Geelong 'Sleepy Hollow',

1900s: A city develops

The town of Geelong officially became a city on 8 December 1910. The city gained a number of essential services, with electric light supplied by the Geelong Power Station starting in 1902, the Geelong Harbour Trust was formed in December 1905, and the Geelong Waterworks and Sewerage Trust formed in 1908. Electric trams began operation in 1912, travelling from the city centre to the suburbs until their demise in 1956. The first of many stores on the Market Square was opened in 1913,
Federal Government policy changes on tariff protection led to the closure of many Geelong industrial businesses from the 1970s. The woollen mills closed in 1974 and hectares of warehouse space in the city centre were left empty after wool handling practices changed. Later, the Australian Animal Health Laboratory was opened in 1985, and the National Wool Museum in 1988.
Market Square, the first enclosed shopping centre in the city was opened in 1985, with neighbouring Westfield Bay City (formerly Bay City Plaza) opened in 1988. The Pyramid Building Society, founded in Geelong in 1959, collapsed in 1990 leaving debts of AUD $1.3 billion to over 200,000 depositors, and causing the Geelong economy to stagnate. On 18 May 1993 the City of Greater Geelong was formed by the amalgamation of a number of smaller municipalities with the former City of Geelong. The Waterfront Geelong redevelopment started in 1994 designed to enhance use and appreciation of Corio Bay and in 1995 the Barwon River overflowed in the worst flood since 1952.

21st century

In 2004, Avalon Airport was upgraded to provide for interstate passenger travel, providing a base for the low-cost airline Jetstar to service the Melbourne and Geelong urban areas. Geelong expanded towards the coast with Mount Duneed becoming a residential area and plans for anew neighborhood known as Armstrong Creek were developed by City of Greater Geelong. Major projects include the $150 million Westfield Bay City expansion works, involving a flyover of Yarra Street, the city's first Big W store and an additional 70 new speciality stores; the $37 million Deakin Waterfront campus redevelopment and the $23 million Deakin Medical School; the $50 million Edgewater apartment development on the waterfront; a number of multi-million dollar office developments in the CBD; and a new $30 million aquatic centre in Waurn Ponds. The construction of the $80 million Brougham Street headquarters is due to be complete by late 2008. In July 2007 Ford Australia announced it would close its Geelong engine plant in 2010 with the loss of about 600 jobs.


Geelong is located on the shores of Corio Bay, a south-western inlet bay of Port Phillip. During clear weather, the Melbourne skyline is visible from areas of Geelong when viewed across Port Phillip. The Barwon River flows through the city to the south before entering Lake Connewarre and the Barwon River estuary at Barwon Heads before going into Bass Strait.
Geologically the oldest rocks in the area date to the Cambrian period 500 million years ago, with volcanic activity occurring in the Devonian period 350 million years ago. In prehistoric times water covered much of the lowlands that are now Geelong, with the Barwon River estuary located at Belmont Common, the course of the river being changed when Mount Moriac erupted and lava was sent eastwards towards Geelong. suitable for intensive farming, grazing, forestry and vineyard plantation.
Many materials used to construct buildings were quarried from Geelong, such as bluestone from the You Yangs and sandstone from the Brisbane Ranges. Limestone has also quarried for cement production at Fyansford since 1888,

City 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. 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, 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.


Geelong has stable weather while still offering four distinct seasons. It has a temperate climate with dominant westerly winds, variable cloud, moderate precipitation and cool temperatures. January is the hottest month, and July is the coldest. The highest temperature recorded was on January 25 2003, with the lowest of recorded on August 5 1997. The average annual rainfall is .
Geelong has a number of shopping precincts in the CBD and surrounding suburbs. The two main shopping centres are located in the CBD - Westfield Bay City 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 median household income was $901 per week, $121 less than the state average, partly due to higher reliance on manufacturing for employment. and the City of Greater Geelong had the highest rate of building activity in Victoria outside metropolitan Melbourne.
78.4% of Geelong residents 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. 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%, No Religion 20.5%, Anglican 14.6%, Uniting Church 7.9% and Presbyterian and Reformed at 4.3%. with the council chambers located at the Geelong Town Hall in central Geelong. The City is made up of 12 wards, each represented by a councillor elected once every four years by postal voting. The Mayor of Geelong is elected from these councillors by their colleagues for a one year term.
In federal politics, Geelong is located in two House of Representatives divisions - the Division of Corio to the north of the Barwon River, and the Division of Corangamite to the south. The Division of Corio has been a safe Australian Labor Party since the 1970s, and was the seat of Richard Casey, a leading Cabinet member in the 1930s and later Governor-General, and Gordon Scholes, who was Speaker during the Whitlam government. The Division of Corangamite had been a safe seat for the Liberal Party since the 1940s, and was the seat of the ninth Prime Minister of Australia James Scullin. It was reclaimed by the Australian Labor Party for the first time since 1931 at the 2007 federal election.


Arts and entertainment

Geelong is home to a number of pubs, nightclubs and live music venues and has also given birth to a number of notable Australian bands and musicians such as Barry Crocker, Gyan Evans, Magic Dirt, Jeff Lang, and Denis Walter. Geelong also hosts festivals such as the Queenscliff Music Festival, Meredith Music Festival, the Offshore Festival and Poppykettle Festival, and has a number of cultural venues, including the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (commonly known as GPAC), the 1500 seat Costa Hall auditorium, and the Geelong Art Gallery.


The Geelong Advertiser, the oldest newspaper title in Victoria and the second oldest in Australia, was established in 1840. Also circulated are the free Geelong Independent, and Geelong News newspapers.
Geelong receives free to air television broadcasts from Melbourne, including community channel Channel 31. The Geelong region also receives cable and satellite television service through Pay-TV operators Foxtel & Neighbourhood Cable.
Local radio stations are 3GL (ethnic service), K-Rock (FM), Rhema FM (Christian community station), The Pulse (community radio service), Vision Australia Radio 99.5FM (print radio), and Bay FM. Transmitters for K-Rock, The Pulse, Rhema FM & Bay FM are located at a shared transmitter site on Mt Bellarine near Drysdale.


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.

Geelong in film

The Geelong region was used as the setting of the SeaChange television series, filmed on location at Barwon Heads between 1998 and 2002. The city has also been the filming location of a number of feature films; including the final scenes On the Beach (1959) at Barwon Heads, Mad Max (1979) around Lovely Banks and Lara, Everynight ... Everynight (1994) at HM Prison Geelong, Ned Kelly (2003) and Ghost Rider (2007) at the Little River Earth Sanctuary, and December Boys (2007) in South Geelong at Kardinia Pool.


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 Gordon Memorial Technical College opened in 1888, and is known today as the Gordon Institute of TAFE. 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.



Water storage and supply in Geelong is managed by Barwon Water, a Victorian Government owned urban water corporation. Geelong is supplied with water from three river systems: the Barwon River, the East Moorabool River and the West Moorabool River. The catchment areas are the Brisbane Ranges to Geelong's north-west, and the Otway Ranges to the south-west. The first water supplies to Geelong were from the Stony Creek reservoirs near Steiglitz, but today the West Barwon Reservoir system supplies approximately 70 per cent of the water for Geelong. Sewage from Geelong and district is treated at the Black Rock Treatment Plant at Breamlea and then discharged into Bass Strait.
Geelong was first supplied with electricity in 1902 when the Geelong power station opened on the corner of Yarra and Brougham Streets. Later known as 'Geelong A', the power station was rebuilt in 1920 to increase the capacity, with the station continued operating until 1961. In 1936 Geelong was connected to the state electrical grid. The 'Geelong B' power station at North Geelong opened in 1954, and was closed in 1970 due to the much higher efficiency of the power stations in the Latrobe Valley. The supply of piped coal gas in Geelong started in 1860 by the Geelong Gas Company. The gasworks were located in North Geelong next to the North Geelong railway station. Geelong was converted to natural gas in 1971, with the Geelong Gas Company being taken over by the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria on June 30 1971.


Geelong is well-connected by roads to all of south-west Victoria, to Melbourne by the Princes Freeway (M1), to Warrnambool by the Princes Highway (A1), the Bellarine Peninsula by the Bellarine Highway (B110), Ballarat by the Midland Highway (A300), and to Hamilton by the Hamilton Highway (B140). The $380 million Geelong Ring Road is under construction to bypass the greater Geelong metropolitan area, leaving the Princes Highway near Corio and rejoin the highway at Waurn Ponds. Construction began in 2006.
The city is also located at the junction of railway lines to Melbourne, Warrnambool, Ballarat, and Adelaide. running hourly services to Melbourne, as well as services on the Warrnambool line further west three times daily. Great Southern Railway's The Overland service between Melbourne and Adelaide also calls at North Shore three times per week. Freight trains also operate from Melbourne to Geelong serving local industries, as well as to Warrnambool and other western Victorian towns. The main Melbourne-Adelaide standard gauge line sees heavy use carrying interstate freight.
Public transport is provided by local bus routes covering the city centre and most surrounding suburbs. They are operated under the umbrella of the Geelong Transit System, and are contracted to Benders Busways and McHarry's Buslines. Another government transport initiative, Bellarine Transit, is contracted to McHarry's Buslines and provides interurban services between Geelong and the towns of Torquay, Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and the Bellarine Peninsula. Major commodities include crude oil and petroleum products, export grain and woodchips, alumina imports, and fertiliser. The Bellarine Peninsula has been linked to the Mornington Peninsula since 1987 by the Searoad ferry, which runs every hour using two roll-on/roll-off ferries.
Avalon Airport is located approximately 15 kilometres to the north-east of the city of Geelong. It was established in 1953 to cater for the production of military aircraft. It was also used for the repair of commercial aircraft, and for pilot training. Avalon Airport has also been home to low cost airline Jetstar Airways since 2004. Flights to Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth use the airport.
Geelong also has many kilometres of bicycle trails covering the shores of Corio Bay and the Barwon River parklands, in addition to the Bellarine Rail Trail.


Geelong 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 out of the Kardinia Park stadium and Telstra Dome in Melbourne, and also fields a reserves side in the Victorian Football League. There are also three football leagues running in the area, including the Geelong Football League, the Bellarine Football League and the Geelong & District Football League.
The annual Geelong Cup thoroughbred horse race was first run in 1872, and is considered one of the most reliable guides to the result of the Melbourne Cup. 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. 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.

Sister cities

Geelong has two sister cities. They are:
geelong in Czech: Geelong
geelong in Welsh: Geelong
geelong in German: Geelong
geelong in French: Geelong
geelong in Hindi: गीलोंग
geelong in Indonesian: Geelong
geelong in Italian: Geelong
geelong in Hebrew: ג'ילונג
geelong in Lithuanian: Džilongas
geelong in Hungarian: Geelong
geelong in Dutch: Geelong
geelong in Japanese: ジーロング
geelong in Norwegian: Geelong
geelong in Polish: Geelong
geelong in Portuguese: Geelong
geelong in Simple English: Geelong, Victoria
geelong in Finnish: Geelong
geelong in Swedish: Geelong
geelong in Volapük: Geelong
geelong in Chinese: 吉朗
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1