Alamein, a residential locality 13 km south-east of central Melbourne, is part of Ashburton.

In 1944 the Victorian Housing Commission acquired land for its proposed Ashburton estate. The land was mostly east of the railway line, at that stage closed but soon to be re-opened. House building began in 1947 and the completed estate held about 2500 houses.

The estate was named after El Alamein, north Africa, the site of the battle in 1942 which turned back the German army. World War II names abound in the suburb: Tobruk Road, Liberator Street, Wewak Road and Victory Boulevard are but a few.

In 1948 the railway line was extended from Ashburton to Alamein, and a primary school was opened in 1950. Its initial enrolment was 165 pupils and its peak enrolment was over 600 in 1956. A neighbourhood shopping centre was opened opposite the school. A large public reserve was laid out in the middle of the estate, and it encloses a recreation centre and a swimming pool.

Alamein is a well-preserved housing estate, retaining much of the postwar architecture set in established gardens. By 1990 it had completed its first 'life cycle': ageing families were evident, the local shopping centre was outclassed by Ashburton's High Street (leaving only a mixed-business shop), and the school was closed in 1993. It was replaced with housing in a variety of styles in marked contrast to the postwar commission houses.

Alamein overlooks the Gardiners Creek valley to the south, where there is a reserve with playground facilities.

Further Reading

Alamein primary school No 4649, 1950-1980, the school, 1980

Geraldine MacFarlane, Voices of Camberwell: from Alamein to North Balwyn, City of Boroondara Library Service, 1999

The Alameiners: from mud to palaces, Ashburton, 2004