Grovedale is an outer suburb of Geelong, 6 km south-west of the city centre. It is named after a property of about 76 hectares acquired by Alexander Pennell in 1847, just south of Waurn Ponds Creek.
Originally the place was named Germantown, which arose from several families of Lutheran German origin who arrived at Corio Bay in 1849. A Geelong pioneer, Dr Alexander Thomson, encouraged them to settle on Pennell’s land. A school was opened in 1854.
By the mid-1860s there were about 70 families of German origin settled there, and there were two hotels, two flour mills, two tanneries and four wool washing establishments. The hilly country and volcanic soil were good for orchards and vineyards. In 1903 the Australian handbook described Germantown:
In September 1915, after the outbreak of World War I, the South Barwon Council changed the name to Grovedale.
Grovedale continued to be an agricultural district until the mid-1960s when residential expansion from neighbouring Belmont began. In 1970 the estimated population was 1200 persons, and in 1980, 5000.
Grovedale’s first civic amenities were first distributed along the road to Torquay, now Surf Coast Road. They included the cemetery, churches, recreation reserve, public hall, post office and hotel. Residential expansion was westwards, resulting in the Grovedale West primary school (1974) and secondary college (1979), Mandama State and Catholic primary schools (1979). Further west, the Town and Country Shopping World on the border with Waurn Ponds opened in 1985. The shopping centre had a discount department store, two supermarkets and 40 shops. Now named Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre, although in Grovedale, it has doubled the number of shops and added an eight screen cinema.
Grovedale is bordered on the north by the Waurn Ponds Creek linear park and on the south by Boundary Road. There are several neighbourhood parks and a local shopping centre (1975) near the Grovedale West schools. Just east of Grovedale there is the railway and Marshall railway station. A new Grovedale railway station began construction in 2014, built on the north side of the existing Geelong-Warrnambool rail line, between Oakwood Crescent and Rossack Drive.
A German cottage (1854) and former Wesleyan church (1869) on Surf Coast Road are registered historic buildings.
Enrolments in 2014 were Grovedale college (900), Grovedale primary school (235) and Grovedale West primary school (273).
The census populations of Grovedale have been:
John Pescott, South Barwon 1857-1985, Belmont, 1985