The Heart is a rural locality in eastern Victoria, 10 km east of Sale and within a few kilometres of Lake Wellington. It was named after a pastoral run that was taken up in 1843, which had taken the name from a report written in 1840 by Land Commissioner Tyers describing the area as 'truly . . . the heart of Gippsland'.
The area is low lying, but with good summer pasture. There is increasing swampiness as The Heart Morass Game Reserve to the south is approached.
The Heart pastoral estate continued until after 1900, but farm selections in the area from 1871 onwards indicated how the land could be used for dairying and cropping. A school was opened in 1875 and a public hall was built in 1894. The estate was absentee-owned, and local feeling made it a target for closer settlement. In 1908 it was acquired for that purpose and subdivided into 47 farms. A new school was opened in 1912.
The area maintained a population of more than 200 people until the enlargement of an air force base at East Sale resumed numerous farms. The school closed in 1950.
Census populations of The Heart have been:
Meredith Fletcher, Avon to the Alps: a history of the Shire of Avon, Shire of Avon, 1988
Janice Wise and Judy Hirst, The history of The Heart of Gippsland from 1831 to 1948, Sale, 2011