Hedley is a small village in South Gippsland, east of Welshpool and 16 km south-east of Melbourne. It is on the South Gippsland Highway and the former South Gippsland railway line (1891-1994). It was named after Dr George Hedley who, among other things, was a clerk of petty sessions and councillor at Port Albert, and a colonial parliamentarian for South Gippsland (1861-62). He died in 1879.

Farm selectors moved into the Hedley district in the early 1880s, several coming from Toora. The district was known as Nine Mile or Nine Mile Creek, that being the distance from the Gelliondale homestead near Port Albert. The Nine Mile school opened in about 1886 and the ‘Hedley’ township was gazetted in 1889, ten years after George Hedley’s death.

In addition to farming there was a timber mill, and sawn wood was taken by tram to Port Welshpool. A hall at the mill was used for church services and community gatherings. The present hall is a substantial building constructed in 1912. Hedley also has an Anglican church and a rail trail on the former railway line. The school closed in 1988.

Hedley’s census populations have been:

Area Census date population
Hedley 1911 114
  1933 184
  1961 193
Hedley and environs 2006 221
  2011 not recorded

Further Reading

Joyce Avery, Memories of 2773: Hedley school centenary, 1986