Jeeralang is a rural locality in hilly country between 12 and 18 km south of Morwell in eastern Victoria. The locality is reached by Monash Way, south of Churchill, and the turn-off to Jeeralang West Road. First there is Jeeralang Junction, a rural/residential area, then the very rural Jeeralang North and Jeeralang. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a star.

The hill country of Gippsland was among the later areas offered for farm selections, as its contours and dense vegetation made clearing a heavy task. Selections occurred during the late 1870s and during the 1880s. Four schools carrying the name Jeeralang were opened during 1890-1912. The last of them closed in 1967.

Farming tended to approach subsistence level, comprising dairying and home vegetable growing. The rainfall was dependable, but so was bracken and other regrowth. Slashing and rabbit extermination – the cold did not deter rabbit repopulation – were constant tasks.

The farm-selection population peaked at about 1910, but property consolidations quickly followed. The severe rural depression of the 1930s was only partly offset by timber harvesting for the Maryvale paper mill, north of Morwell, which opened in 1937.

In the 1970s the new planned town of Churchill was created, about 10 km north of Jeeralang, which gave rise to some properties being taken for hobby farming. In 1979 two small peak-load electric power stations were opened at Jeeralang. Jeeralang Junction has a public hall, and Morwell State Park to its south.

Bushfires claimed the lives of 11 people who died in Jeeralang-Churchill in the Black Saturday fires of February 2009.

Jeeralang’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Jeeralang 1911 273
  1933 227
  1961 185
Jeeralang and environs 2006 589
  2011 532

Further Reading

Stephen M. Legg, Heart of the valley: a history of the Morwell municipality, Morwell, 1992