Wendouree West

Wendouree West was a suburb north-west of Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, bounded by the Sunraysia Highway, Gillies Street and Ring Road.

The area was originally the Ballarat West Common. In 1949 the State Housing Commission began planning a residential estate for a workforce for postwar manufacturing and decentralised industry in Ballarat. It was known first as the Ballarat West Estate, but by 1957 the area was known as Wendouree West when a primary school was opened in Grevillea Street. There was also a small shopping centre in Violet Grove. Sewering and road making were slow to be completed and the suburb became stigmatised in the minds of citizens closer to Ballarat. In fact, the suburb was not in Ballarat city but in rural Ballarat shire.

By the 1960s the population of Ballarat shire was heavily weighed toward Wendouree West and Wendouree, and in 1964 the shire offices were transferred from Linton to the corner of Sunraysia Highway and Gillies Street, Wendouree West. A second State primary school was opened in 1985. Throughout those decades Wendouree West was generally held in low regard, despite instances of community self-help. In 2000 the State Labor government started a process of housing renewal and employment growth. The Catholic and Uniting churches were helpful participants. 'Saint Vinnies' undertook refurbishment of the run-down shops and opened a budget grocery store, incorporating retail training for unemployed persons. A community hub was built on the site of the Grevillea Street school including Yuille Park P-8 college (2008).

By then Wendouree West was removed as a name for the suburb, becoming part of Wendouree. (Lake Wendouree, however, was defined as a separate suburb, following the lakeside Wendouree Parade around the lake.)

Wendouree West's census population in 2001 was 2831.

Further Reading

Neighbourhood renewal through community engagement and education: Wendouree West case study, Wendouree West, 2008