Ardeer is a residential and industrial suburb west of Sunshine, and 15 km west of central Melbourne. It is immediately east of the Orica explosives plant at Deer Park. The name was probably contrived from neighbouring Deer Park, although Ardeer, in Ayrshire, Scotland, a desolate tract and a place with extensive industry, had a passing resemblance. The local post office (1965) is named Deer Park East.
Residential growth in Ardeer in the 1950s resulted in the opening of a primary school in 1961 (118 pupils, 2014). Many settlers were postwar European migrants, and several Catholic churches and institutions were established: a Ukrainian Catholic church, a Croatian Catholic centre, St Paul’s community centre and three Catholic schools (of which the Marian College was the first).
The first residential area was between the railway station and the Western Highway, with a part south of the railway line forming around the Sunshine Golf Club’s second links. Ardeer has the Western Ring Road looping around its northern and western edges. Until 1998 Ardeer extended south of the railway to Boundary Road: that part is now in Sunshine West and Derrimut. Within Ardeer itself there is a linear park along the Kororoit Creek, a Catholic church and school (1955), a Ukrainian Catholic church and hall, a mosque and Islamic centre on Ballarat Road and a Polish senior citizens’ club.
A campus of the Sunshine secondary college and another primary school (Ardeer South, 206 pupils, 2014) are south of the railway line. The college was originally Ardeer high school (c1976).
During the late 1980s Ardeer achieved some notoriety when it was found that houses had been built on heavily polluted land that had been the site of a lead battery factory.
Ardeer’s census populations have been:
At the 2011 census English was spoken at home by 40.9% of residents (Victoria 72.4%) and Vietnamese by 11.9% of residents (Victoria 1.6%). There were also significant numbers of Polish and Maltese speaking residents. At the 2011 census, the median income of Ardeer’s residents was 74% of the Victorian median, up from 61% in 2006.