Blackburn South

Blackburn South, a residential suburb 17 km east of central Melbourne, is bounded by Middleborough Road on the west and Forest Hill on the east. Its southern border abuts Burwood East. The dividing line between Blackburn and Blackburn South is Canterbury Road.

Its residential development preceded that of Blackburn North although both are equidistant from Blackburn and its railway line. The reason appears to be that Blackburn South has two eastwards arterial roads, Canterbury Road and Burwood Highway, whereas Blackburn North had only the sub-arterial Springfield Road.

There were residential subdivisions close to Blackburn South in the 1920s, and a primary school was opened in Canterbury Road in 1923. Intensive residential growth occurred in the late 1950s, when Blackburn East primary school was opened (1958), and a high school two years later. In the 1970s there were seven schools in Blackburn South:

Blackburn South primary (1923)          Closed c1990
Blackburn East primary (1958)            Closed 1993
Warrawong primary (1960)                  Closed c1993
Blackburn South high (1960)               Closed: now Aurora school for
                                                            deaf and deaf/blind
Mirrabook primary (1962)                    ‘Orchard Grove’ primary
St Lukes Catholic primary (1962)         Continuing
Eley primary (1971)                              English language school

Apart from small neighbourhood shops there is a shopping strip along Canterbury Road. There is the large Orchard Grove Reserve adjoining the Orchard Grove primary school. A smaller Eley Park has an oval, tennis courts, a community centre and scouts and guides buildings.

Blackburn South’s census populations have been:

Census date Population
1933 76
2001 9730
2006 10,129
2011 10,584

At the 2011 census, 10.1% of residents spoke Mandarin or Cantonese at home.