Jacana, a residential suburb between Broadmeadows and Gladstone Park, is 14 km north-west of central Melbourne. It has elevated views over the Moonee Ponds Creek to its west, and its other boundaries are the Western Ring Road, Pascoe Vale Road and Johnstone Street. Originally part of Broadmeadows, it was gazetted as a suburb in 1999.

Jacana was one of several Housing Commission estates in the Broadmeadows area, and most of the houses were built in 1958-59. Several of the streets were names after prominent sports persons who competed in the 1956 Olympic Games.

The name appears to have arisen from Jacana Avenue, (nearby in Broadmeadows) which the Victorian Railways chose for the name of its new railway station, some time before the building of the Jacana estate.

All of the houses were solid or veneer brick, and the Commission judged the estate to be a conspicuous success in its 1958-59 annual report. The commission also built a neighbourhood shopping centre; the Jacana railway station and the primary school were opened in 1959.

There is extensive open space adjoining the Moonee Ponds Creek in which there are several sports arenas, the Broadmeadows Sports Club (1973) and a wetland. The primary school has become a campus of the Northern School for Autism (189 pupils, 2014). Broadmeadows Health Service (1998) is in Johnstone Street, Jacana.

Jacana's census populations have been:

census date population
2001 2162
2006 1963
2011 1940

Further Reading

Andrew Lemon, Broadmeadows: a forgotten history, Hargreen, 1982