Kennington is a suburb of Bendigo, 3 km east of the central city.

In 1909 the area was populated by settlers on small holdings, and several of their children were 3 km or more from a school. Two years later a school was opened and named Kennington, possibly after Kennington, near Canterbury, England.

Kennington was an outlying locality with a post office, hotel, school, public hall and recreation reserve in the 1950s. There were also St Aidan’s convent and orphanage, and two reservoirs at Grassy Flat close to the school. The gradual urban expansion of Bendigo placed Kennington within easy reach of a drive in cinema, next to the orphanage, in about 1958. In the same year the Catholic St Therese’s church was opened, the main unit of the Parish of Kennington, Axedale and Axe Creek created the year before.

Kennington was in the area administered by Strathfieldsaye shire which transferred its offices to Condon Street near the reservoir in 1972. Later the shire council began development of the Strath shopping centre, which opened in 1988. It has two supermarkets and 28 other shops.

A little to the south-west the Bendigo College of Advanced Education established a campus at Flora Hill, near a new swimming pool (1970) and the Flora Hill school (1952). The campus became part of LaTrobe University.

Kennington has a State primary school (583 pupils, 2014), St Therese’s Catholic primary school (1956), Victory Christian College (1995), aged persons accommodation, sporting facilities, a series of recreation reserve adjoining the Grassy Flat (renamed Kennington) reservoir and a substantial residential area. The Kennington State Forest is a few kilometres eastwards. Plans to develop part of St Aidan's for townhouses, a housing development on Glencoe Street and a Testra mobile phone tower on land next to the Brennan Park swimming pool were thwarted.

Kennington’s census populations have been:

census date population
1933 316
2001 5216
2011 5830

Further Reading

Tim Hewat, Bridge over troubled waters: a history of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, South Melbourne, 1983