Parwan is a rural locality 5 km south-east of Bacchus Marsh, near where the Parwan Creek joins the Werribee River. It is thought that the name is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning magpie.

The Parwan school was opened in 1868 and the Parwan railway station (on the line from Melbourne to Bacchus Marsh) was opened in 1886. Within a couple of decades there were numerous dairy farms. The Nerowie estate, occupying about two thirds of the parish of Parwan, was put up for closer settlement in the early 1900s and after World War I.

Parwan is a few kilometres east of Maddingley where brown coal is mined. In 1932 the Parwan Colliery Pty Ltd began mining operations. The soils at Parwan are shallow with a stiff clay subsoil admitting low water infiltration. The topsoil becomes saturated during heavy rains and, combined with heavy grazing, soil erosion has been widespread. The Parwan Gorge is on the Werribee River. It has rugged landscape, remnant indigenous vegetation and an active landcare group. 

Parwan school closed in 1949. In 1959 the Victorian Artificial Breeders Cooperative established a cattle-breeding property on Parwan Park, mainly for the dairy industry. The Bacchus Marsh airfield and the Bacchus Marsh speedway are in Parwan and there is the Thelma Ross Uniting church (1940) in Parwan South.

Parwan’s census populations have been:

Census Date Population
1911 246
1961 124
2011 312

Further Reading

Dianne Van Leuvan, Parwan: a history, Bacchus Marsh, 2010