Sandhurst was the official name given to the township surveyed in 1854 on the Bendigo goldfields, 130 km north-west of Melbourne. The name was most probably inspired by the chief commissioner of the goldfields, William Henry Wright, who was born at Sandhurst, England, and who attended the Royal Military College there. The name was also given to the local parish and to the Sandhurst mining district.

The Sandhurst municipality was constituted on 24 April 1855, and the name was retained with subsequent proclamations as a borough (11 September 1863), and a city (21 July 1871). The name was not limited to the municipality, there being a Sandhurst newspaper. The founding name, Bendigo, was kept up with the Old Bendigonians Society (1871).

In 1891 a local campaign began for the city's name to be changed from Sandhurst to Bendigo, partly motivated by a belief that the name so long associated with gold would attract British investment. A poll decisively affirmed the change and the city's name became Bendigo on 8 May 1891. 'Sandhurst' continues as the name of the diocese, the football club and of numerous local businesses.

A fuller account of the township and city is found under the Bendigo entry.

Further Reading

Frank Cusack (ed), Bendigo, the German chapter, German Heritage Society, 1998

John Neill Macartney, Sandhurst: as it was, and as it is, Sandhurst, 1882