A residential and industrial suburb 28km east of the Melbourne CBD, Bayswater began as a German settlement within the Scoresby area in the 1860s. The first school was run as part of the Lutheran congregation.
By the turn of the century, however, the Germans had drifted away and the public school adopted the name of well-known bookmaker and publisher James John Miller’s estate, Bayswater House.
Vigorous post World War II growth in the outer suburbs bordering the Dandenongs was underpinned in Bayswater by decisions by Dunlop Rubber and British Nylon Spinners to build manufacturing plants in the suburb.
The Dandenong Ranges rainforest reserves and walks are just a short drive away. Extending over 3215ha, the Dandenong Ranges National Park's dense rainforest and fern canopy is a sanctuary for more than 30 species of orchids, a wide range of native animals and more than 130 species of birds.
The resident birds include rosellas, cockatoos and kookaburras which invariably invite themselves to picnics and the extraordinary lyre bird which can mimic everything from a chain saw to a bellbird. Importantly, the park conserves remnants of the original vegetation which once covered the entire Melbourne area.