Thirty-two kilometres from the centre of Melbourne, the City of Dandenong has long been an important trading centre and staging link to the Gippsland area and the state’s south-east.
The Victorian Housing Commission’s post World War II decision to earmark the town and its environs as a major centre for population growth was the stimulus for both Dandenong’s development as a manufacturing region and an influx of migrants.
The city is headquarters for a number of international manufacturers including General Motors Holden and Heinz. Befitting its rich cultural mix, Dandenong is graced with one of Victoria’s standout town halls - a two-storeyed stucco structure built in 1890 and topped with a clock tower and grand mansard roof.
The municipality maintains more than 600ha of park and reserved bushland, much of which is locked into the Churchill National Park (190ha) and nearby Lysterfield Lake Park.
Churchill, which embraces the encampment set up in 1837 for the native police trackers, presents a series of walking tracks from which visitors can meet the cross-section of native birds and animals which inhabit the bush and forest.