Wyndham History

The Beginnings

Werribee Plains

Werribee Plains painted about 1860

What do you know about our area Wyndham?

How is it presented in the media?

(Tends to be an image of a very large, fast growing outer suburban area, made up of people from many different places. People will mention the zoo, mansion, equestrian centre, State Farm , etc.)

It certainly is all of these and so much more, as you will discover.

What many people don't know, and probably many of us too, is that our area was home to the indigenous peoples of this country for thousands of years, and was one of the first places in Victoria settled by Europeans.

By the end of this unit you will be much more knowledgeable about our hometown and more importantly have a sense of pride and empathy in and for the people and events who have made our history.

Who came to the Wyndham area and why?

  • The Werribee plains was first seen by a few of Matthew Flinders crew from the You Yangs in 1802 only 14 years after settlement of Australia by Britain .
  • The First description of Werribee River was by James Flemming, a member of the surveyor General Charles Grimes group surveying Port Phillip bay in 1803

“ a fine green hill. Very fine land, 18 inches deep of rich black soil. The land behind the hill high and woody. Came round to a river, went up it about a mile in company with the doctor. At the end of the salt water found a hole made by natives, drank of it and returned back to the beach where the boat had brought up.”

  • Described by Hume and Hovel who explored what is now Victoria in 1824, as fine pasture land.

Student Activity 1

Read the quotation and look at the picture of the Wyndham plains and answer the following:

  • What were his impressions of the land?
  • Where in the Wyndham area do you think he was speaking about? Why?
  • Where would the salt water have been?
  • Examining both sources, what do you think the land would be useful for?

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