What County Is Bandimere Speedway In? [Expert Guide!]

Bandimere is a popular name in motorsport. It’s a small suburb in the Melbourne, Australia region. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2016 there were 2,600 people living in Bandimere. That’s 1,600 people fewer than the year before, which can probably be attributed to the growing costs of living in Melbourne.

The suburb’s population includes people working in nearby factories as well as those working in regional Victoria. As well as having a higher-than-average unemployment rate, Bandimere also has a relatively low house price to income ratio. This makes it attractive to people who want to relocate to the region.

Quick Facts

  • Located in Melbourne.

  • Named after the famous race car driver

  • Has a population of around 2,600 people.

  • Is classified as a rural town by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

  • The most common job title held by those living in Bandimere is either personal service worker or nurse.

  • There are over 20 pubs and clubs in the town, with many residents partaking in the weekly sport. This includes both competitive and recreational games.

  • The median weekly household income is around $1,600, which is higher than the national average of $1,331. Incomes range from $100 to $4,000+, with the average house cost in Bandimere being $600,000.

  • The suburb’s public schools outperform the state average, with a college matriculation rate of 93% compared to the average 81% for regional Victoria.

  • The 2016 Census found that 37 per cent of people in Bandimere worked in Health Care and Social Assistance. This was mainly outpatient care, working with patients (15%), and administrative and order-writing (12%).

  • The suburb has a lower than average proportion of residents who speak a language other than English. This was evident in 2016 as only 9% of the population reported they didn’t speak English at home, compared to the state average of 16% or more.

  • Bandimere is classified as a rural town by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This means it has a relatively low population density. It is estimated there are around 4.7 people per hectare, compared to the national average of 8.6.

  • Although it has a reasonably high number of public parks in Bandimere, it is estimated there are only 19.9 hectares of green space, which is lower than the state average of 35.3 hectares.

  • The suburb is surrounded by large tracts of rural land. This means there are plenty of opportunities for residents to get away from their screens and out into the fresh air.

    What Is A Rural Town?

    For the purposes of the census, a rural town is defined as a town with a population of less than 10,000 people. This includes towns with a population of up to 5,000 people classified as rural and towns of between 5,000 and 10,000 people that aren’t considered to be urban.

    Towns in this category generally have less than 25% of their dwellings comprised of apartments or attached dwellings (e.g. flats, duplexes, and triplexes). These are usually referred to as townhouses, as opposed to large single-storey dwellings known as houses. The proportion of workers in farming or forestry occupations more than doubles that of the national average, while transport and storage operators and service industries employees form the other main groups.

    History

    The first European settlers in the area were the Van Diemens. They arrived in the region in 1838 and established a vineyard. It wasn’t until 1850 that they started populating the area outside of the winegrowing region. This was mainly due to the cost of living in Melbourne at the time, which was quite high. Once the town began to grow, the house prices increased alongside it. Over the next few decades, the suburb experienced a massive housing shortage. The population almost doubled between 1901 and 1911, reaching 3,734 people. This was mainly due to the increasing popularity of motor vehicles at the time. As Australia was in the midst of a massive transition to motor vehicles, the number of households with horses shrank. This coincided with a rise in interest in motor racing in the area. In fact, the name “Bandimere” originates from a famous race that was founded in the area in 1908. It was first known as the Bathurst 10km Hillclimb. In 1912, after many years of planning, construction and renovation, the Bathurst Street Circuit was officially opened. This is today the premier motorsport facility in Australasia, featuring a 1.9km long roadcourse as well as a 1.8km short course.

    There was also an annual showboat cruise on the Yarra River that started in 1912, with dinner, entertainment, and a fireworks display. It was on one of these luxurious evenings out that the town’s founder, Colin McLeod, met his match in the shape of the beautiful Edna Everage. On 1 October 1918, a year after their engagement, the couple were married, with hundreds of guests in attendance. The couple would go on to have four children together.

    Edna soon became known as the ‘townmother’ in the local area and took an active interest in the civic-minded groups that formed in the 1950s and 1960s, such as the Junior and Senior Citizens’ Associations. The suburb also benefited from being the home of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, which has a practice that serves the whole of Victoria.

    Geography

    Located in Central Victoria, around 240km from the state capital, Melbourne, the township’s elevation ranges from 100m to 500m above sea level. This creates a fairly dramatic range of landscape, from hilly vineyards to wet coastal forests. It is well known for its cycling trails and hilly hikes. The suburb is crisscrossed by the Maroondary, Moonee Ponds, and Kororoi Creek, three small waterways that wind their way through the area.

    It is commonly believed that the name ‘Bandimere’ comes from the Aboriginal community that inhabited the area before European settlers arrived. The suburb was mostly inhabited by working-class and middle-class families at the time, with relatively little interest in motorsport. It was the arrival of the motor vehicle that changed everything. The area became associated with motor racing, and the name quickly became popular amongst the fraternity. Since the early 2000s, a small but active motorsport community has formed in the suburb, with a range of activities available including vintage car rallies, club meetings, and an annual speedway event. The Bandimere 100 was first held in 2008 and is now one of the biggest and best-known motorsport events in Australasia, drawing interest from interstate and international audiences. In September 2016, the event was voted the #1 Motorsport Festival in Australasia in a poll conducted by Motorsport.com, beating out other major Australian and international sports events such as the Australian Open and the Olympic Games. Events continue throughout the year, with sprints, drifts, and endurance racing all taking place on an irregular basis, depending on the weather and circuit conditions.

    Industry

    The biggest employer in the suburb is the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, with its practice that serves the whole of Victoria. The college employs around 500 staff and has 300 students studying medicine at the Melbourne campus. The college also houses the John Monash University, which has close to 10,000 students, making it one of the largest universities in the state.

    The area’s high school students score well in national educational rankings, with a 2016 Census finding that 77.9% of Bandimere students achieved a high school completion rating. In particular, Bandimere High School’s achievements in sport and academia are well known. The school has produced a number of AFL players, the most notable being Paul Roos.

    Culture

    The most common language spoken in Bandimere is English. According to the 2016 Census, 89.9% of people in the suburb spoke English at home. The next most common languages were Greek (1.5%), followed by German (0.8%) and Hindi (0.4%). The suburb’s residents are also largely European with 56% identifying as ‘other’ ethnicities, compared to 16% who described themselves as ‘Australian’.

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