Bruthen is a small town located alongside the Tambo River between Bairnsdale and Ensay on the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
- Area:69.009 km2
- Elevation:22 m
- Local Government Area:East Gippsland Shire Council
Bruthen is a small town located alongside the Tambo River between Bairnsdale and Ensay on the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. At the 2016 census, Bruthen had a population of 814. Bruthen is 26 km (16 mi) east of Bairnsdale and 311 km (193 mi) east of the state capital Melbourne.
Bruthen is an Aboriginal word from the Brabiralong people of the Gunai/Kurnai tribe meaning ‘long wooden point’. Alfred Howitt claimed the proper name for the area around Bruthen was Murloo, meaning ‘pipeclay’.
Notorious mass murderer of Gunnaikurnai people, Angus McMillan, first passed through the area of what is now Bruthen on 14 April 1840 on his early murderous forays from the Omeo region. The Post Office opened on 15 January 1862 and the first school opened in 1872.
On 27 November 1958 an RAAF Avon-Sabre Fighter Jet crashed on the outskirts of Bruthen, narrowly missing the populated area of town. Flight Lieutenant Ralph Oborn was flying from New South Wales to the RAAF base in Sale when his engine ‘flamed out’. Oborn ejected at 500 ft, suffering only minor injuries, and became the first person to safely eject from an aeroplane in Australia.
The Bruthen Court of Petty Sessions closed in 1969.
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