Shepparton (Yortayorta: Kanny-goopna) is a city located on the floodplain of the Goulburn River in northern Victoria, Australia, approximately 181 kilometres (112 mi) north-northeast of Melbourne.
- Area:42.943 km2
- Elevation:113 m
- Local Government Area:Greater Shepparton City Council
Shepparton (Yortayorta: Kanny-goopna) is a city located on the floodplain of the Goulburn River in northern Victoria, Australia, approximately 181 kilometres (112 mi) north-northeast of Melbourne. As of June 2018 the estimated population of Shepparton, including the adjacent town of Mooroopna, was 51,631.It began as a sheep station and river crossing in the mid-19th century, before undergoing a major transformation as a railway town. Today it is an agricultural and manufacturing centre, and the centre of the Goulburn Valley irrigation system, one of the largest centres of irrigation in Australia. It is also a major regional service city and the seat of local government and civic administration for the City of Greater Shepparton, which includes the surrounding towns of Tatura, Merrigum, Mooroopna, Murchison, Dookie, Toolamba and Grahamvale.
Prior to the European settlement of Australia, the area was inhabited by the Yorta Yorta, an indigenous Australian people whose land covers the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers in present-day northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. The Yorta Yorta tribe which inhabits the Shepparton area is known as the Kailtheban.Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell was the first European to be recorded traveling through the area, crossing the Goulburn River in 1836 on his return to Sydney from an expedition to survey the Darling River and its tributaries. On Mitchell's recommendation, Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney would follow two years later, camping on the town site by the Goulburn River in 1838 while droving cattle from Albury to Adelaide.The first permanent settlement in the area was the "Tallygaroopna" sheep station, established in the early 1840s. By 1843 the station was being run by a man named Sherbourne Sheppard, the town's eventual namesake. With the advent of the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s, the area became a popular river crossing point for miners travelling east from the Bendigo and Ballarat goldfields. As there was no bridge across the Goulburn River, Irish entrepreneur Patrick Macguire set up a punt service to ferry travellers across the river, erecting the town's first building in the process, the punt house. Macguire sold the building to John Hill in 1853, who converted it into a hotel, the Emu Bush Inn. This settlement soon became known as Macguire's Punt, a name it would keep into the 1870s. A post office opened in February 1854, but closed in July that same year.The settlement was first surveyed in 1855 by Assistant Surveyor J.G.W. Wilmot. By this time, in addition to Macguire's Punt, it had also become known as Sheppard town, Sheppardton, and Shepparton. The post office reopened in May 1858, and two years later the Governor of Victoria officially declared Shepparton a township on 24 September 1860. It remained a small settlement of a half-dozen buildings into the 1870s despite adding a police station, a general store, a blacksmith, a foundry, and a public hall which remains the city's oldest building. Shepparton's first bridge over the Goulburn River was completed in 1878 and named Dainton's Bridge after James Henry Dainton, the bridge's chief engineer. The first church, St. Patrick's, opened in 1879.
The railway from Seymour reached the town in 1880. A mechanics institute opened between 1880 and 1888 as Shepparton rapidly developed into a major manufacturing and service center.
During the Victorian railway boom the railways expanded, and by the turn of the century Shepparton was central to a large network of regional branch lines on the Toolamba–Echuca railway line — lines leading to Cobram, Nathalia, Dookie, Picola and Katamatite. Rail-served industries helped Shepparton grow into a city. While these lines experienced a brief boom, almost all of them would later close. The Goulburn River also developed as a secondary transport hub, with paddle steamers and ferries operating at The Barges.
In the post-war era the city's population virtually tripled, with immigration to the city becoming a major factor, particularly migrants from Italy. During the post-war boom of the 1960s and '70s successive local councils began a progress campaign to modernise the city and many older buildings were replaced with newer buildings.
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