Watchem is a town in north western Victoria, Australia.
- Area:112.941 km2
- Elevation:115 m
- Local Government Area:Buloke Shire Council
Watchem is a town in north western Victoria, Australia. The town is in the Shire of Buloke local government area and on the Sunraysia Highway, 307 kilometres (191 mi) north west of the state capital, Melbourne and 35 kilometres (22 mi) from nearby Donald. Watchem is a town with very few attractions at the 2016 census, Watchem and the surrounding area had a population of 114.Watchem has a thriving lake based within walking distance from the town centre. The Watchem lake is beautiful with its rural and tranquil setting.
The Post Office opened on 2 November 1889.With its neighbouring township Birchip, Watchem has a football team (Birchip-Watchem) competing in the North Central Football League.
There are many stories told on how the name Watchem came to be.
One of the more plausible stories being that the name came from the Aboriginal name for wattle that has been know to grow near the Watchem lake.
Another story is that Watchem came from the aboriginal word “place the hop bush (Dodonaea) grows”However the name came to be the town according to early documentation such as “land Department maps, road surveys and building applications” has been around since at least the 1860’s.
The land was also home to the Banynong tribe who were situated along the Watchem lake area.
According to early documentation the first “land selection”was done by the Donohue family in 1873. Martin Donohue in 1874 actually did the first wool clip for this area he did it from Watchem to Ballarat. Following on from this he also did the first wheat delivery to Dunolly in 1875.
By 1875 that is when the spike in population hit with plenty more families moving to the area some in which are still located there today.
By the end of 1875 the town Watchem was officially recognised and gained township.
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