Shepparton (//) is a city located on the floodplain of the Goulburn River in northern Victoria, Australia, approximately 181 kilometres (112 mi) north-northeast of Melbourne. At June 2016, the estimated urban population of Shepparton, including Mooroopna, was 50,198.
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.
The name of Shepparton is derived from the surname of one of the area’s first European settlers, Sherbourne Sheppard, and not, as is sometimes imagined, from Shepperton, England.
Prior to the white settlement of Australia, the area was inhabited by the Yorta Yorta, an indigenous Australian people traditionally occupying the land around the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers in present-day northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. The Yorta Yorta tribe which inhabited the Shepparton area were known as the Kailtheban.
Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell was the first European to be recorded travelling 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 yet no bridge across the Goulburn River, Irish entrepreneur Patrick Macguire soon 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 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 centre.
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.
Shepparton has a semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSfk) climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The hottest summer month is January, when the average maximum temperature is 31.8 °C (89.2 °F). In winter, the weather becomes coldest in July when the minimum averages 3.4 °C (38.1 °F) and the maximum gets to 13.2 °C (55.8 °F). On 7 February 2009, a maximum of 46.1 °C (115.0 °F) was recorded in the city.
Although the rainfall in Shepparton is fairly sparse, winter sees the most rain days. The rain doesn’t get too heavy throughout the year. Even with the wettest month being in November, the rainfall still averages at 50.1 millimetres (1.97 in). The driest month in terms of rainfall and rain days is January, which receives an average of 27.5 millimetres (1.08 in) over 4.6 days.
The average wind speed in Shepparton is 4.03 metres per second.
Climate data for Shepparton Airport (YSHT) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 44.3
Average high °C (°F) 31.8
Average low °C (°F) 15.2
Record low °C (°F) 5.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 27.5
Average precipitation days 4.6 4.7 5.3 5.4 9.9 11.9 14.8 12.7 9.8 8.2 6.8 5.4 99.5 Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 28 33 35 43 56 66 68 61 53 44 38 31 46 Source: Bureau of Meteorology.
Central business district
The Maude Street Mall is the city’s main shopping centre, while Wyndham Street is the main civic and commercial street. Located off the Maude Street Mall is a 76-metre (249 ft) tall communications tower, erected 1967–68, with an observation deck at 35 m (115 ft) accessible via a 160-step stairway. The observation deck offers views over the city and surrounding countryside.
Shepparton has three nearby towns which could be considered suburbs. They are Mooroopna to the west, Kialla (and Kialla Lakes house and land subdivision) to the south, and Shepparton East to the east. Nearby, in the northeast, also lies the locality of Grahamvale.
Shepparton’s main industries are agriculture and associated manufacturing. Australia’s largest processor of canned fruits, SPC Ardmona, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola Amatil, has production facilities in Shepparton and nearby Kyabram. Seasonal fruits, such as peaches, pears and apricots are preserved into a variety of packaging. The Manufacturing industry has evolved to cater for the needs of local primary producers.
Other major manufacturers in the city include Campbells Soup Company, , and Pental.
is also a large employer, with around 130 staff, including 10 apprentices making stainless steel tanks and pressure vessels.
Shepparton is a major regional commercial and shopping centre and service economy for the Greater Shepparton area.
Shepparton is a major centre for infrastructure and civic services. The majority of the region’s emergency response facilities are located there. The administrative headquarters for the Country Fire Authority (CFA) District 22 and one of only two Independent Rescue Agencies in Victoria are located in Shepparton. The Search and Rescue Squad originally started out as a “Dive and Recovery Unit” recovering lost property and persons from the rivers, lakes and water ways in the region.
Arts and culture
The city hosts the Moooving Art project, which involves local artists painting fibreglass cows, which are then displayed in tourist locations throughout the city and surrounding townships.  The project is an artistic representation of the strong dairy industry prevalent in the Shepparton area.
Kidstown is Located between Shepparton and Mooroopna, it has two giant slides, a 35-metre (115 ft) flying fox and a train that goes right around the playground.
The city is home to a large swimming centre called Aquamoves, two performing arts centres, one in Mooroopna named WestSide, due to its geographical location and the other the Eastbank Centre located in Shepparton (which houses the centres’ box office). Collectively the centres are called Riverlinks Venues”.
Shepparton is also home of the Shepparton Art Museum, more commonly known as SAM. SAM houses the world’s most significant collection of Australian ceramics, and is home to the biennial Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award and the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award. The museum features the surrealist sculpture Woman and Child by artist Sam Jinks.
Shepparton is also home to the Shepparton Theatre Arts Group (STAG), the city’s premier theatrical group. STAG was formed in 1975 after an amalgamation between the Shepparton Dramatic Society and the Shepparton Light Music Company. The group presents one dramatic/comedic play, one musical and one rock revue each year. The Goulburn Valley Concert Orchestra, a community symphony orchestra, gives an annual major concert and a series of cafe concerts every year.
Association Football is popular in Shepparton with four senior clubs entering teams into competitions run by the North Eastern Soccer League; Shepparton (formerly Lemnos), Shepparton South and Shepparton United Teams are entered in men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ divisions. Shepparton is also home to the Goulburn Valley Suns Football Club. The soccer club was established in 2013, and currently competes in the National Premier Leagues.
Australian Rules Football is also popular in Shepparton. The main league, called the Goulburn Valley Football League (GVFL), includes 3 teams from the city. There are also other smaller leagues, such as the Murray Football League, Kyabram & District Football League and the Picola & District Football League which have teams from in and around Greater Shepparton. There is also a junior league in the schools (SDJFA). The city plays a major role in a team where the Australian Football League (AFL) frequently scouts for new talents to AFL clubs, which is the Murray Bushrangers.
Basketball is another popular sport in Shepparton. The Shepparton Lady Gators represent the Shepparton and Mooroopna region in women’s basketball playing in the Big V division two competition. The men’s team has gone into an extended recess after being one of the most successful country-based basketball teams in Australia, winning the CVIBL title in 1994 and the 2000, 2001 and 2003 Big V Championship ABA titles under the tutelage of Russell Parker. In 2011 the men’s team returned to the court in the Country basketball league. They achieved success in 2015 winning a BIG V championship under the captaincy of leading scorer Matt Bartlett
Cycling is popular in Shepparton due to the flat terrain and extensive network of routes. The Goulburn Valley Hospice runs the annual Shepparton Fruit Loop Ride for cyclists. There is a velodrome facility located in the city’s north and a world class BMX track as well as an extensive range of bike paths throughout the city and surrounding areas.
Shepparton Harness Racing Club conducts regular meetings at its racetrack in the city.
The Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club holds regular meetings at its track on the Goulburn Valley Highway, Kialla.
Golfers play at the course of the Shepparton Golf Club on Golf Drive.
Shepparton is home to the Goulburn Valley Hockey Association. Hockey, whilst not having as great a following in previous years, still has a strong competition. The Shepparton field was resurfaced in 2015 with works to commence on a second field in the near future. The Goulburn Valley Hockey Association fields men’s, women’s and junior teams from the Shepparton Strikers, Shepparton Youth Club, Mooroopna, Benalla, Echuca and Euroa. The Hockey Association also features in State Hockey Championships for men and women at both Senior and Masters competitions and also provide teams for the Junior Country Championships.
The Royal Australian Navy has named two warships HMAS Shepparton after the city, and the 8th/7th Battalion of the Royal Victoria Regiment has a base in the city’s southeast.
Shepparton has Victoria’s second largest Aboriginal community after Melbourne, making up approximately 10% of the city’s population. The concentration of Indigenous Australians is the second largest of any Victorian city (Mildura 11.6%) and is 4 times the national average (2.5%). Shepparton has a large immigrant community, with people from places such as India, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Greece, Italy, Sudan, the former Yugoslavia, China as well as many other places.
The major faith in Shepparton is Christianity. In the 2011 census The most common responses for religion in Shepparton were Catholic 27.2%, No Religion 19.4%, Anglican 13.2%, Islam 8.2% and Uniting Church 7.1%. In the Shepparton district, figures were slightly different. The most common responses for religion in the area were Catholic 27.7%, No Religion 20.2%, Anglican 14.7%, Uniting Church 8.4% and Islam 4.9%.
Shepparton is the seat of local government and administrative centre for the City of Greater Shepparton Local Government Area. The council was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the City of Shepparton, Shire of Shepparton, and parts of the Shire of Rodney, Shire of Euroa, Shire of Goulburn, Shire of Tungamah, Shire of Violet Town and Shire of Waranga. The council office complex is located at 90 Welsford Street and the council meets in the Chambers there. The council consists of seven councillors, elected once every four years by postal voting.
In state politics, Shepparton is located in the Legislative Assembly district of Shepparton which had been safely held by the National/Country Party since the seat was created in 1945. In the Victorian state election, 2014, Independent candidate Suzanna Sheed won the seat.
In federal politics, Shepparton is located in a single House of Representatives division—the Division of Murray. The Division has been a safe Coalition seat since its inception in 1949 and was the seat of John McEwen, 18th Prime Minister of Australia.
Law enforcement is overseen from regional police headquarters in Welsford Street. It is one of two police stations in the urban area, with the second at Mooroopna and administers stations in several surrounding towns in the LGA. Justice is conducted at the Shepparton Courts complex at 14 High Street, a multi-jurisdictional centre that includes a Magistrates’ Court, County Court, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and Coroners Court. Corrections, are handled locally at the Community Correctional Centre on Wyndham Street.
Public safety and emergency services are provided by several state funded organisations including local volunteer based organisations. Storms and flooding are handled by the State Emergency Service (SES). Bushfires are handled by the Country Fire Authority.
Shepparton has numerous primary schools, such as state schools Bourchier Street Primary, Gowrie Street Primary, Guthrie Street Primary, St Georges Road Primary School, Grahamvale Primary, Kialla West Primary, Kialla Primary, Wilmot Road Primary, Shepparton East Primary and Orrvale Primary. Catholic primary schools include St. Brendan’s, St. Mel’s and St. Lukes. It also has a school catering for students with disabilities, called Verney Road School.
There are seven secondary schools in the Shepparton Region: ; ; ; Shepparton High School; Wanganui Park Secondary College; the Catholic Notre Dame College; the private Goulburn Valley Grammar School.
The University of Melbourne‘s School of Rural Health and Rural Clinical School of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences are also based in Shepparton.
La Trobe University also has a campus offering a range of degree programs including Arts, Business/Commerce, Nursing/Health Sciences, and Education. Approximately 400 students attend the university which provides day, evening, part-time, and full-time study options.
Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE has two campuses, one in Fryers Street which hosts the organisation’s administration department as well as many teaching departments, and the William Orr Campus, a 120 hectare property in Wanganui Road.
The city is located at the junction of the Midland Highway and the Goulburn Valley Highway, the latter which is being progressively converted to freeway standard. The Peter Ross-Edwards Causeway connects Shepparton to Mooroopna.
V/Line runs bus coach services to Wangaratta, Bendigo and Griffith, New South Wales. A dedicated bus service to Shepparton from Melbourne Airport is also run twice daily passing through Seymour and Nagambie.
Shepparton railway station is serviced by V/Line rail services on the Shepparton line to and from Melbourne and to Mooroopna railway station.
Shepparton Airport, located south of the city on the Goulburn Valley Highway and is home to Gawne Aviation.
Shepparton also has buses that run around the suburbs and Mooroopna
The is a free newspaper delivered to a CAB-audited 32,004 homes, farms and businesses each week. This circulation equates to a conservative readership estimate of 70,000 per week (Circulation Audit Bureau) and includes direct delivery to 1,500 local RMB addresses via Australia Post. The Shepparton Adviser is independently owned and is the largest circulating established free newspaper in the Goulburn and Murray Valleys.
The is a paid morning daily newspaper published by the McPherson Media Group. It has an audited average daily distribution of 12–14,000. From the same publisher, The Country News, with an audited circulation of 55,000 is aimed at the farming community in the Goulburn Valley and surrounding regions, and is included as an insert in the Shepparton News, Riverine Herald (Echuca), Seymour Telegraph, Cobram Courier, McIvor Times (Heathcote), Pastoral Times (Deniliquin), Benalla Ensign, Euroa Gazette, Southern Riverina News (Finley), Kyabram Free Press and the Campaspe Valley News (Rochester).
- ABC Radio National 621 AM / 756 AM (government-funded, mostly news, current affairs and the arts)
- 774 ABC Melbourne 774 AM (government-funded, mostly news and talkback)
- RSN Racing & Sport 1260 AM (narrowcast)
- Vision Radio Network 1413 AM (Christian and Gospel) – service operated by United Christian Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd
- Raw FM 87.6 FM (dance music station)
- Triple J 94.5 FM (government-funded Youth Radio)
- Triple M Goulburn Valley 95.3 FM (commercial) – formerly known as 95 3SR FM
- ABC Classic FM 96.1 FM (government-funded, classical music station)
- Hit96.9 96.9 FM (commercial) – formerly known as Star FM, originally Sun FM.
- 97.7 ABC Shepparton 97.7 FM (government-funded local news, current affairs, light entertainment and talkback)
- ONE FM 98.5 FM (community / not-for-profit) 
- Radio for the Print Handicapped 100.1 FM
- ABC NewsRadio 107.7 FM (government-funded national news, current affairs and parliamentary broadcasts)
Shepparton is served by three commercial television networks and two publicly owned services:
- Nine (Southern Cross)
The new digital channels broadcast by all the networks in addition to the main stations are available on Freeview to viewers in Shepparton and the wider Goulburn and Murray Valley regions.
Of the three commercial networks, WIN Television (previously GMV-6 and ‘Television Victoria’) airs a 30-minute local news bulletin each weeknight. Nine News Border North East launched a one-hour regional bulletin on 8 March 2017 – a one-hour composite bulletin with national, international & local news presented by Jo Hall.
Southern Cross Ten previously aired Weeknights, an evening news magazine program from Monday to Friday. It focused on “Local News, Local Issues” and aired at 6pm from March 2011 before ceasing the local production in June 2015.
On 5 May 2011, analogue television transmissions ceased in regional Victoria and some border regions including the Goulburn Valley and parts of the Southern Riverina in New South Wales. All local free-to-air television services are now broadcasting in digital transmission only as part of the Federal Government`s plan for Digital terrestrial television in Australia.
- Thomas Shadrach James – Linguist and herbalist
Arts and music
- Adam Briggs – Musician
- Anson Cameron – Author
- Adam Donovan – Musician and founder of Augie March
- Joseph Furphy – Author
- Amanda Garner – Ballroom dancer
- Edward Harrington – Poet and author
- Sir Bernard Thomas Heinze – Musician
- John Longstaff – Painter
- Clint Morris – Film producer
- Glenn Richards – Musician and founder of Augie March
- Danielle Rowe – Ballerina
- – Author
Politics and business
- Kaye Darveniza – Politician
- Damian Drum – Politician
- John Furphy – Inventor of the Furphy water-cart
- Don Kilgour – Politician and broadcaster
- Wendy Lovell – Politician
- Jeanette Powell – Politician
- Richard Pratt – Businessman
- John Richardson – Politician and author
- Suzanna Sheed – Politician and lawyer
- Jim Short – Politician and diplomat
- Peter Ross-Edwards – Politician
- Michael Barlow – Australian rules footballer
- Aiden Blizzard – Cricketer
- Marc Bullen – Australian rules footballer
- Shannon Byrnes – Australian rules footballer
- David Code – Australian rules footballer
- Justin Davies – Australian rules footballer
- Louise Dobson – Field hockey fullback at the 1996 Olympics
- Kevin Doolan – Australian Motorcycle speedway racer
- Robert Enes – Footballer
- Angela Foley – Australian rules footballer
- Shaun Hart – Australian rules footballer
- Jarman Impey – Australian rules footballer
- Peter Jacobson – Motor racing driver
- Glenn James – Australian rules football umpire
- Alex Keath – Cricketer and Australian rules footballer
- Steven King – Australian rules footballer
- Frankie Lagana – Footballer
- Brett Lancaster – Cyclist
- Vince Lia – Footballer
- Jarrod Lyle – Golfer
- Lee Naylor – Athlete
- Doug Palmer – Australian rules footballer
- Steele Sidebottom – Australian rules footballer
- Jason Traianidis – Australian rules footballer
- David Wirrpanda – Australian rules footballer
- Adem Yze – Australian rules footballer
- Garry Jacobson – Supercars Champion
- Will Brodie – Australian rules footballer
Clubs and associations
- Electoral district of Shepparton
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