Historic Stawell, one of western Victoria’s gold-rush cities, is a vibrant hub and a key service centre to a broad region.
Nestled in the south-east of the Wimmera, a busy Victorian primary-producing region, Stawell is a crucial doorway to the Grampians National Park and is the primary hub of Northern Grampians Shire. Stawell people play an integral role within the broader Wimmera community which stretches from the Grampians to the South Australian border to the desert country in the north. There is strong connectivity through business, sport, education, the arts and culture.
History of Stawell
The city was founded in 1853 during the Victorian gold rush and had, until December 2016, historically been one of few towns in Victoria retaining an active gold-mining industry.
Stawell is famed for the Stawell Gift, Australia’s most famous and richest professional foot race which attracts runners from around the world.
Stawell’s historical association with gold-mining was revived when full-scale mining recommenced in 1981.
Stawell’s industry and future
While gold-mining has sustained, in part, Stawell’s economy – agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tourism industries are also mainstays.
Municipal leaders, in understanding mining might have a limited future in Stawell, have been busy exploring, through collaborations with various organisations such as Wimmera Development Association, new opportunities for the city.
Examples include the southern hemisphere’s first underground physics laboratory to explore ‘dark matter’ – a project likely to put the centre on the international scientific map, and a major hydroponics proposal.
The town’s service industry includes government services, health, retail and education.
As the closest large centre to the Grampians National Park, it has a major role in regional tourism.