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Friday, January 27, 2017

Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve - Historical Overview

I  visited this Reserve on January 26, 2017, in support of research into its history, exploring the area arouind the Nerre Nerre Warren picnic ground..

The site was used as a native Police Headquarters and an Aboriginal Protectorate Station from 1837 to 1853.  It was subsequently used as the Victoria Police Stud Depot from 1853 to 1931. 

In the 1930s, the land was tree-covered in trees; the Dandenong Creek passes  through it.

Since then it has been used as a public purposes reserve for, amongst other things, grazing, dairying, agistment, a military camp and for scouting. A World Scout Jamboree was held there in 1964-65. It adjoins the Churchill Natonal Park.

Most of the buildings associated with the historic use of the site have been demolished. In 1962 a stone house and barracks were pulled down to make the site safe for scouts attending the World Jamboree. Many roads and services were constructed at this time.

In 1969 areas were aside for what are now the Churchill Park and Waverley Golf Courses , and since 1973 tip sites in the area have been operated by the Cities of Berwick and Dandenong.

The present-day Rowville Recreation Reserve (Stud Rd) occupies part of the original site. A legacy of the early days is Police Rd. The Historic Area Lookout is on the high ground to the east.

Other modern features include sporting facilities. An extensive network of walking tracks follows the alignment of roads which were constucted in 1964 for the Jamboree. Many of these are named after persons prominent in the scounting movement, such as Baden Powell Drive.

Today many features of historical, social and archaeological significance remain in the Police Paddocks, dating from various periods in the history of the area. They include ruins of buildings, remains of an old bridge, Aboriginal stone artefacts, trees and rubbish dumps.
The site of the headquarters buildings of the Native Police Corps has been reserved as an Historic Zone in the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve Management Plan. A committee of management now administers the area.

Sadly, the oiginal information boards have been vandalised and removed. The Nerre Nerre Warren Picnic Area/Toilet Block and Car Park at the end of Brady Rd has been closed except for pedestrian and bicycle access.

1 comment:

  1. Howdy Bob, wow, thank you for all of this, it is really nice to have a description of this terrific area along with your brilliant photos! What is the cracked of pavement? Was it part of a road or was it where there used to be a shed or house? Thanks for sharing and best regards! Michael