Explanations and meanings of place names within the City of Werribee as at May 1993.
Chronology of Events
10 December 1990
Commencement of public consultation regarding locality names
A public forum was held at which members of the public were invited to present their view on place names within the municipality.
A small sub-committee was formed from the public forum to establish plans to be placed on exhibition. To invite public comment, the plans were advertised in the Werribee Banner on two occasions using a full page advertisement. Copies of the plans were also placed at various locations including libraries, for a period of approximately two months.
Comments and questionnaire results were received from the public.
16 September 1991
An extensive report was presented to Council on the public’s concerns regarding Truganina, Tarneit and Mount Cottrell. Council was advised of concerns that the historic value of some areas was being lost due to the absorption of certain areas.
23 March 1992
At a Special Meeting of Council, Councillors unanimously agreed to recommend the following names and defined areas to the Office of Place Names Committee for formal approval.
- Balliang East
- Hoppers Crossing
- Laverton North
- Laverton South
- Little River
- Mount Cottrell
- Point Cook
- Werribee South
- Western Gardens
- Wyndham Vale
30 March 1992
Council resolved to confirm the names and areas for place names and submit them to the Office of Place Names Committee for ratification.
Council further resolved that the Town Clerk undertake all appropriate action to ensure that the decisions of the Council be implemented through the Office of Place Names Committee and to ensure that there was no uncertainty regarding the place names and localities.
1 July 1992
Place Names advertised in the Government Gazette seeking objections within two (2) months of the advertisement.
16 September 1992
As no objections to the previously published proposals were received, a Notice was placed in the Government Gazette stating that the place names were assigned.
21 September 1992
No objections were received following publication of the proposal in the Government Gazette and accordingly, the names were assigned and recorded in the Register of Place Names.
26 October 1992
Council resolved that the place and locality names be placed in a suitable publication to enable distribution to all relevant authorities and individuals as required.
Council also resolved that its records be progressively changed to reflect the locality name on the official records for rate notices and other contracts.
Completion of the “Place Names within the City of Werribee” booklet and distribution to the relevant people and organisations.
EXPLANATIONS AND MEANINGS OF PLACE NAMES WITHIN THE CITY OF WERRIBEE
Balliang East is a rural locality situated by the Little River, 25 kms from Werribee. It was named after an Aboriginal leader employed by Foster Fyans, a Crown Lands Commissioner in the 1840s, at his house at Marnock Vale, Geelong. 1 The aboriginal meaning for “balayang” is the bat of the dreamtime.
1. Kennedy, Brian & Barbara, (1989) Australian Place Names. Hodder & Stoughton, N.S.W.
Cocoroc, which is an aboriginal word for the croaking of a frog, is situated 8.2 kms south of Werribee. 2
2. Blake, Les (1977) Place Names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Exford is a sheep farming district situated by the Werribee River. Exford was named in 1842 after a sheep station which was situated in the Brisbane Ranges and was once owned by Simon Staughton. 3 It was thought that because the Werribee River was known at one time as the Exe River, the name Exford may have derived from this. 4 The name Exe originates from Somerset, England.
3. Blake, Les (1977) Place Names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
4. Reed, A.W. (1973) Place Names of Australia. A.H. & A.W. Reed, Sydney.
Captain Samuel Thomas built Eynesbury homestead in 1875. 5 It is thought that the estate was named after a village in Cambridge Shire, England. This land was originally part of the Exford Estate.
5. Murray, Esther (1974) The Plains of Iramoo. Henwood & Dancey, Geelong.
It is believed the name Hoppers Crossing is derived from the family Hopper who lived near the railway crossing and were responsible for operating the railway gates.
A township situated approximately 11 kms east of Werribee, it was named in 1836 after Alfred Langhorne’s station. The name Laverton originates from a locality north-west of Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. 6
6. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Little River is a farming and residential district west of Werribee, named after the local stream. 7
7. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
This name derives from the aboriginal term Mamborn, which is the personal name of a Barrabool tribesman. Mambarang means ‘tongue’. 8
8. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Mount Cottrell is a hill in a rural locality south of Melton. It is named after Anthony Cottrell, who was a District Constable at Launceston and a member of John Batman’s Port Phillip Association. 9 Mount Cottrell was named by Batman from Station Peak on 31 May 1835. 10 The spelling of Mount Cottrell has always been the cause of a great deal of confusion. According to Mr. John Todd of the property “Bambra Park” north of Werribee, “it is only in recent years that it has been spelt Mount Cottrell. During the Depression a new post office date stamp was issued, deleting an E to economise on ink, thus making the original spelling Mount Cotterell”. Other variations of the name include Cotterill, Cottrel and Cotteril. 11
9. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
10. Truganina Progress Association, 13/12/78.
11. The Werribee Banner, 07/02/79, page 4.
Parwan is a rural locality named after a former state school situated south east of Bacchus Marsh. Parwan is an aboriginal word for magpie. 12
12. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Point Cook was named after John M. Cooke who served as a mate, under Capt. William Hobson, aboard H.M.S. Rattlesnake 1837. 13 The R.A.A.F. training school situated at Point Cook is located approximately 6.5 kms from Werribee. In December 1911, the R.A.A.F. base was established when the Government wanted to build an aerodrome and felt that land near the coast was necessary to ensure naval co-operation. As a result, 300 hectares of G.T. Chirnside’s Werribee Park estate at Point Cook was purchased for just £6,000 ($12,000), thus establishing the Point Cook R.A.A.F. Base. 14 Another important feature of Point Cook is the Point Cook Homestead built in 1857, by Thomas Chirnside, for use as the Chirnside’s Hunting Lodge. 15
13. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
14. Werribee History Kit (1992)
15. Werribee Shire Handbook.
This name presumably derives from the term “quandong” which is a native fruit similar to a small plum, which grows in the area. 16
16. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Tarneit is a farming district situated 5 kms north of Werribee. The name Tarneit was appointed by John Wedge, an early settler who in 1835 was John Batman’s surveyor. Tarneit is an aboriginal word for the “colour white”. 17
17. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Truganina is a farming district situated 13 kms north of Werribee. It was named after the last Tasmanian aboriginal woman (1803-1876). 18
18. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.
Werribee is a residential and rural area 34 kms south-west of Melbourne. The name is thought to have its origin in the tree-marked course of the Werribee River, which stood out as a backbone on the flat and almost treeless plains surrounding the area. Werribee derives from an aboriginal word, “wearily”, meaning backbone of spine. 19
19. Kennedy, Brian & Barbara, (1989) Australian Place Names. Hodder & Stoughton, N.S.W.
Western Gardens is an estate situated between Laverton and Werribee, long proposed for residential and industrial development.
This name derives from the term Wyndham, which is the former name of the Shire of Werribee. Ex-publican, Elliot Armstrong, suggested to the surveyor the name of his former fellow army officer. 20
20. Blake, Les (1977) Place names of Victoria. Rigby, Melbourne.