The Benalla Regional Art Gallery in the Botanic Gardens is recognised for its excellent historic and contemporary
Australian art collection. Considered one of Victoria’s most important regional galleries, it has many fine artworks
including a tapestry of Sidney Nolan’s Glenrowan, depicting the capture of Ned Kelly. Across the lake are the Costume
and Pioneer Museum and visitor information centre. The museum displays a collection of exhibits from the region's past,
including costumes dating back to 1770. It also houses an extensive collection of Ned Kelly memorabilia. You can stand
inside the portable cell that once held Ned Kelly and view the blood stained sash he wore under his famous armour at
his final capture.
Benalla became a regional centre, particularly with a number of privatesecondary schools (Trinity Girls' School and
North-East College) and withthe opening of a State high school in Benalla east in 1913. Between 1901and 1947
Benalla's population increased by about nearly 90% to about 5,000 persons. Benalla has succeeded in attracting
secondary and tertiary industries.Early examples were the State Electricity Commission's regional office (1924) and a
clothing factory (1945). Textile and garment making became a majoremployer (323 employees, 1981), along with
electrical transformers, foodand beverages, and timber products. Regional government offices were built in 1960.
Today Industries include agricultural support services, tourism, a medium density fibreboard factory, Thales Australia
ammunition factory and aviation. The rose gardens and the annual Rose Festival dating from 1967 have contributed
to tourism. The Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE has a campus in Benalla which includes the Benalla Performing Arts
and Convention Centre opened in 2004 by Lynne Kosky MP, the then Minister of Education and Training.
Did you know that a lot of famous people came from benalla?
Edward "Weary" Dunlop - Surgeon and World War II Prisoner of War.
Baden Cooke - Olympic Cyclist
Mark Seymour - Lead singer of Hunters & Collectors and solo artist.
Nick Seymour - Bass player in Crowded House.
Lisa Maxwell - Rock/Pop/Alternative solo artist.
Ivan Durrant - Prominent Australian artist, works displayed worldwide.
Albert Ernest Kitson - Geologist and Naturalist
Tom Long - Actor
Hugh Sawrey - Prominent Australian Artist, works displayed worldwide
Tommy Dunderdale - Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
Hector Waller - captain of the light cruiser HMAS Perth in the Second World War
Robin Close - Former AFL footballer - Essendon FC
Jarrad Waite - AFL footballer for Calton F C
Pete "Condor" Convery - Bassist for The Galvatrons
Rob "Bozza" Convery - Drummer for The Galvatrons
Benalla is on the Broken River, which rises to the south-east beyond Tolmie and flows north-west to join the Goulburn
River near Shepparton. During much of its journey the Broken River passes through a flood plain, resulting in multiple
water courses and swampy depressions. Today still The Broken River can cause extensive flooding. When pastoral
overlanders followed reports by explorers Hume, Hovell and Mitchell of the Port Phillip grazing lands, they had to cross
the Broken River. Alexander Mollison found a narrow stream bed and built a temporary bridge to transport stock and
equipment (1837). He "broke through" the swampy river, and it thereafter became Broken River. Mollison's route
became an accepted means of access. It was marked out with some care for the purposes of an overland mail service
between Melbourne and Sydney (Joseph Hawdon, 1838), and for policing of the district. An Aboriginal massacre of
several members of George Faithfull's pastoral run (1838) near Benalla provoked official attention to the district.
The site of Benalla today was originally a pastoral run owned by the Reverend Joseph Docker in 1838 and called
Benalta Run, from the Aboriginal word for Musk Duck. A town was laid out on the site in 1846. The Post Office
opened on 1 December 1844 but was named Broken River until 1 January 1854. A hotel, the Black Swan, was opened
at Benalla in 1840 and a post officein 1844. The Commissioner for Crown Lands for the Murray District residedin
Benalla and conducted a court of Petty Sessions from 1846. A timber bridgewas built over the river in 1847. Next year
a hamlet was surveyed and namedafter the Benalta pastoral run; the name is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal
word meaning water holes. (The change of spelling from Benaltato Benalla probably arose form the original Benalto
run's proprietor, Edward Grimes, notcrossing the 't' when he filled in the application for the lease of the run.)
The town has an Australian rules football team competing in the Goulburn Valley Football League and a team
(Benalla All Blacks) competing in the Ovens & King Football League. Benalla has a horse racing club, the Benalla
Racing Club, which schedules around eleven race meetings a year including the Benalla Cup meeting in early
October. Golfers play at the Benalla Golf Club on Mansfield Road, or at the course of the Golden Vale Golf Club on
Golden Vale Road, Benalla.
Benalla railway station is on the North East railway line and is served by VLine services between Melbourne and Albury
as well as a twice daily Countrylink XPT service to and from Sydney. In October 2002 Benalla was the scene of a rail
accident when a B-Double semi trailer collided with a heritage steam train. Three people were killed and a fourth
received severe burns when the locomotive rolled onto its side. The driver of the truck was charged but later acquitted
of culpable driving.
Benalla was originally fortuitously placed on the Sydney Road which led to several north-east gold fields. It also
received traffic to and from Shepparton (today's Midland Highway). The surrounding land was suitable for wheat
growing,orchards and vines, as well as grazing. By 1863 Benalla had two National school and a Catholic school,
Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches,a mechanics' institute and five hotels. The Black Swan Hotel included the
Cobb and Co. coach office. In 1873 the railway line through Benalla to Wodongawas opened, and ten years later
the branch line from Benalla to Yarrawongawas opened. The Benalla shire was proclaimed 23 August, 1869.
Bushranger Ned Kelly appeared in the Benalla court house aged 14 for highway robbery of a pig farmer near
Bright; the charges were dismissed against Ned at the Benalla court. On another occasion Ned Kelly was charged
with drunkenness and riding across a footpath was charged one shilling or four hours imprisonment and attempted to
break away from police and fined an additional 2 pounds or one month imprisonment. The Benalla Costume and
Pioneer Museum houses an extensive collection of Ned Kelly memorabilia. You can stand inside the portable cell that
once held Ned Kelly and view the blood stained sash he wore under his famous armour at his final capture.
The bushranger Ned Kelly is one of Australia's greatest folk heroes. He has been memorialised by painters, writers,
musicians and filmmakers alike. More books, songs and websites have been written about Ned Kelly and the Kelly
Gang than any other group of Australian historical figures. Bushranging was said to have ended with the shooting of
the Kelly Gang in 1880 at Glenrowan, Victoria, made possible by the introduction of the Felons Apprehension Act 1865
(NSW) which allowed outlawed bushrangers to be shot, rather than arrested and sent to trial.
Baden Cooke (born Benalla, Victoria, 12 October 1978) is an Australian professional racing cyclist for UCI Professional
Continental team Vacansoleil. In 2010 he will race for Pro Tour squad Team Saxo Bank on a one year contract.
Cooke began competitive cycling at 11. He completed secondary school at Galen College in Wangaratta, Victoria.
His professional career began with the Mercury team in 2000. He found racing in Europe tough adapted, although his
successes in Australia, where he won stages of the Herald Sun Tour and the Sea Otter Classic. Having moved to
the French team Française des Jeux in 2002, Cooke competed in the Commonwealth Games that year, finishing third
behind fellow Australians Stuart O'Grady and Cadel Evans. He also participated in the Tour de France in 2002, 2003,
2004 and 2005. In 2003 he won the sprinters points classification competition green jersey by two points in a tight
finish on Stage 20 on the Champs-Élysées with fellow Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen second and O'Grady seventh
in the final points classification. In 2004 Cooke came 12th in the competition for the green jersey.
Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors fame was born in 1956 in Benalla. Seymour moved to Melbourne with his
family in 1972 and has spent many years in the St Kilda area. He is the brother of Crowded House bass player Nick
Seymour. In 1981, Seymour formed the band Hunters & Collectors in Melbourne, Australia, playing guitar and handling
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Ernest Edward "Weary" Dunlop, AC, CMG, OBE (12 July 1907 – 2 July 1993) was an Australian
surgeon who was renowned for his leadership whilst being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. Dunlop
was born at Benalla in 1907 and later attended Benalla High School. The Benalla Secondary College today has a
'Dunlop campus' located at the former Benalla High School site on Barkly Street.
Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by the Yota-yota Aborigines. Hamilton Hume and William Hovell
discovered good pasture land to the south-east of the present townsite in 1824. They named the river 'Swampy'. 12
years later the townsite was visited by Thomas Mitchell and party during their 'Australia Felix' expedition of 1836 which
effectively delineated the first Sydney-Melbourne Road. They camped on the eastern riverbank where the Costume
and Pioneer Museum is now located. James Taylor was drowned while scouting out a suitable crossing place. In
1838 Grantville Stapylton renamed the river 'Broken'. In April of that year a party of some 18 men, in the employ
of George and William Faithfull, were searching out new land to the south of Wangaratta. Then, in the vicinity of, or
possibly on, the present townsite of Benalla, a large number of Aborigines attacked the party's camp. At least one
Koori and somewhere between eight and thirteen Europeans died in what became known as the Faithfull Massacre.
Local reprisals lasted a number of years, resulting in the deaths of up to 100 Aborigines. The reason for the attack
is unclear although some sources claim that the men took shots at local Aborigines and generally provoked them. It
also seems they were camping on a hunting ground. Interestingly, the Reverend Docker then came to live in the area
and lived in harmony with the local Aborigines.
In 1870 Supreme Court sessions commenced at Benalla and a mechanics institute opened (the building is now a
museum). The railway arrived in 1873 and a recreation reserve (now the Botanic Garden) was gazetted that same
year. Ned Kelly reappeared at Benalla courthouse in 1877, charged with being drunk and disorderly and riding a horse
on the footpath. After a fracas on the way to the courthouse additional charges emerged - assaulting a policeman in the
course of his duty, resisting the police and damaging a constable's uniform. He emphatically claimed the police had
doped his liquor and was fined two pounds and ordered to pay court costs and damages. The Commercial Hotel became
the headquarters for the 'Kelly hunt' in 1878 and, in 1880, Ned was held at Benalla police station en route to his hearing
at Beechworth after the siege at Glenrowan.
New Zealand's first Labour prime minister, Michael J. Savage, was born at Tatong near Benalla in 1872. One of eight
children, his father died when he was five and his mother struggled thereafter. He left school and worked as a shop
assistant in Benalla at the age of 13. Savage lost his job in the 1890s depression and wandered about NSW as a farm
hand. He went to New Zealand in 1907 and became involved with the union movement and Socialist Party. In the midst
of the Great Depression he became the leader of the Labour Party and the prime minister in 1935. Savage's government
introduced a social security system in 1938. He died of cancer in 1940 while still prime minister.
In 1840 a squatter named Charles Ryan built the Black Swan Inn (a slab building) near what is now the intersection of
Arundel St and Kent St. A post office opened there in 1844. 1847 saw the construction of a slab courthouse, a cottage
for the commissioner of crown lands and the first bridge. A new town survey was conducted the following year and the
settlement named 'Benalla' by superintendent Charles La Trobe. A small town developed along what is now Arundel St
with lots going on sale in Melbourne in 1849. By 1850 some residences, a blacksmith's, a general store and a boarding
house had been built on the other side of the river with the Benalla Hotel under construction at the corner of Bridge and
Nunn Sts. A new two-storey Black Swan Inn was also being built. Benalla National School opened in Arundel St in 1850.
In 1854 the first Methodist service was conducted and small farming lots went on sale on surrounding land. A resident
Anglican clergyman was appointed in 1855 and a telegraph station emerged in 1857. In 1858 a Catholic school and
chapel, a brewery, a flour mill and a new wooden courthouse were added. Goldmining commenced to the south-east
of town in 1860 but the field produced little. The Anglican Church was built that year and a Presbyterian church in 1861
when Benalla was proclaimed a town. In 1864 a brick courthouse was constructed and a Primitive Methodist Church
opened. The first bank branch appeared in 1866 and the Benalla Road was formed in 1868 - the year the first local
newspaper went into publication.
The township of Winton was surveyed in 1857 by Assistant Surveyor J. G. Wilmot. One theory says that Wilmont
named it after his birthplace in Westmoreland, England while another has it that it was named after George de
Winton. John GOODMAN, Patrick KELLY, A. M. HOLLOWAY and Richard HOSKIN were granted titles to half acre
lots in the township in 1857. John CAMERON, George CHANDLER, Richard HOSKIN, John GOODMAN and Timothy
DINEEN were granted titles to rural lands in the area.  Wilmont surveyed the first country lands in the Parish in
1858. No bids were offered at auction and all were bought afterwards. The town of Winton was proclaimed on 25
Winton dates back to 1857 but has slowly declined over the last fifty years. In a familiar pattern, the railway station
closed in 1959, the post office closed a year later and in 1987 the place was by-passed by the Hume Freeway. All
that is left of the town now are a few houses, a primary school, a County Fire Authority shed, a derelict roadhouse
and the cemetery. Winton is also bang in the middle of Ned Kelly territory and in 1878 reputedly played its part in the
creation of the Iron Man's legend. A police constable apparently got drunk in the Winton Grog House before allegedly
assaulting Ned's mother and sister, thus triggering gunshots and the Kelly gang's rampage across Victoria.
Here is a brief history of the rise and fall of Winton:
1853 George CHANDLER settles in Winton, and commences business as a storekeeper
1861 Township of Winton proclaimed
1864 Post Office opens. William MAGENNIS probable postmaster
1864 First hotel (known as the Commercial Hotel) opens. It was built by George CHANDLER on land owned by
1866 Bournebank Methodist Church opens
1869 First Winton Primary School SS 991 opened by Catholic Church. Eileen T MANNING appointed Head Teacher
1876 Winton School SS 1870 opens, head teacher Patrick FITZPATRICK
1877 Winton Railway station opens. Mrs Ellen GREENWOOD appointed first railway gatekeeper
1878 Constable FITZPATRICK stops at David LINDSAY's hotel with a slight flesh wound
1880s John McMONIGLE opens first Winton butcher shop
1880s Thomas GILDING first Winton bookmaker
1880s Maurice WILLIAMS opens licensed hotel, the Williams Hotel, corner of Huntly and High St
1890 Butter Factory opens, Robert WARNOCK first magager
1896 Winton Public Hall built by Fred HAMMOND
1900 Winton Woodmill opened and operated by Ernest ZIEBELL
1901 Church of Good Shepherd, Church of England opens
1911 First public telephone installed at the Railway Station
1917 Methodist Church destroyed by strong winds
1920 Williams Hotel burns down. Replaced by brick structure
1926 Church of Good Shepherd, Church of England closes
1939 Area suffers its worst floods since 1870
1952 Old Williams Hotel renovated and reopened by Chris BEAUMONT as 'Atlantic' café and service station
1959 Railway Station closes
1960 Winton Post Office closes. Valerie DUNCAN last postmaster
1987 Winton by-passed by Hume Freeway