Ouyen /ˈoʊjən/2 is a town in Victoria, Australia, located in the Rural City of Mildura at the junction of the Calder Highway and Mallee Highway, 105 kilometres 65 mi3 south of Mildura and 441 km 274 mi4 north-west of Melbourne At the 2006 census the town had a population of 1,0611
- 1 History
- 2 Present
- 3 Culture
- 4 Climate
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The area was first occupied by the Wergaia Aborigines The name is believed to be derived from the Wergaia word "wuya-wuya", which some believe means "pink-eared duck", whilst others claim it means "ghost waterhole"5
The town was established around the Ouyen railway station, built in 1906 on the Mildura Line The Post Office opened on 22 October 19076 It is also the junction for a railway line west parallel to the Mallee Highway This line is in poor condition and used only for collecting grain from silos in small towns between Ouyen and the South Australian border, as the Victorian part is broad gauge, but the line from Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend has been converted to standard gauge, with no facility for handling the break of gauge The line was used for interstate freight and The Overlandcitation needed as a broad gauge connection while the main Melbourne to Adelaide line through Bordertown was being converted from broad to standard gauge in 1995
Property became available for purchase in 1910, and much of it was cleared for sheep grazing, and crops of wheat and oats
Ouyen is the commercial,cultural and transport centre for the surrounding grain farming region Trucks arrive at harvest time to transport grain to Portland or Adelaide, South Australia for shipping, or to flour mills for processing
Ouyen has an Australian rules football team, Ouyen United, competing in the Mallee Football League
Golfers play at the Ouyen Golf Club on Daker Street7 The clubhouse also houses the Ouyen Tennis Club
The area includes a number of previous localities which existed when the population was larger: on the Mallee Highway, Galah about 15 kilometres 93 mi to the west which had a post office open from 1911 when the railway arrived until 1976, Galah North34°59′S 142°10′E / 34983°S 142167°E / -34983; 142167 Galah North with a post office from 1925 until 1927 and Tiega 35°05′S 142°13′E / 35083°S 142217°E / -35083; 142217 Tiega with a post office from 1911 until 1961; to the south-west Timberoo and Timberoo South with a post office from 1913 until 1933; in the north Wymlet with a post office from 1912 until 1963, Trinita with a post office from 1925 until 1936, Kiamal with a post office from 1917 until 1980 and Cramerton with a post office from 1924 until 1969; and in the south Boulka with a post office in 1921, Bronzewing with a post office from 1921 until 1967, Nunga with a post office from 1914 until 1967, Gypsum Siding with a post office from 1922 until 1940, Boorongie and Boorongie North6
The Area has be termed the Byron Bay of the Country due to the large Art, Music and Cultural Scene
The Town has a population of 45,481 as of the last Census
Since 1998, the Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph has been held in Ouyen8 Judging criteria include "when tasted, should reveal a custard with a creamy smooth texture and a balance of vanilla taste with a crisp, crunchy pastry topped with a smooth and shiny glaze/fondant"9
The town also hosts an Autumn Art Show in April and the Mallee Wildflower Festival in October It was the location for the 2003 Ouyen Raindance where 500 women danced naked in a secret location in an attempt to raise the spirits of the town suffering from a prolonged drought10
The Roxy Theatre, in the main street, Oke Street, was built in 1936 and owned by Hugh Ingwersen, a local business man The theatre is a historically significant building being one of six of its kind left in Australia being of a tropical style high ceilings and shutters which open along both sides to allow for airflow It closed in 1971 After a major community project the Roxy re-opened in 2007 with a gala opening featuring Bill Hunter and Neil Paine as the guest speakers and 150 guests Volunteers run the theatre on behalf of the community11
The town is the site of the Big Mallee Root, symbolizing the time when the roots of Eucalyptus dumosa were a mainstay of the economy of soldier settlers of the area, being collected for sale as firewood
Ouyen has a reunion of past and present residents on the second Sunday of February each year at Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne A special anniversary on Sunday, February 9, 2014 marked the 50th gathering at the venue The town has big art scenes with sculptures, modern and contemporary artworks appearing in the gallery and around the town
Australian folk rock band, Weddings Parties Anything, name-checks Ouyen in their 1987 song, "Hungry Years", from their debut album, Scorn of the Women "Hungry Years" describes itinerant fruit pickers travelling via train up to Mildura12
Ouyen has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cool winters There is a wetter tendency in winter and early spring, which have the most precipitation days
|Climate data for Ouyen|
|Record high °C °F||466
|Average high °C °F||323
|Average low °C °F||154
|Record low °C °F||60
|Average precipitation mm inches||211
|Average precipitation days||30||32||33||44||72||87||98||98||79||70||52||40||735|
- ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics 25 October 2007 "Ouyen Urban Centre/Locality" 2006 Census QuickStats Retrieved 31 January 2011
- ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition 2005 Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- ^ "Driving directions to Mildura VIC" Google Maps Australia Google Retrieved 31 January 2011
- ^ "Driving directions to Melbourne VIC" Google Maps Australia Google Retrieved 31 January 2011
- ^ "Ouyen" Sydney Morning Herald 2004-02-08 Retrieved 2007-01-06
- ^ a b Premier Postal History "Post Office List" Retrieved 2008-04-11
- ^ Golf Select "Ouyen" Retrieved 2009-05-11
- ^ "Premier announces "The Great Vanilla Slice Triumph"" Press release Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett 19 July 1998 Retrieved 2007-01-06
- ^ "Travel news - The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph" ninemsn 2006-07-20 Retrieved 2007-01-06
- ^ Amy Bainbridge 3 March 2003 "OUYEN RAIN DANCE nrn" SA Country Hour Summary ABC Rural
- ^ "Ouyen's Roxy Theatre"
- ^ "Weddings Parties Anything – "Hungry Years" tab" Guitartab 1987 Retrieved 11 January 2012
- ^ "Climate statistics for" Bureau of Meteorology Retrieved 20 January 2014
Media related to Ouyen, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons
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