The Basin, Victoria

The Basin, Victoria

Infobox Australian Place | type = suburb
name = The Basin
city = Melbourne
state = vic

caption =
lga = City of Knox
postcode = 3154
pop = 4108 (2006)Census 2006 AUS | id = SSC21669 | name = The Basin (State Suburb) | accessdate = 2007-09-29 | quick = on]
area = 5.7
est =
propval = $278,000 [ [ The Basin] , accessed 27 November 2006]
stategov = Monbulk
fedgov = La Trobe
dist1 = 35
location1= Melbourne
near-nw = Kilsyth South
near-n = Kilsyth
near-ne = "Dandenong Ranges"
near-w = Boronia
near-e = "Dandenong Ranges"
near-sw = Sassafras
near-s = Tremont
near-se = Sassafras

The Basin is an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne, Australia, in the state of Victoria. It is in the Local Government Area of the City of Knox.


Traditional custodians

Prior to European settlement, The Basin and surrounding suburbs were often visited by aboriginals from the Westernport and Yarra Yarra tribes- hunting in the summer months in the Dandenong Ranges and its foothills. The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation are the acknowledged traditional custodians of the land on which The Basin and all of City of Knox is located (source: City of Knox publication).

Origin of the name

The Government Botanist Ferdinand von Mueller named the area The Basin about 1860 during a visit to the Dandenong Ranges because it is located in a 'basin' surrounded by hills. (source: Knox Historical Society) "The Basin" is shown on an 1868 survey plan, when settlers had taken licences or made freehold purchases of the land.

Early European Settlers

Significant early European settlers included the Chandler family. William Chandler was a market gardener who arrived in Victoria in 1854 and eventually settled in The Basin in 1873. He was the first in the area to crossbreed seeds and produce exceptional flowers and vegetables. William and Kate Chandler planted an acorn soon after they settled in The Basin - the English Oak still stands (source- historical marker). Two of William Chandler's sons established plant nurseries in the area and his grandson, Sir Gilbert Chandler was a horticulturalist and Ferntree Gully Shire President (1938-39) who later went on to be a member of State Parliament.

Notable settlers included J.J. Miller, book-maker and publisher of Miller's Racing Guide. In 1872, Miller acquired land at The Basin in 1872 and invested considerable time and money build up a stud farm for racing horses, at one stage owning over 1000 acres in The Basin. To encourage summer tourists to visit and see the stables, training facilities and horses, Miller ran a private coach service from Forest Road in The Basin to Bayswater Station. He also helped publicise the district with a gigantic fireworks display each Christmas. Miller was prominent in local affairs and was the first President of the new Shire of Ferntree Gully. In 1888, Miller was the first in the area to secure a wine licence at his home. Miller faced financial ruin in the 1890’s when the sweepstakes were declared illegal and he had to give up his property at The Basin. The home remains as a significant local historical building. []


Residents are represented in the Victorian Parliament (Legislative Assembly) by the member for the electorate of Monbulk and in the Federal Parliament (House of Representatives) by the member for the electorate of LaTrobe.


The Boronia and The Basin Community Newspaper (BBCN) is produced and distributed each month by local volunteers. It focuses on local stories and history, including feature articles on immigrants' stories and local businesses.

Parks and Gardens

The Basin forms one of Melbourne's "green wedges" and is nestled into the forest covered foothills of Mount Dandenong and the Dandenong Ranges National Park including the beautiful Doongalla Forest. This was formerly part of the Doongalla Estate purchased by Sir Matthew Davies in 1891. The residential development of the suburb includes bushy parks such as Wicks Reserve and some farmland.

A significant natural resource an operating farm that is owned and operated by the Salvation Army and includes a community church. The farm was purchased by the Salvation Army from David Dobson and others in 1897. In the same year a boys' home was established on the purchased land, in response to a government request for church groups to support boys who commit criminal offences. The home was originally named "The Eden". At its height, it provided for 110 boys (source: historical marker). The Salvation Army's site on Basin Olinda Road, The Basin is used for school camps, conferences and functions.

Another significant property, 'Como' is open each year as part of the Victorian Open Gardens scheme. This was formerly owned by the Chandler family.

Important buildings include the Progress Hall and Elderly Citizens Hall - both are adjacent to The Basin triangle (a children's park and open space).


Mountain Highway runs through The Basin to Sassafras. It is a challenging and popular cycling route for people in Melbourne. A local bus route (route 755) also travels through The Basin.


The suburb has two primary schools, both located on Mountain Highway.
* The Basin Primary school. The original school building is used today to house the administration offices of the school. []
* St Bernadette's Catholic Primary school. The school opened on Wednesday 2 February 1983. The land had been purchased many years earlier in anticipation of the need for a Catholic School. []

There are two pre-schools- The Basin Pre-school (Forest Road) and Goodwin Estate pre-school (Rome Beauty Avenue).


There are a small number of shops and restaurants amidst a village atmosphere. Retail outlets include a licensed post office, milk bar, liquor store, greengrocer, jeweller, butcher, cafes, bookstore, restaurants, hairdressing salons, fish and chips and children's wear.

Culture and Community

[ The Basin Theatre Group] is a vibrant local, amateur theatre group that has operated since the first gathering of friends by Edna Chandler in 1954. Early productions were first conducted in the Basin Progress Hall. In 1962 the group constructed an A-frame barn that became known as The Hut. Later in 1973, the group constructed a larger theatre on land donated by Edna and Fergus Chandler. The group conducts four productions per year that include a range of performances in all theatrical styles. The Basin Theatre Group’s mission is to provide a variety of theatrical productions that are high quality and affordable, and at times, extraordinary and inspiring. Details of productions and booking information can be found on [ The Basin Theatre Website] .

Local groups include the Country Fire Authority and The Basin First Scout Group.

The inaugural The Basin Music Festival was held in March 2005.

There are five religious based centres including the Romanian Seventh-day Adventist Church and convention centre, "Clevedon" camp and conference centre (Uniting Church), St Bernadette's Catholic Mass centre (part of the primary school) and Vinayagar Hindu Temple.

The Knox library has operated a mobile library service for The Basin since 1985. The mobile library stops outside the Basin Shops, twice per week. Its collection includes a good selection of audio, large print, children's and young adult books.


External links

* [ History of the Basin] - Updated Internet version of the book "The Basin 1868-1992: Fire on the Hill Flowers in the Valley" edited by Rick Coxhill.
* [ Australian Places - The Basin]

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