is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, approximately 30 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district. Situated on the Dandenong Creek, it is at the foothill of the Dandenong Ranges and is the main administrative centre for the City of Greater Dandenong local government area. At the 2011 Census, central Dandenong had a population of 24,919..
It began as a township in 1852 and at the start of the 20th century was an important regional city with its own suburbs. During the mid-20th century it became a major metropolitan manufacturing and commercial area and conurbation of Greater Melbourne. A Business district, the former town centre, covers much of its area and is one of the largest in Greater Melbourne.
In 2014, Dandenong had an estimated population of 29,000 residents. This suburb features high levels of migrant settlement and cultural diversity. The 2011 Census found that 67% of Dandenong residents were born overseas, slightly higher than for Greater Dandenong and over twice the corresponding metropolitan proportion (33%). Among the 132 birthplaces of its residents were India, accounting for 11%, as well as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, China and Bosnia.
Dandenong CBD skyline (western edge) viewed from the railway station including the Australian Taxation Office tower (tallest office building on the left), "Municipal Hub" (white building) and State Government Offices.
The name is generally thought to be derived from the Woiwurrung word "Tanjenong" meaning "lofty mountains" possibly referring to the nearby Dandenong ranges.. Another popular theory is that the name comes from 'bad flour', or 'no good damper'. A local tale revolves around local aboriginals obtaining a bag of lime and mistakenly using it to make damper. An old local hotel was the 'No Good Damper Inn'..
A third version has the name Dandenong coming from 'a burning' and 'the past' reflecting bushfires on the Dandenongs
The post-war industrial boom brought an influx of European migrants, particularly from Italy and Greece. This caused the creation of several suburbs of Dandenong including the public housing estate of Doveton.
In the 1950s, Melbourne rapidly expanded south east along the Princes Highway and Dandenong railway line to Dandenong and beyond and it became major metropolitan manufacturing and commercial area as industry extended into the outer suburbs. By the late 1960s, it was officially a suburban area of Melbourne and central Dandenong was transformed by modern buildings, with the redevelopment of the post office to a two storey modern building in 1960 followed by a three storey office development for AMP in 1966 and Dandenong Railway Station in 1975.
Development in Dandenong had stagnated since the opening of the Dandenong Plaza shopping centre which resulted in the closure of many shops in the central business district. Under the Melbourne 2030 policy, Dandenong was classified as a major activity centre due to its central location with regard to its access to transport. These projects can be considered to be transit-oriented development, where population density is intended to be higher compared to other areas with poorer access to transport.
The Greater Dandenong city council has started a programme calledRevitalising Central Dandenong, with $290 million proposed to be spent on various projects such as infrastructure upgrades, improved street frontages and public art in order to improve the general amenity of the Dandenong CBD. In the longer term, the council wishes to transform Dandenong into a more pedestrian oriented and mixed-use centre. This contrasts with the current situation where the CBD area is primarily occupied by offices and carparking, with a small amount of retail.
Dandenong is situated at the foothill of the Dandenong Ranges on the Dandenong Creek, which flows to the south. The creek forms a green belt with several parks and reserves including Dandenong Park. The suburb is bounded by Heatherton Road to the north, Dandenong Creek and Claredon Road to the east, the Pakenham railway line to the south and Eastlink to the west.
Dandenong is primarily a private vehicle dependent community due to poorer public transport compared to suburbs closer to the CBD. It is served by theMonash Freeway as well as several other major arterial roads. Eastlink also passes near the suburb.
Dandenong railway station is approximately 50 minutes from Melbourne by train, and is situated adjacent to the CBD and is an interchange station for the Pakenham and Cranbournelines as well as regional trains on the Gippsland railway line. The state government has proposed triplication of the railway line to support a higher volume of trains for the growing population in and around Dandenong as well as other suburbs and towns along the line.
The station also serves as a transport hub for the bus network, with almost all bus routes in the area passing through Dandenong station and an interchange on Thomas Street in the CBD. Most buses in the area are operated by Ventura Bus Lines whose depot is located near the railway station.
Three state high schools – Lyndale Secondary College and two campuses of Dandenong High School (Dandenong and Cleeland) – and one Catholic high school (St John's Regional College), as well as numerous state and two Catholic primary schools, are located within the suburb's boundaries. Dandenong also contains Emerson School, a specialist school for those with mild intellectual disabilities from a catchment area extending as far north as Rowville.