is a city located on the floodplain of the Goulburn River in the north east of Victoria, Australia, approximately 181 kilometres (112 mi) north-east of Melbourne. According to the 2011 Census, the population of the locality was 29,553, while the population of the entire Shepparton-Mooroopna urban centre was 42,741.
It began as a sheep station and river crossing before undergoing a major transformation as a railway town. Today it is an agricultural and manufacturing centre and the centre of the Goulburn Valley irrigation system, one of the largest centres of irrigation in Australia. It is a major regional service city and is the seat of local government and civic administration centre for the City of Greater Shepparton. The Greater Shepparton urban area includes surrounding centers of Tatura,Merrigum, Mooroopna, Murchison, Dookie, Toolamba and Grahamvale.
Shepparton city skyline, communications tower and "Mooving Art" display from Monash Park
Prior to the European settlement of Australia, it was thought to be inhabited by the Yorta Yorta Indigenous Australian tribe. The Yorta Yorta people are the Indigenous Australians who traditionally lived around the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers in present-day northeast Victoria.
Yorta Yorta Family Groups include the Bangerang, Kailtheban, Wollithiga, Moira, Ulupna, Kwat Kwat, Yalaba Yalaba and Nguaria-iiliam-wurrung clans. The Yorta Yorta Nation is the Nation and the local tribe is Kailtheban for the Shepparton area. The language is referred to generally as the Yorta Yorta language.
Major Thomas Mitchell was the first European to travel through the area in 1835. Mitchell recommended it as a site for Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney to camp at the Goulburn River en route from Albury, New South Wales to Adelaide, South Australia.
During the Victorian railway boom, the railways expanded and by the turn of the century Shepparton was central to a large network of regional branch lines including the Toolamba-Echuca, lines to Cobram, Nathalia, Dookie, Picola and Katamatite Rail served industries helped the Shepparton grow into a city. While these lines experienced a brief boom, almost all of them were later closed. The Goulburn River also developed as a secondary transport hub, with paddlesteamers and ferries operating at The Barges.
Shepparton was proclaimed a city in March 1949 and in the post war era the city's population virtually tripled with immigration to the city being a major factor of growth, particularly migrants from Italy. During the post war boom of the 1960s and 1970s successive local councils began a progress campaign to modernise the city and many older buildings were replaced with newer buildings.
Shepparton's main industries are agriculture and associated manufacturing. Australia's largest processor of canned fruits, SPC Ardmona, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola Amatil, has production facilities in Shepparton and nearby Kyabram. Seasonal fruits, such as peaches, pears and apricots are preserved into a variety of packaging. The Manufacturing industry has evolved to cater for the needs of local primary producers.Other major manufacturers in the city include Campbells Soup Company, United Dairy Power, and Pental Products.J Furphy & Sons is also a large employer, with around 130 staff, including 10 apprentices.
Shepparton has Victoria's second largest Aboriginal community after Melbourne, making up approximately 10% of the city's population. The concentration of Indigenous Australians is the largest of any Victorian city and is 4 times the national average (2.5%). Shepparton has a large immigrant community, with people from places such as India, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Greece, Italy, Sudan and Macedonia as well as many other places.
The major faith in Shepparton is Christianity. In the 2011 Census The most common responses for religion in Shepparton were Catholic 27.2%, No Religion 19.4%, Anglican 13.2%, Islam 8.2% and Uniting Church 7.1%. In the Shepparton district, figures were slightly different. The most common responses for religion in the area were Catholic 27.7%, No Religion 20.2%, Anglican 14.7%, Uniting Church 8.4% and Islam 4.9%.
Shepparton has numerous primary schools, such as state schools Bourchier Street Primary School, Gowrie Street Primary School, Guthrie Street Primary School, St Georges Road Primary School, Grahamvale Primary School, Kialla West Primary School, Kialla Primary School, Wilmot Road Primary School, Shepparton East Primary School, and Orrvale Primary School. Catholic primary schools include St. Brendan's, St. Mel's and St. Lukes. It also has a school catering for students with disabilities, called Verney Road School.
There are six secondary schools in the Shepparton Region, Mooroopna Secondary College, McGuire College, Shepparton High School and Wanganui Park Secondary College, as well as the Catholic Notre Dame College, and the private Goulburn Valley Grammar School.
The University of Melbourne's School of Rural Health and Rural Clinical School of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences are also based in Shepparton.
La Trobe University also has a campus offering a range of degree programs including Arts, Business/Commerce, Nursing/Health Sciences, and Education. Approximately 400 students attend the university which provides day, evening, part-time, and full-time study options.
Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE has two campuses, one in Fryers Street which hosts the organisation's administration department as well as many teaching departments, and the William Orr Campus, a 120 hectare property in Wanganui Road.