History

The Northern Grampians Shire was formed in 1995 by the administrative amalgamation and bringing together of the townships of Stawell, St Arnaud, Great Western, Halls Gap, Navarre, Glenorchy, Stuart Mill and Marnoo.

Following the explorations of Major Thomas Mitchell in the late 1830s, the Northern Grampians district was first settled by sheep and cattle pioneers who discovered the region's premium pastoral land and grazing conditions. Soon after, the discovery of gold led to a rush of prospectors to the district and the townships of Stawell and St Arnaud fast became thriving communities.

Following this era of prosperity, Stawell and St Arnaud were forthcoming through a boom in agriculture, the West Woollen Mills and the Stawell Gold Mine which is now the largest producer of gold in Victoria.

The shire's townships were major transport exchanges and important centres to the development of the Wimmera district sheep run. Further development was achieved when small farmers diversified from the traditional wool and sheep industries into broad acre cropping and specialty farming. As farming activities intensified, local trade and commercial enterprises soon established and flourished.

Recognition and preservation of the natural, spiritual, cultural and built forms including heritage buildings, monuments and streetscapes are of major importance to the shire's heritage conservation policy.

Now, encompassing a rich and diverse land area and supporting a range of industry and commercial enterprises, Northern Grampians Shire affords its people a rich and colourful history and a vibrant future.