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Suburb Snapshot: Mount Helen

By Sarah Wilson

The size of Mount Helen is approximately 11.8 square kilometres and has two parks covering nearly 3.5 per cent of total area. The population of Mount Helen in 2011 was 2,718 people and by the 2016 Census the population was 2,974 showing a population growth of 9.4 per cent in the area during that time.

Mount Helen is an outlying residential area south of Ballarat, very nearly attached to Buninyong. It was one of several places, including Mount Pleasant and Mount Clear, on the spur railway line (1889-1947) between Ballarat and Buninyong. The origin of the name is uncertain, but the Victorian municipal directory recorded Mount Helen as a flag station from 1910 until 1947. In 1960 the Directory noted that Mount Helen was a grazing and residential district, a sign of its early urban growth.

In 1966 educational authorities at Ballarat and the State education ministry were searching for a site for expanded tertiary education facilities and a location 1 km east of the residential area was chosen. The Ballarat Institute of Advanced Education at Mount Helen opened in 1970 becoming the University of Ballarat in 1994 and Federation University in 2014.Parts of the surrounding pine plantations were cleared in 2011 to make way for housing development and provide a buffer zone for bush fires.

CoreLogic data indicates that the predominant age group in Mount Helen is 20-29 years with households in Mount Helen being primarily couples with children.

Source: Ballarat Times News Group

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