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Suburb Snapshot: Mount Helen

By Merryn Farnsworth

Mount Helen is approximately 11.8 square kilometres in size and has two parks covering nearly 3.5 per cent of total area.

The population of Mount Helen in 2011 was 2718 people and by the 2016 Census it had grown to 2974, or by 9.4 per cent. 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.

In 1960 the Victorian Municipal Directory noted that Mount Helen was a grazing and residential district. Six years later educational authorities were searching for a site for expanded tertiary education facilities and a location one kilometre east of the residential area was chosen.

The Ballarat Institute of Advanced Education at Mount Helen opened in 1970 and became 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 bushfires.

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 and are likely to be repaying $1800 – $2399 per month on mortgage repayments, and in general, people in Mount Helen work in a professional occupation.

In 2011, 81.9 per cent of the homes in Mount Helen were owner-occupied compared with 76.3 per in 2016.

Source: Ballarat Times News Group

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