Skipton, once the nexus of the Merino industry in western Victoria, has been home to Victorian Premier, a Hollywood screen actress and Australian test cricketer Alan Connolly.

Story By Julie Bennett

Last year Skipton celebrated its 175th birthday. With a mighty voluntary effort that is typical of the town, it was awarded an Australia Day Community Events Award for a year-long program that included a ‘walk with the sheep’ across the town’s livestock bridge, and the unveiling of a bust of Sir Henry Bolte. Bolte, a former resident, was the longest-serving Premier of Victoria, from 1955 to 1972.
Skipton, or ‘sheep town’, was named after a town in Yorkshire, England, because it was a central point for the major sheep stations of the district. Situated 50 kilometres west of Ballarat, it was first established in 1839 as a pastoral run on the banks of Mt Emu Creek. Its first building was a shepherds’ hut, and by 1861 it had 121 people in 27 dwellings. Today the town has approximately 480 residents.

This Story is from Issue #104

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2016