Budgeree is a rural locality in eastern Victoria, 20 km south of Morwell. The name is thought to have been derived from an Aboriginal word meaning good or a good place.

Situated in hilly country, Budgeree was first settled for farming purposes in 1879. The area was suited to mixed farming, particularly dairying, and by the 1890s four local creameries were supplying a dairy factory at Yinnar. Schools were opened at Budgeree and at Budgeree East in 1888. A hotel was opened in about 1900, followed by an Anglican church (1904) and a hall (1910).

During the 1920s it became increasingly apparent that some of the hill farms were uneconomic. Some owners held on, others abandoned their holdings. The hotel and the church, burnt down in 1943 and 1944, were not replaced. Only the natural fertility and dependable rainfall of the hill farms kept the owners on the land, and it was not until after World War II that farm amalgamations occurred in great numbers. The hall and the school were the foci of the community until 1992 when Budgeree’s school was one of many rural schools that was closed. Three halls remain along Prosper Valley Road, Budgeree.

Budgeree’s census populations have been:

census date population
1911 296
1933 280
1961 84
2006 117
2011 348*

*2011 census area vastly different from 2006.

Further Reading

Stephen M. Legg, Heart of the valley: a history of the Morwell municipality, Morwell, 1992

Budgeree ‘A good place’, 1887-1987, Budgeree centenary committee, 1987