Doveton, a suburb of Dandenong, is 32 km south-east of central Melbourne. It is immediately east of Dandenong Creek and north of the Princes Highway and administered by Casey City Council and, before then, by Berwick City Council. The area was originally part of the Eumemmerring pastoral run. This part became the Grassmere estate, which was subdivided into smaller holdings in the 1880s. A small farming community was served by a hotel and school. There was also a racecourse.
Doveton came into existence in the mid-1950s when the State Housing Commission purchased a large area of land to provide low cost housing for workers employed in the new factories near Dandenong. The early Commission housing was around the Autumn Place shopping centre. A lace factory had commenced operations on the Princes Highway in 1950. On the southern side of the highway, first International Harvester, then General Motors-Holden and then Heinz established large factories. These were followed by many smaller factories.
Doveton was named after F.C. Doveton, a Goldfields Commissioner and Police Magistrate, who had earlier lived in the area. By 1962, there were 1500 homes. At first, there were few community facilities, and there was a pressing need for schools. By 1969 there were seven schools:
|Doveton West primary||1959|
|Doveton high||1962 (temporary, 1960)|
|Doveton North primary||1964|
|Doveton North technical||1969|
The Doveton North technical school became part of Endeavour Hills when the Mulgrave Freeway divided it from Doveton in 1972, and the area south-east of Eumemmerring Creek (with its own school opened in 1977) became the suburb of Eumemmerring in 1981. Most of the schools had high enrolments within a few years of opening (Doveton West had over 1050 pupils in five years). In 2011 the State schools had been reduced to one, centred on the site where Doveton primary opened in 1956.
A Progress Association was formed in the early 1960s and by 1970, as shown by the Victorian municipal directory, Doveton had a swimming centre, a kindergarten, two infant welfare centres, a public hall and numerous factories in or nearby. These included Perkins Diesel, H.J. Heinz, GMH and International Harvester.
There are linear recreation spaces along the Dandenong and Eumemmerring Creeks, including six ovals for football (soccer) and other team sports, and the Dandenong Workers golf course.
Also along Dandenong Creek there is Myuna Farm (1982). Run as a working farm, it has animal nurseries, farm displays and vegetable gardens. Nearby is an extensive wetlands with boardwalks, containing some remnant red gums.
The centre spine (Power Road) of Doveton has the Autumn Place shops, library, public hall, community health centre, Catholic church and school, Linden Place shops and a community centre within close proximity.
An Australian Newtown by Lois Bryson and Faith Thompson (1972) is unmistakably about Doveton. (The map on page 20 tells all). Families struggled to make ends meet.
Doveton's census populations have been:
Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society, In the wake of the pack tracks: a history of the Shire of Berwick, now the City of Berwick and the Shire of Pakenham, 1982
From bullock tracks to bitumen: a brief history of the Shire of Berwick, 1962
M. Harding, Doveton: a brief history, 1993