Girgarre is a rural township in northern Victoria, 12 km south-west of Kyabram. It is in the Goulburn Valley irrigation area, and was part of the Stanhope (irrigation) Estate.

Girgarre was the name of an outstation held by an early pastoralist in the area, Edward Curr. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word meaning sour.

The Stanhope Estate was subdivided for closer settlement farms in 1913, and in 1917 a railway line was opened connecting Girgarre to Rushworth. The following year a school was opened, and a timbermill was established at the railway station to handle timber cleared from farms. There was already a small butter factory (1915), and in 1919 it was acquired by the Kyabram Butter Factory.

Although only a small township, the butter factory branched into exotic cheese making in 1950. Girgarre cheeses included gorgonzola and romano, as well as standard cheddars. The factory was closed in 1979 when Nestle rationalised production at Tongala. The railway from Stanhope to Girgarre closed in 1975. A Heinz tomato processing factory closed in 2012, putting 146 employees out of work. Many producers ceased growing tomatoes and some turned to corn growing. The Girgarre development group secured a transfer of some land from the Heinz company for the community.

Girgarre has a recreation reserve with an oval and tennis courts, Progress Park, a church, a hall and a school (35 pupils, 2014). Its census populations have been:

Area census date population
Girgarre 1911 293
  1954 492
  1996 209
Girgarre and environs 2006 633
  2011 593

Further Reading

Jenny Wadelton (compiler), Girgarre Primary school No 3971, Girgarre Primary School 75th Anniversary Committee, 1993

Tongala Family History Group, The way we were: early days in Deakin Shire, 1995