Mardan and Mardan South

Mardan is a rural locality in the Strzelecki Ranges, west Gippsland, 7 km south of Mirboo North. Mardan South is 5 km to its south-west. According to Bunce's Language of the Aborigines of the Colony of Victoria (1859) it means to bewail, bemoan or sadness.

Farm selections were taken up in the Mardan district in the 1880s: whilst the landscape is hilly, it is less precipitous than the ranges adjoining it. Schools were opened: Mardan (1884-1993), Mardan West (1890-92) and Mardan South (1892).

Several of the settlers were of Scots heritage and a Presbyterian church opened in 1890. The district’s enduring community facility, the hall, opened at Mardan South in 1912 and celebrated its centenary in 2012.

In the early 1900s rabbits were observed in the district. By the outbreak of World War I, they were in plague proportions. A Mardan rabbit league tried to poison and otherwise cull the animals, but the absence of men who enlisted to fight frustrated the league. Some farms reverted to bush.

The farms that survived ran dairy herds and other grazing. Somewhat surprisingly a brick Anglican church was built in 1934.

Mardan South has a hall and tennis courts (1951), both known as Mardan.

Mardan district’s census populations have been:

census date population
1911 449
1921 239
1933 288
1947 323
1961 318