The Officer district was settled in 1846 by James Lecky and known as the Gin Gin Bin pastoral run. His homestead on the Cardinia Creek was known as Cardinia Park.
Officer is on the Princes Freeway and the Gippsland railway line, 49 km south-east of Melbourne and 7 km west of Pakenham. The railway station was originally known as Officer’s Wood Siding, named after the pastoralist Robert Officer. Vast amounts of timber were cleared from his land for firewood. During the 1880s clay bricks were made and the name was shortened to Officer around 1888. Orchards were planted. A post office was built in 1885 and Officer’s Siding State School 2742 opened in 1886.
While Pakenham underwent urban growth in the 1990s and 2000s, Officer continued as a highway village looking out on grazing lands. It had a public hall, a State primary school and a Uniting church in Tivendale Road. On the Princes Highway there were a fuel station, a recreation reserve, a general store and the roadside Berwick Potteries (1968) which made local clay products until 2001.
Officer’s eastern boundary, Cardinia Road, adjoins urban Pakenham. During the late 2000s housing estates began in Officer, moving westwards from Cardinia Road toward the village. Officer also became the preferred location for new school campuses. The first was Maranatha Christian School (2006) south of the railway line, then came Minaret Islamic Primary School (2009), Berwick Boys’ Grammar (2009), Heritage College (Seventh Day Adventist) (2009), Glenvale School (Exclusive Brethren), St Brigid’s Catholic primary school (2010) and St Francis Xavier Catholic secondary school (2012), all north of the village, plus sites for two State primary schools. Officer Secondary College and a new Catholic primary school opened in 2015. Officer’s land prices were apparently at the right setting for Berwick, Beaconsfield and Pakenham’s growing education needs.
A railway station on Cardinia Road was built in 2012, and sites on Cardinia Road were nominated for a shopping centre and a town centre, a short distance from the station. The Arena Shopping Centre opened in 2013. Private cars are clearly the nominated mode of transport. The Princes Freeway south of the village bypasses Pakenham, but will divide the future urban Officer.
Officer’s census populations have been: