Merredin, Western Australia


The agricultural land around Merredin produces 40% of Western Australia’s wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 quota. As a focal point for the region, Merredin’s local bulk handling co-operative receives and processes in excess of a million tonnes of grain every year. The silos at the train facilities to the west of the main town are the biggest of their type in the southern hemisphere.

One of the biggest problems to face the agricultural industry in Merredin is salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

. Extensive damage to buildings and roads is caused by rising saline groundwater. A recent study showed that the main source of this water is Merredin townsite itself. Roads, footpaths, buildings and open space have replaced native vegetation adapted to use up every drop of rain. Since the problem arose in the early 1970s, farmers and townspeople have been participating in a number of programs to improve the soil conditions, with some limited success.

Merredin aerodrome is leased under a 100-year lease arrangement by China Southern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
China Southern Airlines is an airline headquartered in Baiyun District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China. It is the world's sixth-largest airline measured by passengers carried, and Asia's largest airline in terms of both fleet size and passengers carried...

 and is used as a pilot training facility by the China Southern West Australian Flying College, who also operate from Jandakot Airport
Jandakot Airport
Jandakot Airport is an Australian general aviation airport located in Jandakot, Western Australia. Jandakot airport opened in 1963. From 1 July 1998, Jandakot Airport Holdings purchased a 50-year lease with a 49-year option to operate and maintain the airport including its conservation...

 in Perth. Locals can tell that the airport was leased for the sum of one Australian Dollar
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

 with the state government banking that investment would follow.
The partnership in the years since has been successful. Upgraded facilities include bitumen runways, a control tower, fire control equipment, hangars, classrooms, and housing. Although the aerodrome is leased by China Southern Airlines, the RFDS
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is an emergency and primary health care service for those living in rural, remote and regional areas of Australia...

 and private users still have access.

Merredin serves as the middle stop of the Prospector
Transwa Prospector
The Transwa Prospector is a standard-gauge passenger train operated by Transwa that runs between Perth, Western Australia, and the Goldfields town of Kalgoorlie.-History:...

 train. At Merredin, the train stops for a scheduled 10 minutes, giving passengers a chance to stretch their legs. There, the train stewards disembark and serve the Prospector going back to Perth, so they never go any farther. The same is true for Kalgoorlie stewards, who disembark and get onto the Kalgoorlie train. It is also the terminus for the Avonlink
Transwa Avonlink
The AvonLink is a standard gauge passenger train operated by Transwa that operates between Perth, Western Australia and the Avon Valley. It provides one service in each direction every weekday, to and from the regional town of Northam, and since 2004, has provided three extended services a week to...

 rural train service.

Things to see

  • Merredin Railway Water Tower
  • Merredin Railway Museum
  • Merredin Military Museum
  • C.B.H. Grain Transfer Terminal
  • Merredin Aerodrome
  • Cummins Theatre
  • Hunt's Dam
  • Mosaics
  • Mangowine Homestead
  • Totagin Rock
  • The Quarry
  • Merredin Rock
  • Railway Dam and Heritage Trail
  • Merredin Railway Institute Hall

Notable people

The following people were either born or raised in Merredin and have gone on to achieve successful careers in a wide range of areas.
  • Tully Bevilaqua
    Tully Bevilaqua
    Tully Louise Bevilaqua is an Australian professional women's basketball player. She currently plays for the San Antonio Silver Stars in the WNBA and the West Coast Waves in Australia's WNBL....

     née Crook - women's basketball player for Indiana Fever
    Indiana Fever
    The Indiana Fever is a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded before the 2000 season began...

     in the USA and in Australia, Canberra Capitals
    Canberra Capitals
    The Canberra TransACT Capitals are an Australian Women's Basketball League team based in Canberra, Australia. TransACT Communications is the current naming rights sponsor for the Canberra Capitals...

  • David M. Churchill - Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Government Botanist of Victoria 1971–85
  • Hon Hendy Cowan
    Hendy Cowan
    Hendy John Cowan is a former Australian politician who served in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly as the Member for Merredin-Yilgarn from 30 March 1974 and the Member for Merredin from 19 February 1977...

     - former leader of the National party and Member for Merredin
  • Dr Geoffrey Gibbs - actor, former head of the WA Academy of Performing Arts, currently Chairman of Trustees for the International Foundation for Arts and Culture
  • Robert Juniper
    Robert Juniper
    Robert Litchfield Juniper AM is a Western Australian artist who has also been an illustrator, art teacher, sculptor and printmaker.-Early life:He was born in the wheat-belt town of Merredin, Western Australia....

     - one of Australia's most prominent landscape artists, recently declared a Living Legend by the Australia government
  • Rick Hart
    Rick Hart
    Rick Hart is a Western Australian businessman and former president of the Fremantle Football Club.Hart commenced retail trading in electrical appliances in 1975 and in 1979 he first used his name as part of the company's name...

      - businessman and public speaker, former President of Fremantle Football Club
  • Allan Langoulant  - illustrator
  • Don Randall
    Don Randall
    Donald James Randall , Australian politician, is a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives. He represented the Division of Swan, Western Australia, 1996–98, and has represented the Division of Canning, Western Australia, since November 2001. He was born in Merredin, Western...

     - Australian Liberal party politician, currently the Member for Canning
    Division of Canning
    The Division of Canning is an Australian Electoral Division in Western Australia. The division was created in 1949 and is named for Alfred Canning, the Western Australian government surveyor who surveyed the Canning Stock Route...

  • Nelly Thomas
    Nelly Thomas
    Nelly Thomas is a comedian from Western Australia, now living in Melbourne, Australia. She won the Triple J Raw Comedy competition in 2003 alongside Stephen Sheehan...

      - winner of National Raw Comedy Competition in 2003
  • Nicole Trunfio
    Nicole Trunfio
    Nicole Trunfio is an Australian model from Merredin, a small country town in Western Australia.-Personal life:Trunfio is the youngest girl in a family of four children. She attended St. Mary's Primary School in Merredin...

     - won the Australian Search for a Supermodel
    Search for a Supermodel
    Search for a Supermodel was a reality television series on Network Ten in Australia that aired from 2000 to 2002 where regional finalists competed for a contract with Ford Models. The winner of each series went on to compete in the international version of the show...

    series in 2003, then came third in the international version of the series. Now one of the most highly sought after models in the world.
  • Arthur Upfield
    Arthur Upfield
    Arthur William Upfield was an Australian writer, best known for his works of detective fiction featuring Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte of the Queensland Police Force, a half-caste Aborigine....

     - author of Boney series; worked at Burracoppin
    Burracoppin, Western Australia
    Burracoppin is a townsite on the Great Eastern Highway, east of Merredin in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.The town was gazetted in 1891. It takes its name from Burracoppin Rock, a nearby granite rock, the name of which was first recorded in 1864 as Burancooping Rock. It was also shown...

  • John Whistler - award-winning journalist
  • Jack Rutherford - first Western Australian cricketer to win a Test cap for Australia
  • Laurie Mayne - former Test cricket
  • Bill Walker OAM - football legend in the WAFL. Winner of four Sandover Medal
    Sandover Medal
    The Sandover Medal is an Australian rules football award, given annually since 1921 to the fairest and best player in the West Australian Football League...

    s. Grew up in the neighbouring town of Narembeen
    Narembeen, Western Australia
    Narembeen is a town in the Western Australia wheatbelt. It is 286 km, almost due east, from Perth, the capital of WA. It is the major settlement in the Shire of Narembeen, in which the major industries are growing cereal crops and raising cattle and sheep....

    . A former student of Merredin Senior High School
    Merredin Senior High School
    Merredin Senior High School is a comprehensive public high school located in Merredin, a regional centre east of Perth, Western Australia.The school was established in 1957 and by 2009 had an enrolment of 302 students between Year 8 and Year 12, 27 of whom were Aboriginal.In 2004 the school was...

  • Captain Brett Dowsing - commanding officer of naval base HMAS Stirling
    HMAS Stirling
    HMAS Stirling is the Royal Australian Navy's primary base on the west coast of Australia. It is located on Garden Island in the state of Western Australia, near the city of Perth...

  • Archie Duda - former East Perth
    East Perth Football Club
    The East Perth Football Club, nicknamed the Royals, is an Australian rules football club that is a member of the West Australian Football League...

     full forward
  • Margaret Mills - famed international botanist
  • Tony Crook
    Tony Crook (politician)
    Anthony John "Tony" Crook is an Australian politician. He has been the member of the Australian House of Representatives seat of O'Connor for the National Party of Western Australia since the 2010 federal election...

     - National Party politician and member for O'Connor
    Division of O'Connor
    The Division of O'Connor is an Australian Electoral Division in the state of Western Australia. It is one of Western Australia's three rural seats....

    , RFDS
    Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
    The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is an emergency and primary health care service for those living in rural, remote and regional areas of Australia...

     executive officer
  • Imre Mencshelyi - Former CBH
    Co-operative Bulk Handling
    Co-operative Bulk Handling or Co-operative Bulk Group, commonly known as CBH, is a Western Australian based cooperative company that operates grain receival points and also markets grain...

  • Ken McAullay - former WA and East Perth
    East Perth Football Club
    The East Perth Football Club, nicknamed the Royals, is an Australian rules football club that is a member of the West Australian Football League...

     full back and WA Sheffield Shield cricketer
  • Jeff Garlett
    Jeff Garlett
    Jefferey "Jeff" Garlett is an Indigenous Australian rules footballer at the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League. He is the first cousin of Coleman Medallist Lance Franklin from Hawthorn.-Early football:...

     - former Swan Districts
    Swan Districts Football Club
    The Swan Districts Football Club, nicknamed the Swans, is an Australian rules football club playing in the West Australian Football League . The club is based at Bassendean Oval, in Bassendean, an eastern suburb of Perth, Western Australia...

     and now Carlton
    Carlton Football Club
    The Carlton Football Club is a professional Australian rules football club based in Melbourne, Victoria. The club competes in the Australian Football League, and was one of the eight founding members of that competition in 1897...

  • Len Roper - former West Perth Football Club president
  • Robin Pascoe - drama lecturer, playwright, best known for award-winning works including "My Life as a Prima Donna"
  • Clark Kickett - prominent gay rights activist
  • Peter McKay - respected national motoring journalist
  • John Nicoletti - WA's biggest grain grower

•Craig Phillips - Award winning furniture designer

External links

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