The District of Wendouree takes in the north, southwest and west suburbs of Ballarat, including Wendouree, Alfredton, Delacombe, Redan, Ballarat North, Invermay, Black Hill and Brown Hill, as well as much of the CBD.
The word ‘Wendouree’ comes from the local language of the Wathaurong people who have lived and been custodians of this region for more than 25 000 years. Prior to colonisation, on the edge of Black Swamp, now known as Lake Wendouree, there was a camping ground. It is here, according to local folklore, that the word Wendouree was first heard by Europeans. Notably, it was not in the most welcoming of circumstances; the term ‘Wendouree’ means ‘go away’. When Scottish squatter William Yuille arrived at Black Swamp and asked a local Wathaurong woman, ‘What is the name of the swamp?’, her reply was clear: ‘Wendaaree’.
In 1851, when Ballarat was first surveyed, the name of Black Swamp was recorded as ‘Wendouree’ and the misunderstood word became the official name of our lake and the suburb to its north.
The District of Wendouree has strong ties to the labour movement, with Labor holding the seat of Wendouree, and prior to its name change and redistribution, the District of Ballarat West since 1999. This district has also seen three successive strong Labor Women fight for this community.
The late Karen Overington was first elected in 1999 as the Member for Ballarat West. Sharon Knight was elected as the Member for Ballarat West in 2010 and subsequently the member for the newly named seat of Wendouree in 2014 – 2018. Sharon held the portfolio of Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services from 2016 – 2018 in the Andrews Labor Government. Juliana Addison has represented the Wendouree District since 2018.