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Legendairy Stanhope Mural

The Legendairy Stanhope Mural located in Stanhope, Victoria is made of over 11,000 community photo submissions comprising images of the early days of Stanhope, local events, farming throughout the years, the evolution of the dairy industry and last but not least, the people who continue to shape Stanhope and the broader area into the vibrant dairy farming community it is today.


Dairy Farming

Australia’s dairy industry is one of the largest rural industries in the country with most of the dairy farms and dairy production concentrated in Northern Victoria.

With time, farmers and industry alike have succumbed to the waves of modernisation and adopted more efficient and profitable practises while facing many challenges set by competitors and nature. From the paddock to the table, farmers and industry continue to work together to ensure the livelihood of present and future generations.


The Future of the Industry

The future of agriculture lies in the hands of the next generation of young farmers who, from an early age, are gaining an understanding of the farming practices that have been generations in the making.

“A lot of the farmers are getting old, now it’s up to the young ones to take it on…”
– Leighton West, Fonterra Milk Supplier


Proud People, Proud Community

The success of Fonterra and prosperity of Stanhope rely on the community working together. The Legendairy Stanhope Mural is tangible evidence of these efforts. Community groups and individuals have shared their most precious memories to create an unprecedented collection of photographs that celebrate the people and their stories.


The Town with the Tastiest Reputation

Stanhope has long carried the moniker of ‘the town of the tastiest cheese’. The town earned this tasty reputation over thirty years ago when it was part of the Waranga Shire.

In 2015, the town was awarded the title of Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital to acknowledge its role as one of the nation’s most vibrant and resilient dairying communities.


McEwen Place (Stanhope War Memorial)

McEwen Place, right in the centre of town, is home to the Stanhope War Memorial and a bust in memory of Sir John McEwen, Stanhope’s most famous resident.

Erected in 1956, the Memorial latter commemorates the Stanhope Military and the names of local people who served their country.

McEwen was a Federal Politician and leader of the Country Party from 1958 to 1971. He was deputy to three Prime Ministers and also led the country himself for 23 days becoming Australia’s 18th Prime Minister.


A Crop of National Stars

Stanhope’s community spirit also takes pride in sports and recreational activities that continue to bring people together. This unique social environment has been the home of several residents that have represented Australia in sports along the years.

Netball: Beth Hancox had already won selection in the Victorian netball team for the Australian championship at the age of seventeen, becoming the youngest player in the State team.

Lawn Bowls: Mavis Meadowcroft won the World Championship triples title in Melbourne in 1985. She was a 14-time Stanhope club champion and won the open singles title in the Goulburn Valley 11 times.

Equestrian: Leonard Tennent had many horses including a wonderful horse called Goldfingers. Leonard was an amazing show jumper winning  multiple events at Royal Shows including the Invitation Stakes at Melbourne Show in 1972,  and the Victorian Show Jumping Championship in 1974. Leonard and Goldfingers were members of the Australian Show Jumping Team that toured New Zealand in 1975.


Water: the Heart of the Industry

Like most of Victoria’s north, Stanhope owes its early development to the massive irrigation schemes established during the 19th and 20th centuries.

As Stanhope does not receive high levels of rainfall, irrigation is critical in allowing the town to access the water needed to continue its success as a dairy town.


Local Flora & Fauna

Stanhope and the Shire of Campaspe are located amongst hectares of woodlands, natural wetlands and lakes such as the Murray River, Waranga Basin, Green Lake, Lake Cooper and the Wallenjoe Swamp. These vast areas of land are home to hundreds of species of birds, animals and vegetation that are part of the astounding landscapes and unique ecosystems of Northern Victoria.


Stanhope Museum

Managed and curated by Stanhope resident John Hancox, the Stanhope Museum holds a collection of eclectic items, from meteorites to tin cans from the 1920s. This precious collection also includes an assortment of items from the area that have witnessed the passing of time in Stanhope.

To book a guided tour contact:
John Hancox
T: 03 58 572 460
328 Mc Grath Rd., Stanhope 3623


A Legacy of Dairy and Agriculture

Many farmers in Stanhope continue to carry the family legacy of the first soldiers to settle in the area after WWI, who struggled to survive off the plots of land they were allotted before transforming them into vibrant dairy farms.

John Henry West was one of them. John and his wife Annie started farming in Stanhope in the 1920s. They had two children Jack and Jean. The farm is still operating with Jack’s son Leighton taking over and supplying milk to Fonterra.


History Driven by the People

The legacy of the dairy industry in Stanhope can be traced back to the workers and families that were employed in the factory throughout the years.

The old milk truck depicted in the mural was driven by many, including brothers Philip and Jim Burrows. The brothers worked at the factory until retirement.


The Early Days

In the early days, Stanhope developed as a soldier settlement district after Wold War I (1918) with returned soldier settlers taking up land allotted to them. It was soon known as ‘the soldier town’ due to the large number of soldier settlers in the area. Sir John McEwen is the most famous of them.


A Cooperative Start

The Stanhope dairy factory was built in 1921 and was first operated by the Stanhope and District Co-operative Dairy Company, depicted in the first photograph.

The factory was also ran by Ibis Milk Products (1971) and Bonlac Foods (1986) before Fonterra took control of operations in 2001.


Fonterra Factory Stanhope

Stanhope has faced many challenges throughout the years, including the fire at Fonterra’s cheese factory back in December 2014. The opening of the multi-million dollar rebuild and expansion of the cheese plant marked not only the return of full production to the site, but the future security and prosperity of Northern Victoria’s dairy community. Farmers, employees, consumers and the support of each member of the local community have made this project and the rebuild become a reality.


Feeling Cheesy?

Fonterra Stanhope’s state-of-the-art facility is able to produce more than 45,000 tonnes of soft and hard cheeses each year including ricotta, parmesan, cheddar, gouda and mozzarella.

Follow the link below to discover some easy and delicious cheesy recipes and meal ideas that will help make your kitchen LEGENDAIRY!

Plan Your Visit to the Legendairy Stanhope Mural

Located at Fonterra’s new cheese factory in Stanhope, you can view the Legendairy Stanhope Mural along Midland Highway in Northern Victoria.

Visitors can also grab a coffee at one some of the local cafés while enjoying the temporary art installations at the Stanhope Art Precinct at the western end of Brudenell Street located just a minutes walk from the mural.

Website Information

Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd would like to extend its gratitude to the people of Stanhope, the dairy community, our employees and the broader public for participating in this project.  We started out with a big idea for the Stanhope cheese factory and the collaboration of many individuals has delivered a unique and long-lasting impression that we hope the community can be proud to call their own.

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