Corio 3214

Corio is a residential and industrial suburb in the Geelong region, 9 km. north of Geelong and 56 km. south-west of Melbourne. It adjoins Corio Bay, which is on the western side of Port Phillip Bay. It is thought that the bay was named after an Aboriginal word meaning "sandy cliffs"(of the bay) or "small marsupial".

Corio as a place has extended from North Shore, where the Corio Quay is formed around the outlet of Cowies Creek, to north-eastwards around Corio Bay to Avalon.

In 1851-2 subdivided land was sold at Cowies Creek, in anticipation of a town forming around a future port at the mouth of the creek. A township with two hotels, a common school and a post office, and a scattered population of about 500 persons, emerged by the mid 1860s. The name Cowie was given to a railway station, since renamed Corio, three kilometres north. When the Geelong Grammar School moved to its new buildings in 1914, further around Corio Bay, Cowie and Corio were at first interchangeable. By the mid 1920s Corio had displaced Cowie as a name, and the area around Cowies Creek became North Shore.

The industrialisation of Corio Bay began at the turn of the century around the mouth of Cowies Creek. As Geelong North and North Shore land was occupied, land at Corio was taken in the postwar years. The largest development was the Shell Oil refinery (1956). During the late 1950s the Housing Commission built the first of its Corio estates. Within about twenty years the Commission built five estate comprising 2,500 houses at Corio.

The Cowies Creek/Corio primary school closed in 1948 because of lack of pupils, but re-opened two years later as Corio school. It is on the Victorian Heritage Register. A technical school opened in 1960 and three more primary schools opened between 1960 and the 1970s as the Commission's housing estates were built. The Corio Village shopping centre (1973) has a discount department store, two supermarkets and over ninety other shops. There are five large reserves with sports facilities, Beckley Park having greyhound and harness racing facilities.

A sixth reserve is the Shell Employees Recreation reserve, a testament to the importance of the Shell Oil Refinery, which dominate the coastal skyline.

Corio has had census populations of 95 (1911) and 857, of whom 673 persons were at Geelong Grammar School (1947).

In 1987 and 1996 the median house prices in Corio were $56,000 and $66,000 respectively.

At the north-west of the Corio suburb there is the Rosewall primary school and locality of the same name.


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