Highett 3190Highett is a mainly residential suburb 16 km. south-east of Melbourne between Moorabbin and Cheltenham. The name comes from Highetts road, the name of the railway station which was built when the line from Caulfield to Mordialloc was opened in 1881. Highetts Road is believed to have been named either after John Highett, a grazier and/or drover (1836) or William Highett, parliamentarian and local land owner (1850s).
Notwithstanding the presence of a railway station Highett remained an agricultural district with a small township for longer than its neighbours. In 1932 when Highett's population was approaching one thousand, there was a strip shopping centre near the railway station comprising about a dozen shops. Throughout Highett the most common retail businesses were wood yards and produce merchants. There were also an Anglican church (c.1928), a recreation reserve and a hall (1926). During the second world war there was a section of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Highett, and in 1952 the Highett Gas Works was the scene of a spectacular explosion.
Highett's most substantial residential growth began in the 1950s. Industry was attracted to the area, including a large CSIRO complex. A primary school was opened in 1953 and a high school in 1956. The strip shopping centre near the railway line expanded, and remains active.
Highett has three substantial recreational spaces, the largest in the east having three ovals and a swimming pool. Another is on part of the former gas works site.
The median house price in Highett in 1987 was 3% below the median for metropolitan Melbourne and in 1996 it was 6% above the metropolitan median.
Highett had census populations of 169 (1911) and 924 (1933).
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