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Welcome to the Jillong Pocket!

Based in the city of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, this community magazine examines the history of Geelong - its people, places and events. But it does even more. The Jillong Pocket offers practical advice on issues affecting Geelong residents, encouraging a healthier lifestyle and more settled family life. Other articles are added that highlight the diverse interests of locals, including stories on entertainment, animals, science and anything Australian. Puzzles and recipes ensure that there is something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Since being established as a town in 1838 Geelong has now grown to a city with a population of about 200,000. For over the past 170 years there have been many highs and lows, events to celebrate, and shocking true stories that many wish were buried. Family ties were much stronger in the past, but nearly all were ravaged by diseases considered uncommon today. Wealth came in the form of Victoria's gold rush in 1851, which provided the basis for prosperity, education and free thought, which led to invention and innovation in industry. Religious influence also played a huge role in the general community.

As you read the pages of the Jillong Pocket, the generations of early Geelong settlers will introduce themselves to you - their struggle, courage, humour, hard work, and community spirit. We hope you enjoy reading the magazine as much as we did researching the stories and bringing them to life.

Where Did Jillong Get Its Name?

A number of our readers have drawn attention to the way we have spelt our city’s name - Jillong. Is this further evidence that the younger generation can’t spell? Has “spell-checker” on the staff’s computer gone haywire? Thankfully no! Let us take the opportunity to explain why we have chosen to use this spelling instead of “Geelong.”

The purpose for publishing the Jillong Pocket is to highlight the many amazing things associated with our wonderful city, and at the same time, inform the residents of Geelong as to where it all came from in short, Geelong’s history.

Early explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell first came to the Geelong region after a 2 month overland trek from Sydney, They met local aboriginals on December 17, 1824. They found these earliest residents of the area friendly and helpful. The Wathaurong tribe had names for all the local landmarks. They called the bay “Jillong” and the land area around it “Corayo.” However, in his journal Hamilton Hume names the land and cliffs “Jillong” getting the meanings of the two words crossed.

The settlement with the name and spelling “Geelong” was only given to the area by Governor Bourke in 1837 when he visited Port Phillip. At the same time he also formerly named Melbourne and Williamstown.

We hope that when you read the name Jillong you take the time to reflect on the hardship, sacrifices and ingenuity that has built the city that we see today.

(An extract of the journal kept by Hamilton Hume can be found in The Argus newspaper Monday 4 July, 1831 p.3. See the website http://newspapers.nla.gov.au)

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