is a photo of the original metal Shire of Omeo Coat of Arms
which used to adorn the shire offices in Omeo.
It is now on display at the Omeo Historic Park
The shire was established in 1872 and ended in 1994 with the Victorian governments amalgamation of shires. The Omeo Shire
was one of the two largest in Victoria and, with the creation of
East Gippsland Shire, is now a part of the largest.
The Coat of Arms represents the principal driving
industries that built the Omeo Shire.
Top left: "Cradle" a device for sluicing water through gold
bearing gravels, the vertical handle visible at the rear is for
rocking the device from side to side to help the material separate, hence "rocking cradle". Gold was "officially" discovered in 1851
but had been known of for a few years prior.
Top right: Sheep, In 1835, Livingstone, McFarlane, McAllister
and Pendergast began grazing near what is today Benambra.
While the others moved farther south, Pendergast remained
and established Omeo Station. The family is generally regarded
as the areas (European) founding family. Initially cattle grazing
with sheep not far behind.
Bottom left: as above. Cattle from the High Plains are very well regarded and are seen throughout the region.
Bottom right: Sheaf of wheat. The High Plains offer crop growing opportunities that compliment the sheep and cattle and represent
the ability to provide meat and grain produce for the community
The old shire is an
important part of the regions identity, this is
a remote part of Victoria even with the Great Alpine Road
providing fully sealed road access ( the last 10km was
completed in 1998 but the road has long existed).
Locals are proud of theirs and others achievements in prospering
in a harsh environment. As in other places gold had a dramatic effect, without it history would have taken a very different course.
Be sure to (at least) visit the Historic
Park and Oriental Claims, you could easily stay a week!