Originally settled by Europeans in the gold rushes of the mid 1800s, Swifts Creek is a close knit rural community located between Omeo and Ensay on the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, 383km east of the state capital Melbourne. Swifts Creek is at an altitude of 300m above sea level.
The official population of Swifts Creek stands at 450, although this includes the greater Swifts Creek area, not just the town itself. The population of the town area is approximately 200. Local estimates often suggest a population somewhat less than official figures for the area, but there are disputes over what surrounding areas are counted in the town’s population.
The Aboriginal name for the site of Swifts Creek was Bun Jirrah Gingee Munjie, which translates as ‘big kangaroos go to that place’. True to this name, mobs of large Eastern Grey Kangaroos still frequent the town, especially at night when they are often seen feeding by the roadside, and on the local football ground and primary school oval.
The town is home to the Omeo region’s only Secondary College – Swifts Creek Secondary College – as well as a Primary School and Kindergarten. The Secondary College is used by students from the surrounding towns of Ensay, Cassilis, Omeo, and Benambra, as well as Swifts Creek itself. Despite this the school is very small, with an enrollment of just 85 students in 2006 making it among the smallest in the state.
Swifts Creek follows the Australian tradition of a love of sport. The town’s sporting facilities include a recreation reserve consisting of a football/cricket oval, netball courts, four tennis courts, a lawn bowls green, changing rooms, and club rooms.