Bruthen, Victoria

Bruthen, Victoria

Bruthen is a small town located alongside the Tambo River between Bairnsdale and Ensay on the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. At the 2006 census, Bruthen had a population of 624. Bruthen is 26km east of Bairnsdale and 311km east of the state capital Melbourne. The East Gippsland rail trail, which runs from Bairnsdale to Orbost, also passes through it.


Bruthen is an Aboriginal word from the Brabiralong people of the Gunai/Kurnai tribe meaning ‘long wooden point’. Alfred Howitt claimed the proper name for the area around Bruthen was Murloo, meaning ‘pipeclay’.

Noted explorer of Gippsland, Angus McMillan, first passed through the area of what is now Bruthen on 14th April, 1840 on his early explorations from the Omeo region. The Post Office opened on 15 January 1862 and the first school opened in 1872.

On 27 November, 1958 an RAAF Avon-Sabre Fighter Jet crashed on the outskirts of Bruthen, narrowly missing the populated area of town. Flight Lieutenant Ralph Oborn was flying from New South Wales to the RAAF base in Sale when his engine ‘flamed out’. Oborn ejected at 500ft, suffering only minor injuries, and became the first person to safely eject from an aeroplane in Australia.


Bruthen has a small shopping centre, including a general store, bakery, Post Office, hotel, service stations, as well as speciality stores and cafes. It also has a Police station, State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority (CFA) branches, churches, a cemetery and a primary school.


The Bruthen community holds a number of activities throughout the year. These include the "Mixed Bag" art exhibition, the Bruthen Village Markets (every 4th Saturday of the month), annual Parish dance, and the Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival on the 3rd weekend of February each year.


In Australian rules football the Bruthen Football Club competes in the Omeo & District Football League (ODFL), and has the nickname ‘The Bulldogs’. The affiliated Bruthen Netball Club competes in the associated netball competition.

The Bruthen colours are red, white and blue. Bruthen football jumpers consist of red and white hoops on a blue background, essentially the design of what was formerly Footscray, and now the Western Bulldogs AFL club. The netball club wears a blue top with red skirt.

Other sports in the town include tennis, cricket and lawn bowls and shooting clubs.


  • Gardner, P.D. (1997) Names of the Great Alpine Road Between Bairnsdale and Omeo. Ensay: Ngarak Press.

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