Winton Swamp to Winton Wetlands – Local History Book

Our book about the history of Winton Wetlands includes the history of this important site and a huge number of colour images to remind you of your visit.

Authors: Jenny Indian, Stephen Routledge

Published: October 2013.


The European history of the Winton district is rich and diverse. Recognised as Mokoan and then Winton Swamp, people settled around this district in the 1850s and it developed to become a thriving rural community. The 1970s saw the inundation of farmland for Lake Mokoan and, with that loss of land, a change of landscape for the district. The lake attracted many for recreation and farming, and again many hopes were dashed with the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan some forty years later. The Winton Wetlands is the final landscape shift in this area – re-establishing this district as rich habitat and enabling many visitors to enjoy this site.

Previous residents hold treasured memories of their time there and have heard moving tales from older relatives. Many retain a genuine sense of connection with the land and its landscape. It is the country of their childhood and, for some, the country affording their family a livelihood.

In writing and presenting a document about the district, we have been faced with the constant dilemma of what to include and what to leave out. Photographs and stories are so important to recording the experiences of those Europeans who have chosen the Winton district as their home, and it is these we have sought to collect.

The purpose of this publication is to provide readers with a glimpse of the European history and events in and around Winton. We cannot hope to cover everything and so have chosen to present the work largely through photographs as these convey the true sense of meaning of an event or often simply the feeling of peace and quiet afforded by this country. Equally, through news headlines, photographs and quotes, we hope to convey some of the anguish that accompanied the major landscape changes experienced by this district and its residents.

The authors would like to acknowledge the patience and extensive help and time given to them by the following people- Bruce Forrest, Doug, Trevor and Les Bain, Ray and Margaret Nelson, Clem, Robert and Maree Lee, Dan Pelly, Joe Joyce, Russell Ellis, Gary Ashmead, Richard Weston, Albert Green, Kathleen Vevers (nee Hernan), Barry and Pauline Morris, Ray Henderson, Michael Reid, Peter and Lyn Tanner, Michael Burston and the Benalla & District Historical Society Inc., specifically Lyn Tanner, Maree and John Hanlon and Margaret Waters.

Jenny Indian

Stephen Routledge

October 2013.