As a growing regional centre with a vibrant cultural mix of people, our community comprises 66,007 residents living within 60+ localities. However Shepparton does service a much larger population of approximately 250,000 people as it is the main service centre in northern Victoria.
Greater Shepparton enjoys a young demographic with growing families, with 2016 census data showing the proportion of couples with children nearly three per cent above the regional Victorian average, at 27.8 per cent. Although the number of couples with children has increased from 6,768 to 6,791 the total percentage of the population in this category is less than it was in 2011. It is still three per cent higher than the regional average.
The overall population is forecast to grow from 65,593 in 2017 to 83,234 by 2036. Our community understands that an expanding population will increase demand for services and infrastructure - particularly those that provide for our health and wellbeing. The challenge for all levels of government is to provide essential services and infrastructure in a timely manner.
At the same time we need to be creative and broaden the economy by attracting investment and generating jobs in sectors that complement our lifestyle and environment.
Socially we connect through friendships, gatherings, events and celebrations. Local strengths include high levels of citizen participation, embracing a strong volunteering ethos, participation in community events, the arts and organised sport, with a high level of community ownership and pride. Greater Shepparton delivers a wealth of community leaders, where the community is committed to seeking local solutions to local issues. Like most Victorian regions, people in Greater Shepparton are highly engaged in their community, with 20.6 per cent of the population involved in voluntary work.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community
Greater Shepparton enjoys its position as one of the most culturally-diverse regional cities in Australia, continuing to provide people with vibrant opportunities.
It’s our diversity that brings Greater Shepparton to life. Greater Shepparton has a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population with a strong history of advocacy and leadership both nationally and internationally.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is represented in the census as one of the largest in regional Victoria, with an estimated 2,186 residents having Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. However, anecdotally it is believed to be three times higher.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents represent many tribes including the local tribes of Yorta Yorta, Bangerang, Kalitheban, Wollithiga, Moira, Ulupna, Kwat Kwat, Yalaba Yalaba and Nguaria-iiliam-wurrung. Part of Shepparton’s strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture includes the Bangerang Cultural Centre, Kaiela Arts and The Flats.
Our point of difference and strength is the diversity of our people. We celebrate all cultures and we represent different countries around the world, bringing with us many languages, faiths and cultures. We live together in harmony, respecting the past and each other’s identity.
Our community is culturally rich with a large proportion of the population born overseas (14.8 per cent), with many residents immigrating from India, United Kingdom, Italy, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Iraq and the Philippines. Italian, Arabic, Persian/Dari, Punjabi, Turkish, Albanian, Mandarin, Filipino/ Tagalog and Malayalam are the most commonly-spoken languages other than English. During the 2018/19 year 225 people received Australian citizenship.
Shepparton is home to many cultural experiences including the Albanian Mosque, Turkish Cultural Centre and Mosque, and a Sikh Temple.