Located in the Wimmera Region of Victoria, it is 237 kilometres from Melbourne.
The town site was first settled during the gold rush of 1853 and was named Pleasant Creek.
In 1861, the township was renamed to honour Sir William Foster Stawell (1815–89), the Chief Justice of Victoria resulting in the name of the Pleasant Creek post office becoming “Stawell”.
It has a population of around 6000 people.
By far the most well know event occurring in Stawell and has since 1878 is the Stawell Gift. This event is ran at Easter each year.
The Stawell Gift is Australia’s oldest and richest short distance running race and organized by the Stawell Athletic Club, with the main race finals on the holiday Monday, at Central Park, Stawell.
The race is run on grass over 120 metres up a slight gradient. Athletes are handicapped according to their form, with each competitor ‘marked’ by between 0 m (scratch) and 11 m to theoretically reach the finish line at the same time.
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