Greater Shepparton contains a wide variety of cultural heritage places of local, regional and international significance owing to its richly-layered history, dating back over 40,000 years.
Shepparton's cultural heritage is an integral part of the rich tapestry that connects each of us with our past, tells the story of who we are as a community, as well as adding character, appeal and interest to our Municipality. Greater Shepparton is notable for the great diversity and variety of cultural heritage places, and the sometimes subtle remains of past uses and activities. Respect for our cultural heritage involves retaining and managing those tangible and intangible elements that have importance to us as a community. The inclusion of new places in the heritage overlay will ensure the conservation of Greater Shepparton's unique cultural heritage for present and future generations to view, interpret and appreciate.
Heritage studies to date have uncovered a variety of principal historical themes, including settlement and migration, utilisation of natural resources, and the development of primary and secondary industries. These themes are integral to the Municipality as it exists today.
Immigrants to the region, the squatters, selectors, closer and soldier settlers were vigorous in their development of agricultural and pastoral industries. The post-World War II settlement by European migrants greatly enhanced these industries.
The earliest irrigation pursuits in the State were attempted in the Ardmona district. The subsequent history of farming, including dairying, fruit and vine production, is also strongly evident, with the latter a particularly distinctive feature of the Mooroopna, Murchison, Tatura and Dookie landscapes.
However, unlike any other locality, Greater Shepparton is the site of an unusual diversity of memorials to the dead. These include the graves of the last of an Aboriginal tribe, the early pioneers and the war dead. As the districts of Tatura and Murchison were the site of World War II internment and prisoner of war camps, memorials to the foreign war dead are also especially significant to the area.
Less unique to the area, but still distinctively local, is the cultural heritage associated with religious practice, transport and communication, and the establishment of education.
All of these themes and places combine to give the City of Greater Shepparton its individual character and unique place in Victoria's cultural heritage.