This page has been written by Marj Campbell, local Baddaginnie community member.
Baddaginnie is situated 12 kilometres south of Benalla on the Benalla-Baddaginnie Road. Previously this was part of the Hume Highway on the original route between Melbourne and Sydney.
The name Baddaginnie is Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) for ‘empty belly’ or ‘hungry’ and was given in the 1840’s by Surveyor J. G. Wilmott, who had previously worked in India and Ceylon. A sesquicentennial tree has been planted to acknowledge 150 years of Baddaginnie’s existence.
The town was surveyed in 1857, but settlement was slow, a Post Office finally opening on 16 September 1879. A railway station was open and served passengers until July 1978.
Children of Baddaginnie and district have been able to receive a Primary school education in Baddaginnie since 1875.
At the 2011 census, Baddaginnie and the surrounding area had a population of 465.
The George Palmer Recreation Reserve has been named after local resident George Eugene Palmer, Australian Test Cricketer, from 1878 - 1886. George took part in the series that culminated in ‘The Ashes’, the cricket trophy still played for today. George "Joey" Palmer, died there on 22 August 1910.
In February 1898, an Incorporated Body was registered in Melbourne. It was made up of local residents and was to be known as Baddaginnie Jubilee Hall Inc. The hall committee is still active today, with recent refurbishments undertaken on the floor in the hall. The Baddaginnie Jubilee Hall is available for rental and is used by the community for various events, celebrations and functions.
A Cenotaph and Rolls of Honour acknowledge the involvement of men and women of the town and district in numerous actions.
In 2015 the old Baddaginnie Store became the Baddaginnie Opportunity Shop (Purveyors of Fine pre-loved Ephemera). This shop is open on Saturdays 9am – 1.30pm and is staffed by local community people with proceeds from sales going toward neighbourhood projects.
Baddaginnie has had a fire fighting League, Brigade or Unit since 1901. As well as fighting fires attending accidents and floods in the local vicinity, members have assisted at incidents throughout Victoria, interstate and overseas. Five members have been honoured with Service Medals and there is one Life Member. The Baddaginnie Fire Brigade has recently raised sufficient funds to enable the Brigade to have a second firefighting unit. Members of the Brigade act as hosts for the Australia Day Breakfast, Ceremonies and Awards.
Other active groups within the local community include Baddaginnie Community Incorporated, a not-for-profit group formed in 2000 to promote and expand community connectedness within the local community. This group has supported many local initiatives including expansion of the playground at the Baddaginnie Primary School and renovations at the Baddaginnie Hall. An active water co-operative has been in existence since 1999, made up of local people and the goodwill of the Council and Government Departments. The Co-op services the town area with non-potable water.
The community is kept up to date with local happenings via the monthly Baddaginnie Babbler, which has been operating for over 30 years. The Babbler advertises local events and activities from wine and cheese tastings to euchre and local personal achievements.
- Marj Campbell