Pakenham is a satellite suburb of Melbourne on the edge of the West Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, 56 km (35 mi) south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the Shire of Cardinia local government area. Pakenham recorded a population of 46,421 at the 2016 Census.
Aerial view from south west
|Elevation||101 m (331 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Cardinia|
|Federal Division(s)||La Trobe|
Pakenham has become a major growth area in south-eastern Melbourne as new housing developments have boosted its population and infrastructure, as exemplified in the development of the Lakeside, Heritage Springs & Cardinia Lakes estates.
Pakenham was named after Sir Edward Pakenham (19 March 1778 – 8 January 1815), a British Major General who fought in the Peninsular War. On 8 January 1815, Pakenham was killed in action while leading his men at the Battle of New Orleans. The Neville and Bourke families arrived in Sydney on the Alquis in 1837, sponsored by the Governor George Gipps to migrate and settle in Melbourne. They arrived in Melbourne on the John Barry in 1839 and selected 5 miles by 5 miles of land now known as the area of Upper Pakenham.
The original Pakenham Post Office opened on 1 February 1859, was renamed Pakenham West on 1 October 1971, and was closed on 15 January 1974. The existing Pakenham Post Office was opened on 11 June 1888 as Pakenham Railway Station Post Office, was renamed Pakenham East in 1908, and further renamed Pakenham on 1 October 1971. The railway station was opened on 8 October 1877 and was a part of the east link connecting Melbourne to Pakenham and other eastern towns.
In Pakenham 71.2% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth outside of Australia were England 4.0%, India 2.8%, New Zealand 2.3%, Sri Lanka 1.3% and Philippines 1.0%. 0.9% of people in Pakenham are Aboriginal.
Pakenham is on the main railway line between Melbourne and Gippsland, and its railway station marks the end of the suburban electrified service. Pakenham Station is the termination point of all services operated by Metro Trains Melbourne heading out of the city, but V/Line trains to and from Gippsland also serve Pakenham.
Pakenham is also on the Princes Highway. The Pakenham bypass allows road traffic between Melbourne and Gippsland to bypass Pakenham, both shortening travel times and alleviating traffic congestion within Pakenham. The main north-south roads through Pakenham head north to Healesville and south to Koo Wee Rup.
Pakenham is serviced by one local newspaper: Star News Group's The Pakenham-Berwick Gazette, available every Wednesday for $1. Star's widely distributed Pakenham News, is dropped into mailboxes free every Thursday around the town.
Well over 100 years old, Star News Group houses its main headquarters on the Princes Highway in Pakenham.
Pakenham is in the coverage range of all the commercial radio stations in Melbourne, yet are also locally serviced by 94.3 Star FM, whose studios are situated in Warragul, about 45 kilometres (28 miles) away from the town.
Television services in the town are exactly the same as Melbourne's, yet being in the Gippsland area, regional television can also be accessed. Services such as WIN Gippsland and Southern Cross Ten are available to viewers, yet the signal strength tends to become stronger in the east of the town.
Pakenham's public facilities include a sports and aquatic centre, Community Centre and Council Offices.
The aquatic centre includes a 25m indoor pool, with a gym, group fitness, creche, eight multipurpose sports courts and food facilities all incorporated in the one building. The centre, named Cardinia LiFE, is owned by the Cardinia Shire and managed by Aligned Leisure. Pakenham also has an outdoor pool open during the warmer weather. This was originally opened in 1957, and was reopened on 17 November 2007 after undergoing a $1.1 million redevelopment. The outdoor pool centre, also managed by Aligned Leisure, consists of a 50m pool, toddlers' pool with splash features, updated change rooms, kiosk, and water treatment plant.
Located on Webster Way, Pakenham, the centre boasts 18 floodlit courts all with plexicusion surfacing which is the same court surface as Melbourne Park, home of the Australia Open. The centre is Council owned and managed by Aligned Leisure. The partnership is committed to providing a tennis centre for the community, to encourage tennis clubs, associations, schools and youth groups participate in tennis programs and tournaments. Pakenham currently has one tennis club but proposals for a second are under consideration, with planned expenses for the clubhouse alone around $20 million.
Public schools include Pakenham Consolidated Primary School, Pakenham Hills Primary School, Pakenham Springs Primary School, Pakenham Lakeside Primary School, John Henry Primary School and Pakenham Secondary College. A Secondary School near John Henry Primary School will open around 2021.
Private schools include Beaconhills College (Valley Campus), Chairo Christian School (Pakenham Campus) and Lakeside College. Pakenham has one Catholic school St Patrick's Catholic Primary.
Pakenham's Community Centre is a Neighbourhood House & Learn Local Community College located in Henry Street, managed by Living & Learning Pakenham Inc., provides a wide range of courses, programs, projects and services to enhance the community participation and health and wellbeing opportunities for residents throughout the Cardinia Shire. 
The Pakenham Community Garden, located at 6 Henry Street, uses organic chemical-free gardening principles and is collectively managed by a diverse group of volunteers. Situated next to Living & Learning Pakenham, the garden boasts a perennial food garden including several fruit trees, a small greenhouse plus over 40 raised garden beds, each featuring annual and perennial types of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers
Pakenham serves as a major retail centre in the Cardinia Shire, with outlets including an Aldi supermarket, two Woolworths supermarkets, four Coles supermarkets, two Bunnings, two McDonalds, and one each of Target and Mitre 10 MEGA. In August 2009 it was announced by Cardinia Shire Council that a $80 million retail development would be built at current vacant Council land behind the Pakenham Library at the corner of John and Henty street. The centre is the largest in Pakenham, containing anchor stores such as a Woolworths supermarket, Cotton On, EB Games and Big W, as well as 39 smaller specialty stores and 1,150 car parking spaces both above ground and underground.  The Pakenham Central Marketplace opened on 1 December 2011.
The local gridiron team, Pakenham Silverbacks are the reigning divisional champions.
The Pakenham Racing Club which schedules around eleven race meetings a year including the Pakenham Cup meeting in March. The Pakenham Picnic Racing Club also holds a meeting at the racecourse on New Years Day.
Pakenham's Australian Rules football team, the Pakenham Lions competes in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League. Hawthorn premiership ruckrover Peter Russo was raised in Pakenham as was current Collingwood speedster Tyson Goldsack.
The Pakenham basketball team, the Pakenham Warriors.
Recently the tennis club in Pakenham has had a major make over and now has six brand new courts, this is all part of the local councils "Whip into shape" plan that consists of the remodeling and updating of the local sports and recreation locations. The local rugby league team the Pakenham Eels was established in 2015.
Golfers play at the Pakenham and District Golf Club on Oaktree Drive.
Also home to the local soccer club, Pakenham United FC, Henry road, Pakenham.
Since 2007, locals have been concerned by a re-occurring smell which has been regularly engulfing the town, impacting upon the amenity and health of local residents and visitors. It had been described by some as resembling a burning chemical gas smell, the stench of dead bodies or as a putrid smell that was able to infiltrate homes. The smell was found to originate from the Drovers Place area where Transpacific Industries, a leading organic waste recycler, was based. The business has since closed. Concerns over the rapid pace of urban expansion in the Pakenham area have also been raised, as traditional farmland surrounding the town has been rezoned to allow for the development of housing estates, causing protests by some residents who have sought to have these undeveloped or 'green wedge' lands protected.
- Shire of Pakenham - Pakenham was previously within this former local government area.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Pakenham (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Millar, Royce; Mann, Simon (3 May 2008). "A city on the edge". The Age. Melbourne, Australia.
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- Atkinson, H. K., Suburban Tickets of the Victorian Railways, 1991.
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- Parking at heart of retail talks[permanent dead link]
- Country Racing Victoria, Pakenham Racing Club, archived from the original on 19 July 2008, retrieved 7 May 2009
- Golf Select, Pakenham and District, retrieved 11 May 2009
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- "Search on for stench". Star News Group. 3 December 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "On the nose". Star News Group. 27 May 2010. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Sick of Stench". Star News Group. 9 December 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Star News Group – Big if over whiff Archived 25 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Still stinking". Star News Group. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Stopping the stink". Star News Group. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Cardinia ratepayers battle green wedge 'folly'". Casey Weekly. 10 March 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
Living & Learning Pakenham Inc