Point Cook is a suburb of Melbourne situated approximately twenty-five kilometres from the central business district of the city. One of the notable hallmarks of this town is that not only is it home to Royal Australian Air Force Base Williams, but it is actually the birthplace of the entire Australian Air Force itself. This is offset by the fact that the outskirts of Point Cook are home to several important wetlands including the Cheetham and Altona Important Bird Area.
While many may erroneously believe that Point Cook was named after the famous Captain Cook, it was actually dedicated to John M. Cooke; a captain of a ship that charted some of the coastline of Australia during the days of colonial expansion. The official beginnings of this suburb can be traced back to 1849 and soon thereafter, this location became popular for horse breeding, horse racing and hunting. In the early twentieth century, the Royal Air Force leased large parts of land and the Australian government simultaneously engineered large ponds to harvest salt for the surrounding communities.
One of the most striking features of Point Cook is that from a real estate standpoint, it is considered to be one of the fastest-growing suburbs in all of Melbourne. While in 1996 its population was a mere five hundred and eighty individuals, this number had grown to just over fourteen thousand in a decade. It is predicted that by 2020, this population is expected to peak or exceed sixty thousand.
Much of this growth is said to be associated with the construction of several residential estates that surround the existing air force base. These estates offer wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and due to their relative proximity to the centre of Melbourne, growing families find such an area more agreeable than residing in the city itself.