Pakenham is a satellite suburb of Melbourne on the edge of the West Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, 56 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the Shire of Cardinia. Pakenham recorded a population of 46,421 at the 2016 Census.
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, a British general who fought in the Peninsular War. He died in the Battle of New Orleans.
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.
Pakenham's public facilities include a sports and aquatic centre, Community Centre and Council Offices.
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.
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.
Sporting activities in Pakenham include horse racing, lawn bowls, golf, baseball, cricket, little athletics, tennis, netball, basketball, rugby league, and football.
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.