Dookie 3646

Dookie is a rural township and district 27 km. east-north-east of Shepparton in northern Victoria. The area east of Shepparton is mostly flat, irrigated farm land, but Dookie is set in undulating country with Mount Major to the south of Dookie township. The Dookie Horticultural college is in the foothills of Mount Major.

In 1859 the Dookie district was surveyed, taking in much of the Emu Plains pastoral run. Local lore has it that Mrs. Turnbull, wife of the station's proprietor, was so unhappy at the prospect of survey and possible farm subdivision that the surveyor suggested a place name derived from the Singhalese word duka, meaning sorrow. Mrs. Turnbull had lived in Ceylon. Duka was re-spelt Dookie.

During the early 1870s farm selections were taken up and a township site at the foot of Mount Major was surveyed. It was named Dookie South, later Cashel, and adjoins the agricultural college. In 1886 the Dookie agricultural college was begun and two years later the railway was extended from Shepparton to about three kilometres north of Cashel. The town which formed around the station became Dookie. A large vineyard, one of over thirty in the district, was named Chateau Dookie. About 200 hectares of vines were planted and a large wine cellar and distillery were built. The property was converted to general farming in 1910 after vine diseases and a decline in the wine industry.

There were also three stores, two blacksmiths, two butchers, a newsagent, two hotels, a newspaper, a hospital, Catholic (1898), Presbyterian (1892) and Anglican (1903) churches and a National Bank. The deserted bank is all the remains at Cashel. The school (1872) and the Victoria Hall and library (1892 and 1897) were the town's cultural centres.

Dookie became best known for the agricultural college. Its origins were the Cashel Experimental Farm (1878), which was replaced by a college for training young people in a wide range of agricultural skills and farm management. As a campus of the Victoria College of Agriculture and Horticulture, Dookie offers a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agribusiness), along with short courses.

Dookie township has three churches, a school, a public hall, a hotel, stores, a golf course, an oval and tennis and bowling facilities. There is an agricultural and pastoral society, the successor to the Moira society (1877).

Dookie's census populations have been 30 (1881), 410 (1921), 320 (1954) and 174 (1966).



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