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Tongala Mangan Street 001.JPG
Mangan St, the main street of Tongala
Australia Victoria Campaspe Shire location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 36°15′0″S144°57′0″E / 36.25000°S 144.95000°E / -36.25000; 144.95000 Coordinates: 36°15′0″S144°57′0″E / 36.25000°S 144.95000°E / -36.25000; 144.95000
Population1,926 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 3621
LGA(s) Shire of Campaspe
State electorate(s) Murray Plains
Federal Division(s) Nicholls

Tongala /təŋˈɡɑːlə/ is a town in the Goulburn Valley region of northern Victoria, Australia. The town is in the Shire of Campaspe local government area, between Kyabram and Echuca, 225 kilometres (140 mi) north of the state capital, Melbourne. At the 2016 census, Tongala had a population of 1,926. [1]

Goulburn Valley sub-region of the Hume region in Victoria, Australia

The Goulburn Valley is a sub-region, part of the Hume region of the Australian state of Victoria. The sub-region consists of those areas in the catchment of the Goulburn River and other nearby streams, and is part of the Murray-Darling Basin. The Goulburn Valley is bordered on the south by the Great Dividing Range and to the north by the Murray River, the state border with New South Wales. The sub-region is one of Australia's most productive and intensively farmed areas and is predominantly irrigated.

Victoria (Australia) State in Australia

Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea, to the east, and South Australia to the west.

Shire of Campaspe Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The Shire of Campaspe is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the northern part of the state. It covers an area of 4,519 square kilometres (1,745 sq mi) and at the 2016 census had a population of approximately 37,000.



The first Post Office in the area opened on 27 April 1878. In 1882 it was renamed Kanyapella and a new Tongala office opened to the south; this was renamed Tongala East in 1908 when a new Tongala office replaced the Tongala Railway Station office in the township. [2]

St Patrick's Catholic church was constructed in 1909, opening on Sunday 28 November 1909. St Patrick's Catholic primary school was opened in 1959.

The Tongala water tower, designed by John Monash, was constructed in 1914 with an initial capacity of 10,000 imperial gallons (45,000 l) and extended to 20,000 imperial gallons (91,000 l) in 1923.

John Monash Australian general

General Sir John Monash, was a civil engineer and an Australian military commander of the First World War. He commanded the 13th Infantry Brigade before the war and then, shortly after its outbreak, became commander of the 4th Brigade in Egypt, with whom he took part in the Gallipoli campaign. In July 1916 he took charge of the newly raised 3rd Division in northwestern France and in May 1918 became commander of the Australian Corps, at the time the largest corps on the Western Front. The successful allied attack at the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918 was planned by Monash and spearheaded by British forces including the Australian and Canadian Corps under Monash and Arthur Currie. Monash is considered one of the best allied generals of the First World War and the most famous commander in Australian history.

After World War I many blocks were opened up under the 'soldier-settler' scheme. One such soldier settler was John McEwen later Prime Minister of Australia who bought a block at Tongala and married a local, Anne McLeod, in the town in 1921. [3]

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Soldier settlement (Australia)

Soldier settlement refers to the settlement of land throughout parts of Australia by returning discharged soldiers under schemes administered by the state governments after World Wars I and II.

John McEwen Australian politician, 18th Prime Minister of Australia

Sir John McEwen, was an Australian politician who served as the 18th Prime Minister of Australia, holding office from 19 December 1967 to 10 January 1968 in a caretaker capacity after the disappearance of Harold Holt. He was the leader of the Country Party from 1958 to 1971.

In November 2003 a monument to the 24 Australian Light horse regiments and their horses was unveiled by Maurice Watson, aged 84 the last Light Horseman, who enlisted from Tongala. The statue, standing two metres, is of a horseman carrying an empty saddle, bridle and saddle cloth, walking away, head lowered. [4]

Australian Light Horse light cavalry

Australian Light Horse were mounted troops with characteristics of both cavalry and mounted infantry, who served in the Second Boer War and World War I. During the inter-war years, a number of regiments were raised as part of Australia's part-time military force. These units were gradually mechanised either before or during World War II, although only a small number undertook operational service during the war. A number of Australian light horse units are still in existence today.

Regiment Military unit

A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.

Saddle supportive structure for a rider or other load, fastened to an animals back by a girth

The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider or other load, fastened to an animal's back by a girth. The most common type is the equestrian saddle designed for a horse. However, specialized saddles have been created for oxen, camels and other creatures. It is not known precisely when riders first began to use some sort of padding or protection, but a blanket attached by some form of surcingle or girth was probably the first "saddle", followed later by more elaborate padded designs. The solid saddle tree was a later invention, and though early stirrup designs predated the invention of the solid tree. The paired stirrup, which attached to the tree, was the last element of the saddle to reach the basic form that is still used today. Today, modern saddles come in a wide variety of styles, each designed for a specific equestrianism discipline, and require careful fit to both the rider and the horse. Proper saddle care can extend the useful life of a saddle, often for decades. The saddle was a crucial step in the increased use of domesticated animals, during the Classical Era.

In 2012 photographic artist Shaun C Mackrell undertook a year-long project to document and record the people of Tongala and their stories. The work culminated in a touring exhibition which was shown in Tongala, Bendigo and Brunswick Victoria. Later the series was put on display in Melbournes Federation Square for three months at the end of 2012. [5] The project was made possible only by the generous support of the Federal Governments Regional Arts Fund [6] as administered by Regional Arts Victoria. [7]


The Nestle factory TongalaNestles.JPG
The Nestlé factory

Dairying is the most significant industry in the town's economic structure that also includes food processing at a Nestlé plant. In June 2005 Nestle announced that it would cease manufacturing powdered milk in Australia and that its Tongala factory would be restructured to become a liquid milk only site with 147 jobs to be lost. [8]

Sunrice operates a CopRice plant that employs thirty staff in a state of the art stockfeed mill, established in 1989, with a capacity to produce up to 100,000 tonnes of stockfeed.[ citation needed ]

In August 2019 Nestle announced the shutdown of the Tongala factory with all 106 remaining jobs to be made redundant. [9]


On walls around town can be seen the Tongala Murals, many painted by local artist Murray Ross, which show the history of the dairy industry and Tongala. Cameron Illet is the towns biggest attraction. Kids line up on sundays to get a photo with his calves. Another attraction to the town is star full forward Makenzie Ryan aka “Flyin’ Ryan”. He can get a girl pregnant just by looking at them. But the number #8 for tongala takes the cake, the rolls Royce has done it all and draws huge crowds in week in week out.

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  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Tongala (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 4 December 2014. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. "Post Office List". Premier Postal History. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2008.
  3. John McEwen (National Archives) Archived 2005-06-19 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Lone horseman tribute to history in The Age accessed 6 July 2005.
  5. "We're Still Here". We're Still Here.
  6. "Regional Arts Fund".
  7. "Regional Arts Victoria".
  8. Nestle axes regional jobs in The Age accessed 31 July 2018

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Tongala, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons