Katamatite, a rural township in northern Victoria, is in the Murray Valley irrigation area and is 42 km. north-east of Shepparton. The name is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word naming or describing a local creek. The township is on Boosey Creek near its junction with Broken Creek.

In the 1870s pastoral stations were opened for closer settlement as smaller farms, and in 1874 a township was surveyed on Boosey Creek. Four years later township buildings were erected – although on the side of the creek opposite the surveyed town site – and a school was opened. Methodist and Presbyterian churches were opened in 1882 and 1884, and a mechanics’ institute in 1884. A private tramway joined Katamatite to the Dookie railway line in 1890, and was absorbed into the Victorian railways network in 1896. In 1903 The Australian Handbook described Katamatite –

Katamatite farmers mostly grew wheat and animal fodder, and bagged wheat was transported from the Katamatite railway station until a silo was built in 1943. In 1939 irrigation waters from the Yarrawonga main canal were distributed in the Katamatite district, providing dairy pastures in place of wheat paddocks. The township is surrounded by irrigation channels.

Katamatite has a primary school, Anglican, Catholic and Uniting churches, a public hall, a recreation reserve with football, cricket and tennis clubs, a hotel, motel and a caravan park, a local museum and several community organisations. There is also a school at Katamatite East, ten kilometres north-east of Katamatite.

Katamatite’s census populations have been 120 (1901), 367 (1921), 586 (1961) and 204 (1996).

Further Reading:

  • Rudd, Ada, Katamatite: The First 100 Years 1876-1976, 1986.

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