Cudgee is a rural village in western Victoria, situated on the Princes Highway 15 km north-east of Warrnambool. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a kangaroo skin.
Cudgee is on the Brucknell Creek, and the area was known by that name when a school was opened in 1862. Set in an agricultural and dairying area, the opening of the Warrnambool railway in 1890 provided improved access to markets. In 1903 the Australian handbook gave a glowing description of Cudgee:
The subdivision of pastoral estates in the first decade of the 1900s and again after World War I maintained a well populated farming community. A Nestle milk depot was opened in about 1918 and continued until after World War II. The district’s population provided a school enrolment of 58 pupils in 1970.
Cudgee’s proximity to Allansford and Panmure, both of which have a hotel and general stores, has left Cudgee only with its school (22 pupils, 2014), public hall and tennis courts. Its census populations have been:
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At the 2011 census dairy farming accounted for 23.1% of employment.
C.E. Sayers, Of many things: a history of Warrnambool shire, Olinda, 1972