Toolern Vale

Toolern Vale, is a village and an agricultural and pastoral locality. The village is 40 km north-west of central Melbourne and 9 km north of Melton. It is on the Toolern Creek, which flows southwards through Melton before joining the Werribee River.

Toolern is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word meaning tongue. Earlier spellings included Toolaam and Tooleran. ‘Vale’ was added to the name in 1931.

The district had plentiful supplies of timber (being only a few kilometres south-east of the edge of the Wombat State Forest), and the land was suitable for growing cereals and fodder. The primary school was opened in 1869. By the turn of that century Toolern also had a Wesleyan church (1873), mechanics' institute, free library and a creamery. It was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

The Shire of Melton heritage study (2007) identified numerous farm ruins and homesteads in Toolern Vale. Significant sites included Creighton (c1895), Yangardook cottage (1860s), Pinewood (1876) and a stone/rubble dairy (1850s).

Toolern Vale's relative proximity to Melbourne, but situated between rather than on the Western or Calder Freeways, has attracted a number of stud properties, including horse breeding. A bushfire in 1965 destroyed the mechanics' institute, school, post office, general store and several houses. The school and the store were rebuilt. The school’s enrolment in 2014 was 178.

Toolern Vale's census populations have been:

area Census date Population
Toolern Vale 1911 233
  1921 201
  1933 246
  1947 173
  1961 157
Toolern Vale and environs 2011 879

Further Reading

Toolern Vale: state school centenary history 1869-1969, Toolern Vale, 1969