Millbrook, a rural village on the railway line between Melbourne and Ballarat, is 20 km east of Ballarat. It is situated in rich farming land which has supported numerous Irish-Catholic families who formed a strong Catholic community from Dunnstown to Gordon.

Millbrook’s name arose from a flour mill built in 1870 beside the western branch of the Moorabool River, where the village was laid out.

A Catholic school, St Thomas’s, was opened in 1871. It was well attended by children of families on the numerous small farms. Their numbers, however, did not at first deprive a government school (1877) of a viable population, as occurred elsewhere in the district.

Several of the farms grew vegetables and fruit, particularly fruit for Ballarat jam factories. In 1893 dairying was assisted by the opening of the Wallace, Millbrook and District Butter and Creamery Co.

The Catholic school was destroyed by fire in 1930 and the government school, which had been closed for some years, re-opened. It continued until closure in 1994.

Millbrook’s census populations have been:

Area Census date Population
Millbrook 1911 278
  1961 147
Millbrook and environs 2006* 530
  2011 359

*census area differs