Murrayville, a rural township in the Mallee region of north-west Victoria, is 20 km from the South Australian border and 105 km west of Ouyen.
The nearest town is Pinnaroo, South Australia, and some of its sporting activities are jointly run with Pinnaroo. It is situated on the Ouyen Highway and Ouyen-Pinnaroo railway, which run through a band of settled country flanked on the north and south by the Murray-Sunset and Big Desert National Parks respectively.
The area came to be settled after it was found that the country appeared to be equal to that around Pinnaroo where farming was successful. Test bores confirmed the availability of water, and the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (1905) constructed catchment tanks in 1910-11. The town of Murrayville was surveyed in 1909-10 and the railway extension was opened in 1912. Murrayville was named after John Murray, Victorian Premier, 1909-12.
Murrayville was the largest of several settlements west of Ouyen. With the taking up of farm selections the town developed: a hotel (1911), a mechanics’ institute, a school (1912), a Methodist church (1912) and several stores. Good quality water was extracted by wind pump. An agricultural show was run annually during 1917-39, and silos built at the railway station in 1939 confirmed Murrayville’s primacy as a wheat growing area.
A private hospital (1920) served until the Murrayville Memorial Bush Nursing Hospital was built in 1954. Lutheran and Anglican churches were built in 1923 and 1929, and a Catholic church in 1937. In 1944 Murrayville Consolidated school, Victoria’s fist, was opened, relieving the difficulty of finding teachers for remote Mallee schools. A high school was opened in 1969. The present community college had 115 pupils in 2014.
Murrayville is a semi-regional service town, with infant welfare, bush nursing and community centres. There are a hotel/motel, a caravan park, a supermarket and two garage/fuel businesses. A golf course and oval are situated in a large reserve and a swimming pool (1955) in a smaller reserve in the town centre. There are Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Uniting churches and two public halls. The Uniting church had affiliation with 23.6% of the population (2011 census). Farming accounted for 23.9% of employment.
In 2010 the Mallee towns cluster, comprising Murrayville, Ouyen, Underbool and Walpeup, received government funding under the Small Towns Adaptation Program to help them adapt to changing economic challenges.
Murrayville’s census populations have been:
Back to Murrayville and District, Murrayville Back-To Committee, 1976
Jocelyn Lindner, Murrayville 1910-2007: a history of the development of Murrayville and district, 2007