Woorak is a rural locality in north-west Victoria, 13 km from Nhill on the road which runs north-east to Jeparit. The area has also been known as Ni Ni and Lambing Hut. ‘Woorak’, it is thought, is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning plain country or mouth.

Settlement on farm selections began in 1875, and numerous settlers were of the German Lutheran tradition. The Ni Ni government school was opened in 1880 in a leased church hall of unknown denomination. There are references to Presbyterian, Anglican and Lutheran churches in the early days of the district. Another school (1884-1904) was opened in a Bible Christian chapel. Ni Ni also had a Lutheran school, opened in about 1893 in the church building. The Ni Ni Well St Paul’s Lutheran church has outlasted most institutions in the district, although its location is recorded as Woorak. Its school was transferred to the State education department in 1929.

As well as the churches, Woorak had two stores, a mechanics’ institute and a hotel in 1900.

Woorak village has ceased to exist, the hotel having closed in 1917. The district survives mainly as a wheat-sheep economy.

Woorak’s census populations have been:

census date population
1911 325
1933 116
1961 164*

*including Woorak West

Further Reading

Les Blake, The land of Lowan: 100 years in Nhill and West Wimmera, Nhill, 1976