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Woodanilling, Western Australia facts for kids

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Western Australia
Population 399 (2006 census)
Established 1892
Postcode(s) 6316
Elevation 311 m (1,020 ft)
  • 254 km (158 mi) South East of Perth
  • 24 km (15 mi) North West of Katanning
  • 30 km (19 mi) South of Wagin
LGA(s) Shire of Woodanilling
State electorate(s) Wagin
Federal Division(s) O'Connor

Woodanilling is a small town in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 254 kilometres (158 mi) south of Perth on the Great Southern Highway, 24 kilometres (15 mi) from Katanning and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Wagin.

The town is in a sheep and grain producing area and was named after a spring in the Boyerine Creek, 1 km south of town.

Mallet bark was also exported from the area in large quantities in the 1900s.

The area was first explored by Europeans in 1830-31 in expeditions by Captain Thomas Bannister. The construction of the Albany Highway in the early 1850s and the Great Southern Railway in 1889 brought settlers to the area and helped to establish the town, which was gazetted in 1892. The townsite is located on an old railway siding that was initially known as Round Pool; in 1895 this was renamed to Yarabin and finally changed to Woodanilling in 1896.

The name Woodanilling is Aboriginal in origin and means either "lots of minnows" or "place where the bronzewing pigeon nests".

An agricultural hall and public school existed in the town prior to 1903, the school was closed temporarily in 1903 when the teacher, a Mr Campbell, was transferred.

By 1906 the Woodanilling Road Board was formed and the population of the shire swelled to 800 during its most prosperous period from 1905 to 1920.

The foundation stone of the local Baptist church was laid in 1908 in front of a large gathering including the local pastor, Rev. W. Kennedy.

The Western Australian Bank branch and new hotel were erected in the town in 1908, along with many improvements being made to the school. Local farmers were confident of a bumper crop after experiencing favourable conditions for the year. The railway station yard was upgraded later the same year, a weighbridge, new crossing, tracking yards and enlarging the current yard were all completed the following year. The school changed teachers four times in 1908, with finding suitable quarters being the main problem. The school was also enlarged to cater for the growing enrolment.

The local school was destroyed by fire in June 1949, the school had 64 students enrolled at the time. By November the minister of education decided that a new primary school would be built but older students would travel to Katanning for their classes.

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