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(3812, 60 km SE, Cardinia Shire)

Maryknoll was the brainchild of Father Pooley, a Catholic priest who dreamt of moving city people to a rural Catholic community where they would live on self-sufficient blocks supplemented by the resources raised by co-operative industries. It was a development of the 'village settlement' idea attempted in Victoria in the 1890s, and underpinned by the self-sufficiency ideologies of B.A. Santamaria's National Catholic Rural Movement. In 1949, with the approval of Catholic Archbishop Mannix, Father Pooley bought land at Tynong North with money mainly borrowed from supporters. About 30 families moved into primitive temporary buildings, with the township emerging over the course of the 1950s. The church was central to the settlement but there were also a school (1950-75), several other communal buildings and some cottages for the elderly. The original name of St Mary's Co-operative Society was changed to Maryknoll in 1955 when the post office was built. Various enterprises were attempted - a short-lived poultry farm, an aerated water factory, and a hardware shop - but only construction has endured as a co-operative industry. The settlement has a population of around 600, though there are now many non-Catholic families who bought out older residents.

Jenny Keating