Penola, South Australia

Penola, South Australia

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Penola, South Australia

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Penola is located 388 km south east of Adelaide and is in the heart of one of South Australia's most productive wine growing areas. Coonawarra lies just to the north and is renowned for the quality of its red wines. The town is also known as the central location in the life of Mary MacKillop (St Mary of the Cross), the first Australian to gain Roman Catholic sainthood, who alongside with Julian Tenison Woods in 1866 established the first free Catholic school Woods and MacKillop also established in Penola 'her' order of nuns, the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. The order, otherwise known as the 'Josephites' or 'Brown Joeys' continue to work with the poor and needy communities throughout the world today.


The first Europeans to the area were the Austin brothers who arrived in 1840 and established a run of 109 square miles (282 km²). The first settlers were Scottish-born Alexander Cameron and his wife Margaret in January 1844 after obtaining an occupation licence. In April 1850 Cameron obtained 80 acres (0.3 km²) of freehold land, his station was on a pastoral lease, and established the private town of Panoola, later known as Penola.

By 1850, Brad had built the Royal Oak Hotel and was...
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