Folk lore has it that Emma Turnbull, wife of the owner of the Emu Plains pastoral run,, was so upset at the prospect of the station being broken up in the wake of a government survey of the Goulburn Valley that she suggested that the proposed town be called Duka. Mrs Turnbull had lived in Ceylon before coming to Australia and duka was the Singhalese word for ‘sorrow’.
The story has it that the word was subsequently corrupted to Dookie by which this town north-east of Shepparton has been known since the 1870s.
A thriving wine industry once underpinned the region, but, sadly, the wines of the delightfully named Chateau Dookie died in 1910. The good news is that new vineyards are emerging in this irrigated part of the Goulburn Valley to support traditional wheat farmers and graziers.
These days Dookie is virtually a 'suburb' of Shepparton, the primary centre of the Goulburn Valley irrigation area which produces most of Victoria's fruit and vegetables.
A city graced with a significant Art Gallery and Museum and heritage precinct, Shepparton has also been home for well over 100 years to the Furphy Foundry.
Established in 1873 by blacksmith John Furphy, the foundry has been famous for its steel water and sanitation carts. The water carts were a familiar sight behind the Australian battle lines in World War I and that connection led to the introduction of the word 'furphy' into the Australian language.
Because the troops gathered round the water cart to swap news and the latest gossip, furphy entered the language as a synonym for a wild rumour.