1847 - Cobram Run Established
In 1847 Octavius Phillpotts (the son of the then Bishop of Exeter) established the Cobram grazing run, after which the town was subsequently named. The word "Cobram" is believed to be of Aboriginal origin and is said to translate to 'head', which referred to Phillpotts' head station. The property was originally 128,640 acres. For reasons unknown, Octavious decided to sell the property in 1864 and subsequently passed away back in England in 1869.
1880 - 1990 Cobram Station
It wasn't until 16 years after Octavious left that in 1880, the property was purchased by the Dick Family. Over the coming decades, even during the depression of the late 1890's, Hugh Dick continued to build up Cobram Station. So successful, he then commissioned work to begin on a new Homestead in 1906. 250,000 bricks were used to construct the Homestead and were all kilned on the property. The Homestead was a generous 90 squares with each of the grand bedrooms adorned with its own carved fireplace, 7 in total. Cobram Station was held in the Dick Family for 110 years.
1990 - 1996
In 1990 the property changed hands and became a bed and breakfast. In 1996 the property again came up for sale. This time, it came to the attention of Joan and Ken Dugan. The property (then a smaller 250 acres) captured their imagination and once again the property changed hands.
1996 to Present Day
Discussions among the large Dugan clan then centered around exactly what should be done with the Homestead and surrounding land. It was discovered that Australia was importing a huge amount of olive oil and at that time, only small olive groves existed in Australia. It was also noted that the climate of Cobram suited the growing of olive trees. So a decision was made, and approximately 25,000 olive trees were planted on the property and an onsite processing facility built. The first harvest produced approximately 30 tonnes of olives picked from the burgeoning trees. These olives netted approximately 6,000 litres of delicious, pure Australian extra virgin olive oil.
Over the years, the trees grew larger, bore more fruit and their olive oil business grew. Joan, Ken and their family were the first to get Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the shelves of the major supermarkets and then began exporting overseas. It did not take long for their olive oil to dominate the domestic market.
In 2007 a decision was made to pass the baton to a larger corporation and Joan and Ken settled down to decide what the next chapter for Cobram Station would be. Several years passed and with the olive trees still thriving and Joan and Ken having organic farming in mind, Cockatoo Grove Olive Oil was born.
Overlooking the river in three directions and surrounded by deep verandahs, the Homestead still stands today, enjoying the prime views of the mighty Murray River and original orange orchard.