Occupation by the traditional custodians of the land predates the arrival of Europeans by possibly some 40,000 years. These original inhabitants probably shaped the landscape by their ‘fire stick’ farming practices to provide grazing areas for the animals that they hunted for food and little tangible evidence remains.
The tradition of hospitality to all began at Galong when Irish transportee Edward 'Ned' Ryan settled there in the late 1820's. The Ryans introduced new forms of agricultural practice and these resulted in wealth and success for them and ultimately, the wider community. In due time, the last of the Ryans died without issue and through the will of Ned’s son John Nagle Ryan, the property was passed onto the Redemptorist Congregation who established a monastery and a juvenate named for St Clement Hofbauer (1751-1820), in 1918.
Some 2,000 young men were educated at Galong before the college closed in 1975 and a retreat house was established. The Ryan legacy includes examples of interesting architecture, some of which has survived for almost 160 years and the Redemptorist Fathers, who through diligence and dedication have added to the substantial group of buildings evident today. From the earliest days of the Redemptorist’s mission the priests, brothers and students who lived here contributed to the farm’s viability and sustainability.
Between 2004 and 2013 the complex underwent a series of physical and functional transformations, with improvements to the accommodation and conference facilities.
The Redemptorist’s strong sense of the history of the site in all its previous manifestations has been encouraging and instrumental in the development of the museum.
St Clement's acknowledges the traditional Custodians of the land.