Cooranbong, New South Wales
City of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales
|• Density||1,118/km2 (2,900/sq mi)|
|Area||4.5 km2 (1.7 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||City of Lake Macquarie|
|State electorate(s)||Lake Macquarie|
The original inhabitants of the Cooranbong area are the Awabakal peoples. The Awabakal peoples lands included the Newcastle region and Lake Macquarie. As European settlers moved north from the Sydney region from the 1790s, encroaching on Awabakal land, a number of military battles occurred in the Central Coast region. The ongoing battles in the areas north of Sydney, the invasion of Awabakal land, the discovery of coal at Newcastle and its subsequent settlement, and the impact of disease left the Awabakal peoples displaced from their lands.
The invasion and dispossession of the Awabakal lands opened the way for land in the Cooranbong area to be allocated to members of the military. The first European settler was Lieutenant Percy Simpson, who received a 2,000-acre (809 ha) land grant from the government and was assigned six convicts who cleared the land, grazed cattle and built a homestead near Dora Creek. Although Simpson only stayed there for two years, one of his convicts, Moses Carroll, became a stockman in the area, eventually becoming the area's police constable. The Robertson Land Act of 1861 allowed the town to grow, encouraging the construction of a Catholic church and later, police station and courthouse (1873), a post office (1881) and an Anglican church. Timber became the backbone of the economy and during the 1880s the population reached 700.
When the railway was built from Sydney to Newcastle, the line passed around 5 km east of the town centre. The station and associated settlement were originally labelled as Cooranbong but later became known as Morisset. This was devastating to the local economy and the population dropped to 206 people by 1891. This economic depression continued until the Seventh-day Adventist Church bought 1,500 acres (607 ha) on the northern bank of Dora Creek where they built Avondale College (1897) and Sanitarium Health Food Company (1909).
The Avondale Estate is a Seventh-day Adventist owned estate opposite the Cooranbong shops. The estate is home to Avondale College, a Seventh-day Adventist tertiary education institution, the Sanitarium Health Food Company, Avondale College Church, Avondale Memorial Church, a disused dairy farm and Avondale Retirement Village. A number of Avondale College students and staff also live on the estate.
There is also St Patrick's & St Brigid's Catholic Church, a small church built in 1906 to replace the original 1861 structure. The oldest headstone in its cemetery dates to 1862.
Cooranbong Public School (P-6, public)
Avondale School (P-12, private Christian)
At the ABS 2011 census, 5,030 people lived in the Cooranbong area. The median age of Cooranbong residents was 40 years, compared with 38 years as the News South Wales median. By far the highest religious affiliation was Seventh-day Adventist at 32.7%, compared to 0.3% in New South Wales. This was followed by Anglican, no religion and Catholic. The median weekly household income was $1,053.
- Cooranbong, First Town in Lake Macquarie, 1826–1996: A History Including Martinsville and Dora Creek by Michael Chamberlain (description). ISBN 0-646-32958-8
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cooranbong, New South Wales.|
- History of Cooranbong
- Travel - Cooranbong (SMH)
- Cooranbong Community School
- Avondale College
- Avondale Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Avondale School (K-12)