Heathcote, New South Wales

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Heathcote
SydneyNew South Wales
Heathcote Cottage.JPG
Heathcote Bottle Forest Cottage
Population 5,977 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 2233
Elevation 188 m (617 ft)
Location 36 km (22 mi) from Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Sutherland Shire
State electorate(s) Heathcote
Federal Division(s) Cunningham
Suburbs around Heathcote:
Lucas Heights Engadine Audley
Heathcote National Park Heathcote Royal National Park
Waterfall

Heathcote is a suburb, in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Heathcote is located 36 km south of the Sydney central business district in the Sutherland Shire. Heathcote is bordered by Engadine to the north and Waterfall to the south. It is bounded by The Royal National Park to the east, and Heathcote National Park to the west.[2]

Heathcote is separated into two sections by the railway line. Heathcote East contains two of the schools and a sports oval. Heathcote West is the larger side with the majority of residents. South Metropolitan Scouts Association[3] has a camping ground and training centre in Boundary Road. A small group of shops is located on the western side, near the railway station on Princes Highway. The Sutherland Shire Emergency Services Centre is located on the eastern side, beside the railway station. Heathcote incorporates a large population of exclusive brethren.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Heathcote was originally known as Bottle Forest. There were fourteen town allotments in Bottle Forest in 1842, in what is now Heathcote East. In 1835 Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell (1792–1855) conducted a survey of the area and named it Heathcote, in honour of an officer who had fought with him during the Peninsula Wars against Napoleon.

Shops on Princes Highway

Heathcote railway station opened in 1886. Heathcote Hall (The Hall) was built in Heathcote East in 1887 by Abel Harber, a brick manufacturer. This grand Victorian house included a tower, which was a symbol of wealth. Harber suffered heavy financial losses during the construction of the Imperial Arcade in Sydney and attempted to dispose of the property but the 1892 depression did not help. The Financial Institution became the house’s possessor and they arranged with George Adams of Tattersalls to organise a sweepstake with the house as a prize. The winner was Mr S. Gillett, a Sydney builder. The property was sold to Edmond Lamb Brown in 1901 and still stands today.[4]

[[File:The Munsters Film at 'The Hall'.jpg]]

The movie The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas was filmed at the property 'The Hall'

On the 28th March 1910 at the Easter camp for military training exercises at Heathcote, Lieutenant George A Taylor, an officer in the Intelligence Corps of the Militia, organised the first military wireless transmissions to demonstrate the strategic possibilities of the technology to monitor and report on enemy troop movements. As the military had no wireless capability Lt Taylor co-opted the services of 3 civilian experts who volunteered to carry out the experiments. The 3 civilians Messers Kirkby, Hannam and Wilkinson brought all their own equipment with them. They arrived at Heathcote by train and all their equipment was dumped on the platform. Two sites were established to conduct the tests from a station A and a station B. Station A was in a tent adjacent to the gatekeepers cottage at Heathcote Station. Station B was 2 miles to the south in a cave on a landmark Spion Kop in what is now Heathcote National Park. The purpose of the demonstration was to observe enemy troop movements from the south. It was assumed that the enemy were encamped 7 miles to the south at Garrawarra. The experiments were successful and Taylor gave all credit to the civilian experts.[citation needed]

The Heathcote to Waterfall bushwalk became popular as a day outing in the 1930s, and the many tracks in Heathcote National Park and Royal National Park are used by Scouts Australia as well as bushwalkers in general. There is a scout camping area called Camp Coutts in Heathcote National Park, adjacent to the suburb of Waterfall.[2]

The Olympic Torch was carried through the shopping centre in 2000.

From Bottle Forest to Heathcote - the Sutherland Shire's First Settlement is the history of Heathcote which was written by Patrick Kennedy in 1999.

" By Wireless - how we got the signals through" Lt George A Taylor

Population[edit]

At the 2011 census, there were 5,977 residents in Heathcote. The majority of people were born in Australia and the most common ancestries were Australian, English and Irish. The top responses for religious affiliation were Anglican 29.3%, Catholic 29.1% and No Religion 17.0%. Home ownership was popular in Heathcote, with 42.5% of people owning their home outright and 43.8% paying off a mortgage.[1]

Transport[edit]

Heathcote Public School
Emergency Services Centre

Heathcote railway station is on the Sydney Trains Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line. A bus service also links Engadine with Heathcote.

F6 Extension that was to be built from Waterfall F6 right through to Alexandria has not be built as no vision. Many of the land was given to the Royal National Park and now can not be used. This road that was needed 40 years ago is often in political small talk.

Heathcote Road meets the Princes Highway at Heathcote. Heathcote Road is a major link to the north western suburbs, while the Princes Highway links Sydney and Wollongong.

Over the last few years several people have been fatally struck by cars while crossing the highway. The traffic lights at the intersection are the last south-bound out of Sydney yet also represent the only highway crossing point for both rail commuters and high-school students from West Heathcote. In July 2006, a 13-year-old boy was killed and, in response to local concerns the speed limit was soon lowered to 50 km/h, However, in an attempt to increase traffic flow, the speed limit has recently be re-raised to 60 km/h and, as of 2012, plans for a pedestrian overpass are in design phase.

Education[edit]

Heathcote's government schools are operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.

Heathcote has three public schools: Heathcote Public School, Heathcote East Public School, Heathcote High School. The high school services Heathcote residents and also residents of the nearby suburbs of Engadine, Helensburgh, Waterfall, Woronora Heights and Stanwell Park. Heathcote high school is a leafy, modern high school with well educated teachers and high marks for the HSE. In 2010, a year 12 student got an outstanding mark of 99.09. The school also has a strict anti bullying policy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Heathcote (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sydney and Blue Mountains Bushwalks, Neil Paton, Kangaroo Press, 2004
  3. ^ http://www.beprepared.com.au/scoutsnsw/property/property_list.asp?alpha=h
  4. ^ Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollon (Angus and Robertson) 1990
  • The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8
  • From Bottle Forest to Heathcote - the Sutherland Shire's First Settlement. Written by Patrick Kennedy 1999. Reprinted 2003.
  • By Wireless - How we got the signals through Lieutenant George A Taylor cc 1910

Coordinates: 34°05′06″S 151°00′29″E / 34.08506°S 151.00808°E / -34.08506; 151.00808