Oak Flats, New South Wales

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Oak Flats
Oak Flats Aerial.jpg
Aerial veiw of Oak Flats from the east
Coordinates 34°33′43″S 150°49′08″E / 34.56194°S 150.81889°E / -34.56194; 150.81889Coordinates: 34°33′43″S 150°49′08″E / 34.56194°S 150.81889°E / -34.56194; 150.81889
Population 6,400 (2006)
 • Density 1,782.729/km2 (4,617.25/sq mi)
Established 1831
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Area 3.590 km2 (1.4 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
Location
Region South Coast
County Camden
Parish Terragong

Oak Flats is a suburb of Shellharbour, New South Wales, Australia situated on the south western shores of Lake Illawarra and within the South Coast region of New South Wales. It is a residential area of 6,400 people (2006 census)[1]

Oak Flats is one of the 324 suburbs that sits within the Wollongong Statistical District which covers the local authority areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. Oak Flats is locally governed by the Shellhabour City Council which governs 22 suburbs within the area.

History[edit]

The Indigenous people of Yuin are the traditional owners of the South Coast. Traces of Aboriginal occupation of Oak Flats date back to around 15,000 BC.

The area was discovered by George Bass and Matthew Flinders in 1796, whilst free settlers arrived in the nearby town of Shellharbour between 1817 and 1831. As the population in the suburbs around Oak Flats grew, the need for more residential areas became more important. The eastern end of the suburb is commonly known as Balarang.

Ownership of area was first as a grant of 1,200 acres to army officer John Horsley in 1821. The grant was situated on the southern shores of Lake Illawarra and known as the ‘Oak Flats Run’. The land was used to run cattle in the area. Development of Oak Flats as a suburb began in 1925 with the Lake Illawarra Township Estate as the centre, followed by the Kembla Vista and Panorama Estates. Economic Depression of the 1930s coupled with the onset of WWII, slowed development. Post WWII migration brought immigrants predominantly Dutch, and German to Oak Flats, and the town began to develop rapidly.[2]

In the early 1930s, Sydney newspapers invited holiday makers to the therapeutic waters of Lake Illawarra as an alternative to spas in the Blue Mountains. Visitors to Oak Flats initially stayed in the two storey guesthouse on the Boulevarde. Blocks were also purchased and small week-enders erected by visitors keen to return to Lake Illawarra as a holiday destination. A boat shed, where rowing boats could be hired, stood on the end of the small point at Central Park. The shoreline was popular on hot summer days when families would congregate on the grassy banks to rest or swim in the Lake.[3]

Demographics[edit]

Oak Flats is located in southeast New South Wales and has a population of around 6,400 (49.2% male, 50.8% female). Around 1829 families live in the area and of those 36.9% have one or more children under the age of 15. 17.1% of families have only a single parent while 35.2% of couples have no children. Oak Flats covers an area of approximately 359 hectares (887 acres).

The most common income bracket for people living in Oak Flats is between $150–$249 per week (18.3% of people). 6.8% have no income and high income earners ($2000 or more per week) account for 1.3% of the population.

Of the 2271 private dwellings in Oak Flats 44% are owned outright by their occupiers, 33% are being purchased (e.g. by mortgage) and 20% are being rented. On average there are around 2.8 people per private dwelling in the area. The composition of occupied private dwellings in Oak Flats is as follows: 87.8% separate houses, 6.2% semi-detached houses (e.g. townhouses, row or terrace houses), 5.4% flats (including units and apartments).

In terms of people aged 15 years or more living in Oak Flats 55% are married, 7% are divorced, 2% are separated, 6% are widowed and 29% have never married.[4]

Country of Birth Number Percentage of total inhabitants
 Australia 4,859 77.5%
 England 379 6%
 Germany 126 2%
 New Zealand 76 1.2%
 Scotland 50 0.8%
 Macedonia 50 0.8%
 India 19 0.3%

Geography[edit]

Oak Flats varies in altitude/elevation from about -4 m (highlight point) to 36 m (highlight point) above sea level.

The postcode for Oak Flats is 2529.

Neighbouring suburbs/regional areas of Oak Flats include Albion Park Rail, Albion Park Rail, Blackbutt and Mount Warrigal.

Education[edit]

Oak Flats has four major schools within its boundaries, including Balarang Primary, Oak Flats Primary School, Oak Flats High School and Corpus Christi Catholic High School.

Oak Flats High School[edit]

Oak Flats High School is a government-funding secondary school located which was opened on a 20 hectare site on the eastern end of the suburb in 1962. It has 760 enrollments and provides education to children between year 7 and year 10, with the option of year 12 graduation.

Balarang Public School[edit]

Balarang Public School was opened in 1968 in a four hectare landscape in Oak Flats. It is located right next to Oak Flats High School. The school provides education to children between Kindergarten and year 6 and draws 30% of its enrolments from other surrounding suburbs. The name of the school is an Indigenous meaning for 'place of swamp oak'.[citation needed]

Corpus Christi Catholic High School[edit]

Corpus Christi Catholic High School is a Catholic co-educational school which opened in 2006 with its first group of Year 7 students. The students are drawn from the parishes extending from Port Kembla in the north to Kiama in the south. Since the opening, Corpus Christi has grown to become a Years 7-12 school.

Oak Flats Public School[edit]

Oak Flats public school is the first school to open in the area of Oak Flats. It provides education and supervision for children between Kindergarten and Year 6. The school also provides pre-school.

Churches[edit]

Oak Flats Anglican Church began services in a house in 1947 before moving to the current premises at 35 Fisher Street, Oak Flats, in 1951.

Transport[edit]

Oak Flats Railway Station

Oak Flats has its own rail station on the NSW TrainLink South Coast line. There is also a bus station/bus stop at the rail station for interchanging with trains.

Recreational[edit]

Oak Flats contains two major cricket pitches (Shane Lee Oval, Geoff Shaw Oval and Brett Lee Oval), two major soccer fields (Keith Bond Oval and Panorama Oval), and one tennis court.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Oak Flats (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  2. ^ "Place Names Of Shellharbour City". Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Shellharbour Images". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Oak Flats Demographics (NSW) Local Stats". Retrieved 18 April 2013.