Municipality of Woollahra

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This article is about the Australian local government area. For the Sydney suburb, see Woollahra, New South Wales.
Municipality of Woollahra
New South Wales
Woollahra lga sydney.png
Coordinates 33°53′S 151°15′E / 33.883°S 151.250°E / -33.883; 151.250Coordinates: 33°53′S 151°15′E / 33.883°S 151.250°E / -33.883; 151.250
Population 52,158 (2011)[1]
 • Density 4,346.5/km2 (11,257/sq mi)
Area 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi)
Mayor Andrew Petrie (Liberal)
Council seat Double Bay
Region Metropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Wentworth
LGAs around Municipality of Woollahra:
Sydney Harbour Sydney Harbour Tasman Sea
Sydney Municipality of Woollahra Waverley
Sydney Randwick Waverley
Woollahra Council Chambers

The Municipality of Woollahra is a local government area in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Woollahra is bounded by Sydney Harbour in the north, Waverley Council in the east, Randwick City in the south and the City of Sydney in the west.

The administrative centre of the Municipality of Woollahra is located in Double Bay. The Mayor of the Municipality of Woollahra is Cr. Andrew Petrie, a member of the Liberal Party.

The community is culturally diverse, creative and well educated, featuring a skilled and varied business community. Woollahra is an area with extensive natural beauty and heritage appealing to residents, visitors and tourists who enjoy its parks, waterfront locations and historical buildings.

Suburbs in the local government area[edit]

Suburbs in the area include:


At the 2011 Census, there were 52,158 people in the Woollahra local government area, of these 47.1% were male and 52.9% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.2% of the population. The median age of people in the Municipality of Woollahra was 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 15.4% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 16.3% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 43.1% were married and 10.3% were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the Municipality of Woollahra between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 0.70%; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 3.98%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in Woollahra local government area was significantly lower than the national average.[2] The median weekly income for residents within the Municipality of Woollahra was double the national average.[1][3]

At the 2011 Census, the proportion of residents who stated a religious affiliation with Judaism was in excess of twenty–eight times the state and national averages.[1]

Selected historical census data for Woollahra local government area
Census year 2001[2] 2006[3] 2011[1]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 49,814 50,161 52,158
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 19
% of New South Wales population 1.90% 0.75%
% of Australian population 0.26% Decrease 0.25% Decrease 0.24%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
English 23.6%
Australian 17.7%
Irish 9.0%
Scottish 6.9%
German 2.7%
top responses
(other than English)
Greek 1.4% Decrease 1.3% Steady 1.3%
Cantonese 1.2% Decrease 1.1% Steady 1.1%
French 1.0% Steady 1.0% Increase 1.1%
Italian 1.2% Decrease 1.1% Decrease 1.0%
Mandarin n/c n/c Increase 0.8%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No religion 15.1% Increase 16.7% Increase 21.7%
Catholic 19.9% Decrease 19.7% Increase 20.2%
Anglican 21.2% Decrease 19.8% Decrease 17.9%
Judaism 13.4% Increase 14.1% Increase 14.2%
Eastern Orthodox 3.0% Increase 3.1% Increase 3.2%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$976 A$1,145
% of Australian median income 209.4% 198.4%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,917 A$2,832
% of Australian median income 186.7% 191.2%
Household income Median weekly household income A$2,654 A$2,398
% of Australian median income 226.6% 194.3%

Woollahra Municipal Council[edit]

Current composition and election method[edit]

Woollahra Municipal Council is composed of fifteen Councillors elected proportionally as five separate wards, each electing three Councillors. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[4][5][6][7][8]

Party Councillors
  Liberal Party of Australia 10
  Residents First Woollahra 4
  The Greens 1
Total 15

The current Council, elected in 2012, in order of election by ward, is:

Ward Councillor Party Notes
Bellevue Hill Ward[4]   Greg Levenston Liberal
  Andrew Petrie Liberal Mayor[9]
  Jeff Zulman Residents First
Cooper Ward[5]   Katherine O'Regan Liberal Deputy Mayor[9]
  Luise Elsing Residents First
  Anthony Marano Liberal
Double Bay Ward[6]   Toni Zeltzer Liberal
  James Keulemans Liberal
  Deborah Thomas Liberal
Paddington Ward[7]   Peter Cavanagh Liberal
  Elena Wise Residents First
  Matthew Robertson The Greens
Vaucluse Ward[8]   Anthony Boskovitz Liberal
  Ted Bennett Liberal
  Susan Wynne Residents First

History of Woollahra[edit]

The name 'Woollahra' is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'camp' or 'meeting ground'.[10]

A petition was submitted in 1859 with 144 signatures of local residents from Darling Point, Paddington and Watsons Bay for the formation of the Municipality. With no petition against formation of the Municipality, Woollahra was proclaimed to be named so on 17 April 1860, and gazetted on 20 April 1860. At the first meeting, The Hon. George Thornton was elected as the first Chairman of Woollahra.[10]

In 1947, after previously acquiring 'Iron House' on Ocean Street, in the 1860s, Council transferred to the current site at Redleaf.[10]

Woollahra largely developed as a residential locality. A few small local industries were established in Woollahra, Double Bay and Paddington; but with the residential gentrification of Paddington and Woollahra in the 1960s, most of these cottage industries had vanished by the end of the 20th century.[citation needed]

Woollahra's cultural heritage has been enriched by the influx of people from many different cultural backgrounds. Some of the influential immigrants to Woollahra have been the Chinese market gardeners, who began leasing land in Double Bay gully and Rose Bay in the 1880s; the Portuguese whalers who settled at Watsons Bay in the 19th century, building a church and becoming a part of the village life, and the many Europeans who migrated after World War II and helped change the face of commercial centres such as Double Bay.[citation needed]


The Woollahra community is one of families, young adults, and older people, with the population ageing at a rapid rate and a growing number of couples with children. Residents from a number of cultural backgrounds live in the area.

The municipality is rich in history and culture. It features many heritage conservation areas and items listed in the Register of National Estate, as relevant to European settlement and the subsequent growth of Sydney in its early years. Major natural features of the area include Sydney Harbour National Park and Gap Park, Watsons Bay. Woollahra's leafy harbourside parks and beaches are a major attraction for its community and visitors. Woollahra also has the greatest concentration of private galleries and major art auction houses in Australia.

There are a range of popular shopping destinations in and around the municipality, including:

Bellevue Hill Village is located at the top of the hill on either side of Bellevue Road. The Shopping Village includes a range of cafes, food and drink providers, and a wonderful range of services and personal services.

Darling Point Renowned for its desirable and expensive real estate, is mostly residential and regarded as one of the most exclusive and prestigious suburbs in Australia.

Double Bay is Sydney's smartest shopping centre with the accent on high fashion and designer labels. Boutiques, cafes, bookshops and galleries give the impression that it is the centre of a small sophisticated European city.

Edgecliff is centred on the busy Edgecliff Centre above the Edgecliff Bus/Rail Interchange. With easy access to public transport or underground parking, the Centre is easily accessible for goods from the supermarket and for other daily needs.

Paddington Oxford Street, and nearby areas are some of Sydney's trendiest shopping areas. Fashion, music, books, arts and crafts, homewares and food gives this area a special appeal to the young and those interested in the latest fashions.

Paddington Markets were established in 1973, and continue to be held during the weekends.

Queen Street and West Woollahra and nearby streets are the centre of the fashion, arts and antique trade in Sydney. One of the most beautiful shopping villages in Sydney its boutiques, antique shops, galleries, cafes and decorator shops as well as its mix of 19th, early 20th century and contemporary architecture makes the district a favoured area for a pleasant day out enjoying heritage and village ambience, shopping and spending time with friends. For more information on local shopping, services and entertainment go to Woollahra Village.

Rose Bay is a busy suburban centre that retains something of a relaxed village feel. It is a favourite with locals shopping for everyday needs yet also has a range of boutiques and homeware stores that gives it a touch of sophistication.

Bondi Junction is the commercial centre of the Eastern Suburbs. The range of shops on the northern side of Oxford Street include large department stores and smaller shops specialising in clothing, homewares, office and recreational goods.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Woollahra (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Woollahra (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Woollahra (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Bellevue Hill Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Cooper Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Double Bay Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Paddington Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Vaucluse Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Hagias, Matt (28 September 2012). "Look who's back: Andrew Petrie re-elected as mayor of Woollahra". Wentworth Courier. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Jarvis & Kelly (1960). The History of Woollahra. Sydney: Halstead Press.