Sunnybank lowlands with Typha (rushes) in foreground and Sunnybank Railway Station in background. Site was originally part of Sunnybrae farm.
|Population||8,091 (2011 census)|
|• Density||1,839/km2 (4,760/sq mi)|
|Area||4.4 km2 (1.7 sq mi)|
|Location||16 km (10 mi) from Brisbane CBD|
|LGA(s)||City of Brisbane|
Sunnybank is now a suburb in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia much reduced in size from the previous suburb of Sunnybank. The separate Town of Sunnybank was absorbed into the City of Brisbane. This older Sunnybank area is still known locally as Sunnybank. Rolling hills and the headwaters for both Stable Swamp Creek and Bulimba Creek have drawn people and wildlife to the Sunnybank area.
At the 2011 Australian Census the suburb recorded a population of 8,091.
The Jagera Indigenous people were the first to inhabit the area well over 20,000 years ago. Early settlers noticed that the Sunnybank district had good rainfall and a beautiful loamy soil, somewhat sandy in character, that produced beautiful displays of natural wild flowers. From the mid-19th century it developed into a farming area with prosperous fruit and poultry farms and gardens of every kind.
Opening in 1938, The Oasis, with lush gardens, swimming pools and a mini zoo became Brisbane’s most popular tourist attraction. The Oasis was located at 141 Station Road, Sunnybank.
The Town of Sunnybank in the 19th century was part of a much larger area known as the Parish of Yeerongpilly, but a distinct town outside of the area known as Brisbane. In 1885, the railway line was extended from Yeerongpilly, and names had to be given to the railway stations along the line. Sunnybank got its name from a local farm, Sunnybrae, owned by the Gillespies, when 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land were taken over for the railway. Brae is Scottish for the English word bank, so the area was given boundaries and named Sunnybank.
By the first part of the 20th century, farmland increasingly gave way to suburbia. General Motors Holden established a car manufacturing plant on Bradman Street at Acacia Ridge, creating a major source of employment for the entire city of Brisbane.
With the Commonwealth games being held in 1982 at the Queen Elizabeth II sporting complex (QE II), now known as the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC), and Expo 88 years later, Brisbane and its suburbs like Sunnybank were shown to the world.
With new land releases rare in the region, developers have turned to building higher density residential and commercial projects.
Asian influence on culture
In the early 1980s, an increasing number of Asian immigrants began to settle in Sunnybank and neighbouring suburbs. It is said that it was due to the fact that the layout of the suburbs of Brisbane at the time resembled a dragon, with the suburb Sunnybank said to be the 'heart' of the dragon, a symbol of fortune and luck in Chinese culture. The influx of Asian immigrants caused the look of the area to change, especially in the primary business district of Sunnybank at the intersection of Mains Road and McCullough Street, where Asian restaurants and businesses are numerous.
Sunnybank is today a thriving multicultural suburb, with strong Asian influences in design, food and culture. Many of the suburb's shops and businesses are owned and run by people of Asian descent who call Australia home, with many bilingual business signs written in Chinese and English.
In the 2011 census, the population of Sunnybank was 8,091, 50.3% female and 49.7% male.
The median age of the Sunnybank population was 34 years, 3 years below the Australian median.
44.1% of people living in Sunnybank were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 69.8%; the next most common countries of birth were China 15.1%, Taiwan 7.1%, India 3.5%, New Zealand 2.8%, Vietnam 2.3%.
48% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 20.4% Mandarin, 7.4% Cantonese, 2% Vietnamese, 1.7% Korean, 1.6% Punjabi.
|Climate data for Sunnybank|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||119.3
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
|Climate data for Archerfield Airport|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.3
|Average low °C (°F)||20.2
|Source #1: Bureau of Meteorology|
|Source #2: Bureau of Meteorology|
Sunnybank is a busy area, and there have been ever-growing traffic problems in the area. Mains Road can become gridlocked around peak-hour, packed with cars and buses, as commuters make the slow ride home, although construction has widened and improved the Mains Road bridge which crosses the train line at Altandi. Sunnybank plaza has a large bus station, which serves as one of the major stops on most bus routes in the area.
Society and education
Sunnybank neighbourhood has many spiritual sites, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Catholic, Chinese Methodists, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Churches of Christ, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Runcorn Christian, Southside International Church, The Great Commission and Uniting churches, Chung Tian Temple, Masjid Al Farooq (Kuraby Mosque), and The Brisbane Synagogue. Schools in the area include Sunnybank State School, Sunnybank State High School and St Thomas More College (Catholic).
Sunnybank includes shopping centres along Mains Rd, such as Sunnybank Plaza, which features a Kmart, Coles and a Hoyts Cinemas. Sunny Park shopping centre is located across the road from Sunnybank Plaza and features a Woolworths & Aldi supermarket. The centre was previously anchored by a Big W discount department store, which is the only Big W store in Brisbane that has closed, and a Sam's Warehouse store, which has also since closed. Market Square, located across from these two centres, is a community-based centre that is Asian-focused, featuring numerous Asian shops and restaurants. Other shopping centres that are nearby to Sunnybank include Centro Pinelands, Oasis Shopping Village, Westfield Garden City, Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown and Calamvale Central.
- Len Ardill, politician
- Ken Ham, President of Answers in Genesis
- Samantha Reid- member of Australian olympic team, synchronized swimmer.
- Johnathan Thurston, Queensland Maroons, Australia and North Queensland Cowboys halfback.
- Lote Tuqiri, dual code rugby international
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Sunnybank (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- Roberts, Beryl (1991). Stories of the Southside. Archerfield, Queensland: Aussie Books. p. 16. ISBN 0-947336-01-X.
- "Sunnybank (Bowls Club)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Archerfield Aairport". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (19 November 2002). "Community Profile Series : Sunnybank (Statistical Local Area)". 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
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