Walkerston State Butcher's Shop, 2009
|Population||3,403 (2016 census)|
|• Density||244.8/km2 (634.1/sq mi)|
|Area||13.9 km2 (5.4 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10:00)|
Walkerston is a town and locality in Mackay Region, Queensland, Australia. The town is situated on the Peak Downs Highway 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) south-west of Mackay. In the 2016 census, Walkerston had a population of 3,403 people.
Palms is a neighbourhood within Walkerston, located to the east of the town ().
In May 1860, Scots-born John Mackay was only 21 years old when he left Armidale, New South Wales in January 1860 with men, horses and provisions in search of land for cattle runs in north Queensland. They travelled up the east coast, taking a mainly inland route until they came to the junction of Cattle Creek and the Pioneer River, in an area about 15 miles west of present-day Walkerston. They then followed the river, firstly named by Mackay’s companions as the Mackay River but now known as the Pioneer River.
This town was commonly known as Scrubby Creek from as early as 1866, and sometimes as Baker’s Creek; later these two names were interchangeable with Walkerston and, to a lesser degree, Alsatia. Scrubby Creek was definitely not a nickname for Walkerston; there were no inverted commas included when the words were printed in newspapers or almanacs. The name was well deserved, for the wild bush scrub grew luxuriantly on the banks of Baker’s Creek.
Walkerston Provisional School opened on November 1874 but closed soon after due to low student numbers. It reopened but then closed on 31 March 1880 with the students transferred to the Alsatia State School which opened on 21 April 1880. About 1891 the school was renamed Walkerston State School.
When the Queensland Surveyor-General combined the two former townships of Walkerston and Alsaia in 1881, he chose to name the combined town Walkerston. John Walker was the lessee of the Homebush pastoral run since 31 May 1866.
St John's Catholic Primary School was established on 29 January 1924 by the Sisters of Mercy to provide Catholic education to both children of the town and the largely Maltese farming community. A boarding school was introduced to cater for students further along the Pioneer Valley, an arrangement that continued until 1976. The first lay principal was appointed in 1982 but the Sisters continued to be associated with the school until 1996.
The Walkerston public library opened in 1977.
The town has two primary schools, a post office, three bars (including a sports club), and a supermarket.
Walkerston State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at Dutton Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 349 students with 25 teachers (21 full-time equivalent) and 18 non-teaching staff (11 full-time equivalent).).
St John's Catholic Primary School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 23 Creek Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 236 students with 20 teachers (15 full-time equivalent) and 13 non-teaching staff (6 full-time equivalent).).
Walkerston has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Walkerston (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Walkerston – town (entry 44221)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Walkerston – locality (entry 46846)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
- "Palms – neighbourhood (entry 39308)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Hamilton, Pat (1994). Sugar from the scrub : a pictorial history of Walkerston. Boolarong Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-646-21710-0.
- Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
- Scott, Glen (February 1992). "Recollections of the Netherdale Line". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin: 27–41.
- "St John's Catholic Primary School". Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "History & Profile". St John's Primary School, Walkerston. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
- "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. p. 14. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Walkerston (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Walkerston". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Libraries: Contact/Opening Hours". Mackay Regional Council. Archived from the original on 4 May 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "Walkerston Library". Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. 29 April 2015. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Walkerston State School". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
- "St John's Catholic Primary School". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Walkerston State Butcher's Shop (former) (entry 602659)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Walkerston, Queensland.|
- "Walkerston". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland.