The town is 259 kilometres (161 mi) west of the Brisbane. the capital of the state of Queensland. It sits within the Indigenous country of Barunggam, the traditional lands of the Barunggam people.
Baranggum (also known as Barrunggam, Barunggam Parrungoom, Murrumgama) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Baranggum people. The Baranggum language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Western Downs Regional Council, particularly Dalby, Tara, Jandowae and west towards Chinchilla.
The first European settlers arrived in the area in the 1860s and the first documented European birth was Henry Bateman in 1866. Henrys descendants still live in the town today. The town was at first called Jindowie, from the local Aboriginal word for a waterhole. Later, a man called John or Jack Dowiae established a camp and rest area for travellers called the John Dowiae camp. This led to some early settlers using the name Jondowiae. With the coming of the railway in 1914, the name was changed again to Jandowae, to avoid confusion with nearby Jondaryan.
The fertile soil allowed the development of agriculture and combined with a flourishing timber industry saw the expansion of industry and commerce and the establishment of churches, halls and banks.
Jondowaie Provisional School opened on 28 March 1887 with thirteen students enrolled for the first year. It became Jondonwaie State School on 1 January 1909. In 1915 it was renamed Jandowae State School. In 1988 it was expanded with a secondary department (years 8 to 10).
Wilga Downs Provisional School opened on 26 January 1916 as a half time school sharing a teacher with Currandale Provisional School. In 1922 the half time configuration was changed and Wilga Downs shared a teacher with Carlyle Provisional School (while Currandale shared with Glenmorriston). In 1923 Wilga Downs Provisional School was renamed Jandowae East Provisional School continuing to share a teacher with Carlyle until Carlyle closed in 1929. Jandowae East then became a full time provisional school and became Jandowae East State School in 1955. It closed in 1964.
Jondowae's first Post Office opened on 1 January 1890, and exists today as a private residence. The township was renamed Jandowae in 1913.
In 2001, in order to stem a decline in population and economic activity and encourage new residents and industry to Jandowae, Wambo Shire Council ran a "dollar block" promotion. The promotion involved the sale of 38 parcels of land, both residential and industrial, for one dollar each. The promotion made news throughout Australia and overseas including New Zealand, Hong Kong, England and the United States. The promotion proved popular with over 1,000 applications received. To maintain fairness, a ballot system was implemented along with a condition requiring the establishment of a house on the block within 12 months or the land would return to the ballot. As a result of the promotion, the decline in population was halted and new industry was attracted to town including a manufacturer of RFID cattle ear tag readers.
The current Jandowae Public Library opened in 2000 and had a minor refurbishment in 2014.
Jandowae, which was the largest town in the Wambo Shire prior to its amalgamation, is surrounded by rich alluvial soil and is one of Queensland's largest wheat growing areas. The area also produces other crops such as barley, sorghum, oats, millet, panicum, sunflower, safflower and linseed. Beef and dairy cattle are raised in the area and Jandowae was home to two large sawmills.
Facilities in the town include a post office, Queensland Government Agent and a bank. There are three hotels in Jandowae known locally as the Top pub (Club Hotel), the Middle pub (The Exchange Hotel) and the Bottom pub (Jandowae Hotel), all providing meals and accommodation. Sporting facilities include bowls, golf, tennis, swimming, squash and a new skate park facility.
Jandowae State School is a government primary and secondary school (P-10) at 44 George Street. In 2016, the school had an enrolment of 123 students with 14 teachers (13 equivalent full-time) and 11 non-teaching staff (8 equivalent full-time). The school opened on 28 March 1887. The school changed its name in September 2008 to Jandowae Prep-10 State School.
The major festival in Jandowae is the Jandowae Timbertown festival. The festival, held biennially, recognises and celebrates the contribution that the timber industry has made to Jandowae and attracts 3,000 to 4,000 people to the town. Other events in the town include a senior pro-am golf tournament and the Jandowae Cup race meeting.
- Timothy Tovell, an Australian airman in World War I who smuggled a young French orphan out of France and to Australia.
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Media related to Jandowae at Wikimedia Commons