Chermside West, Queensland
It is located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the Brisbane central business district.
In 1864 Edgar Huxtable surveyed the site of the future Chermside area. These surveys marked the final takeover from the Aboriginal owners by establishing legal title to the land. From then on, specific sections of land with specific boundaries belonged to specific persons who bought them from the Queensland Government, replacing the Aboriginal system through which the clan or tribe had a right of occupancy of a section of land. The Aboriginal belonged to the land but, under the European system, the land belonged to the new owners and they had a document to prove it. The bush was cleared, small farms began to appear with the new settlers living in slab huts with bark roofs and surrounded by bush timber fences. The village of Downfall Creek, or Dead Man’s Gully, grew along the north road, which became Gympie Road, giving access south to the Brisbane market, north to the frontier land and, after 1867, to the Gympie gold field.
Not all the land was bought by settlers, as speculators also bought land as an investment to be resold at a profit as the area developed.
By 1880 the name Downfall Creek was in use as shown by the Cobb & Co Timetable of that year. In 1903 the name was officially changed to Chermside and the Downfall Creek State School, No. 929, was renamed Chermside State School, No. 929, and the change was approved by the Post Office.
By the early 1950s the character of West Chermside was beginning to change. The small farm sector was fading, as economies of scale began to drive industries like dairying and poultry farming towards larger production requiring bigger land holdings .
However, there was a problem. The Brisbane City Council Town Plan which divided the city into nine zones, involved the development of separate satellite towns and suburbs separated from the main city and each other by continuous open spaces called green belts; these were to be part parkland and part farming areas all zoned as rural.
The postwar reconstruction of roads and infrastructure, along with the huge housing boom and the lack of planners, meant that the growth of the city outstripped the development of the plan and it became more of a dream as the future unfolded.
In 1956 William Basnett, a dairy farmer of West Chermside, challenged the Council in the Land Court and won the right to subdivide his property into building blocks instead of being part of the proposed Green Belt. This case played a part in ending the Green Belt plan and opened the way to develop his property; others soon followed.
Since the new suburb grew out of the small farms and bush that covered most of the area it enabled the Council and developers to make it a completely planned modern suburb depending on the motor car for transport, as automobiles were becoming commonplace by the late 1950s.
The Telegraph, Saturday 14 June 1969, reported that the settlement was referred to as Nappy Valley by many people till a more elegant name was chosen; West Chermside was gazetted in 1975. But the colloquial name aptly described not only the new arrivals but also the new area with its modern houses, shopping centre and churches. The writer commented, “It is not a suburb of corner stores and scattered shops, but has a compact drivein shopping centre offering most of the facilities needed – this type of shopping is ideal for the predominance of young families who live in the area.”
Michael (Mick) Doohan was born in 1965, Brisbane and lived in West Chermside where he attended Craigslea School. He began his motorcycle career in 1984 at the Surfers Paradise Raceway on the Gold Coast and went on to win five consecutive 500cc World Championships between 1994 and 1998. This made him a Grand Prix Motorcycle Road Racing World Champion. He achieved this feat in spite of breaking his right leg in 1992 which caused permanent damage but he overcame the problem and went on to achieve his World Championship. Although he had a low accident record he again broke his leg in 1999 and this resulted in his retirement. He now lives on the Gold Coast.
(1967—2000) was born in 1967 and spent his childhood growing up in Hanbury St, Chermside West and was educated at Brisbane Grammar School before working in the North Queensland and the Northern Territory. Nigel was regarded as talented with his hands with a natural mechanical aptitude but had difficulty keeping a job and suffered from psychological problems. Nigel changed his name to Jesse James Ford, similar to American outlaw Jesse James, and lived with his father. After threatening to harm a neighbour Nigel ambushed and shot three police officers who were following up the complaint made by his neighbour on May 1, 2000. Nigel was found dead in nearby bushland 20 days later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The three police officers all survived the shooting.
Ben Tune was born in 1976 of an old Chermside family, was educated at St Paul’s School, Bald Hills and was a prominent Rugby Union player for Brothers/Teachers North. In 1996 he played with Queensland Reds. in their first Super 12 season and then played Wales in the national side. This side went on to win the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Consistently among the leading try-scorers in the Super 12 competition since his debut, Ben’s superb form for Queensland saw him selected in the Reds “Team of the Century”. He retired at the end of the 2007 season by which time he had scored 24 tries in 46 tests for the Wallabies. He was named on the right wing in the Wallaby Team of the Decade. Since retiring he has taken up a commentating position on Channel 10 with other prominent players. Ben is a keen motor racing fan and has started driving in the Mini Challenge; he recently drove in the celebrity challenge at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. In May 2008 he was injured in a high-speed crash on the Barbagallo Raceway in Perth and was taken to hospital where he was kept for observation overnight.
Christopher Wrench is a noted organist. On Palm Sunday, 1969, at the age of 10 years, Wrench made his debut as church organist when he took over playing the harmonium for church services at St. Laurence’s church at West Chermside. From this humble start, Christopher went on to win numerous prizes in international organ competitions and is regarded internationally as one of the finest organists of his generation. He performs regularly in Australia and overseas in addition to his positions as lecturer in organ at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and Music Director at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Kangaroo Point.
In the 2011 census, Chermside West recorded a population of 6,121 people, 51.4% female and 48.6% male.
The median age of the Chermside West population was 39 years of age, 2 years above the Australian median.
75% of people living in Chermside West were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 69.8%; the next most common countries of birth were New Zealand 3.8%, England 2.6%, Italy 1.8%, India 1.5%, Philippines 1.2%.
83.6% of people spoke only English at home; the next most popular languages were 2.8% Italian, 1.4% Cantonese, 0.9% Malayalam, 0.9% Mandarin, 0.7% Hindi.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). “Chermside West (State Suburb)”. 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- “Marchant Ward”. Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- “McDowall Ward”. Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- “Chermside West – suburb in City of Brisbane (entry 43038)”. Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- O’Shea, Patrick (2010), “History of Chermside and District”, (http://www.chermsidedistrict.org.au/chermsidedistrict/01_cms/details.asp?ID=193). Chermside and District Historical Society.
- O’Shea, Patrick (2010). History of Chermside and district : a history of Chermside and environs from 40,000 BP to 2008 CE. Chermside, Qld.: Chermside and Districts Historical Society. ISBN 9780646546599.
- Shooter officially took outlaw name, The Courier Mail, May 5, 2000, David Murray
- “BBC News – ASIA-PACIFIC – ‘Jesse James’ eludes police”. news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- The Courier Mail, ‘Lonely death ends fear’, May 22, 2000
- May Day- Australian Story http://www.abc.net.au/austory/transcripts/s527729.htm
Abc.net.au, 2002-04-15 Retrieved 2014-03-20
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Chermside and Chermside West
- “Chermside West”. BRISbites. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008.
- “Chermside West”. Our Brisbane. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 4 August 2007.