Moorooka is a suburb of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. It is seven kilometres south of Brisbane’s central business district. At the 2016 Australian census the suburb had a population of 10,368. The suburb was founded as a stop-over for journeys from Brisbane south (Logan and Albert river valleys) and south-west (Ipswich and beyond). A section of the suburb’s eastern boundary lies adjacent to Toohey Forest Park.
The area was occupied by the Australian Aboriginal Jagera tribe before European settlement. The area was probably a
hunting ground with plentiful food and water. There was also reportedly a Bora ring, which older residents of the area recall being shown. The word Moorooka is an indigenous word, either meaning ‘iron bark’, referring to the numerous iron bark trees in the area, or ‘long nose’, referring to Mt Toohey at the suburb’s periphery. A collection of local historical records known as the Brisbane City Archives was established at Moorooka in 1859.
Moorooka has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Sherley Street: Moorooka State School
In the 2016 census the population of Moorooka was 10,368, 50.1% female and 49.9% male. The median age of the Moorooka population was 35 years of age, three years below the Australian median of 38. 67.7% of people living in Moorooka were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 66.7%. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand (3.0%), England (2.6%), India (2.5%), Vietnam (1.0%), Iran (0.8%). 74.2% of people spoke only English at home; the next most popular languages were 1.4% Vietnamese, 1.1% Spanish, 1.1% Punjabi, 1.0% Mandarin, 0.9% Greek.
Moorooka has traditionally hosted a working class population stemming from its history as a manufacturing hub during World War II. The southern part of Moorooka bordering Salisbury was the location of government built returned servicemen housing. Recently Moorooka has seen immigrants from various places of the world, including people from the ex-Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia), Middle East (Iraq and Iran) and recently people from Africa (Southern Sudan and Eritrea), which has brought an influx of new families into the area.
The suburb has mixed uses – large areas, particularly in the elevated eastern side of the suburb are residential. The lower, western side of the suburb is dominated by retail, particularly motor vehicle dealerships along Ipswich Road, known popularly throughout Brisbane as the “Magic Mile”, light industry and warehouses.
The rail line to Robina on the Gold Coast forms the western border of the suburb. Commuter trains on the Beenleigh line stop at Moorooka railway station.
Between the 1930s and 1969, trams ran along Beaudesert Road, thence along Ipswich Road to the City. The suburb continues to be served by Brisbane Transport buses, namely the 110 Inala-City server, 116 Rocklea-Moorvale service, the 117 Acacia Ridge-City Valley Service, the 124 Sunnybank-City service, and the 125 Garden City-City Valley service. There is a zone border crossing at the Beaudesert Road shops, popularly known as Moorvale, for transport zones 1 and 2.
The Moorvale Shopping district hosts office for the Brisbane City Council Councillor for Moorooka Ward Steve Griffiths. The office for the Federal Seat of Moreton is in the nearby suburb of Sunnybank.
Moorooka is serviced by two kindergartens and primary schools, the non-denominational Moorooka State School at Beaudesert Road, and the Roman Catholic St Brendan’s at Hawtree Street. Moorooka State School is the oldest of the two, being founded in 1929, and hosts an annual Festival in July. In 2016, 308 students attend the School, which features a strong multi-cultural community.
Moorooka has two principal churches, the St Brendan’s Catholic Church at Hawtree Street (Roman Catholic), and the Church of Christ at Pampas Street and Beaudesert Road. Both feature Sunday services.
The principal Moorooka shopping district on Beaudesert Road, known as Moorvale, features over 100 businesses from takeaways to restaurants and coffee shops, discount stores, newsagents, dry cleaners, locksmiths, jewellery shop, second hand and pawn shops, and a new range of businesses that serve the African community including food and groceries, hair salons, furniture shops, and halal butcheries.
Moorvale is also known for its extensive Woolworths Supermarket, at the northern end of the shopping district, which was opened in 1972 and was the largest Woolworths in Queensland at the time.
On the South end of Moorooka near the AFL club and Moorooka State School located off Beaudesert Road is Pizza Hut, Shear Image Hair & Beauty, a petrol station, and within a few blocks either way convenience stores.
Many of the houses are pre-war Queenslanders (on posts, with simple one floor, wooden construction), with small apartment blocks scattered through the suburb. As with many older suburbs of Brisbane, Moorooka is becoming gentrified, with many older homes now being either renovated and extended or replaced by more modern buildings. There are prime real estate areas on the top of hills, with views to the Great Dividing Range over Archerfield in the south, Seventeen Mile Rocks to the west, Mount Coot-tha, St. Lucia, Indooroopilly to the north-west and the city to the north.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). “Moorooka (State Suburb)”. 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- “Moorooka Ward”. Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- Terri Begley; Jessica Hinchliffe (2 March 2017). “Inside the Brisbane City Archives: Revealing the city’s hidden treasures”. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- “Moorooka State School (entry 602861)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- “Moorooka State School History”. Education Queensland. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- “Moorooka State School profile – 2016”. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Moorooka
- ourbrisbane.com – Moorooka via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine