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.
In March 1889, auctioneer W.J. Hooker sold a suburban subdivision called Moorooka Park Estate, consisting of 329 allotments bounded by Ipswich Road, Spencer Street (now Gainsborough Street), Logan Road (now Beaudesert Road), Johnson Street (now Dinmore Street) and Keats Street. The subdivision was close to the Moorooka railway station (on the western side of Ipswich Road) and was described as having good soil and elevated sites with "no swamps, no gullies, no broken land".
In July 1927, auctioneers W. Small & Co sold a suburban subdivision called Dora Vale Estate, consisting of 83 allotments of 24 to 48 perches on Vale Street, Dora Street, Clyde Street and Sinclair and bounded by Main Street (now Gainsborough Street) to the south and Beaudesert Road to the west. The allotments were described as "high and dry and commanding excellent views" and were convenient to the train, tram and bus services with promises that Ipswich Road and Beaudesert Road would soon be sealed with bitumen. Also in July 1927, Clacher Brothers in conjunction with M.J. Trotter sold the Hollywood Estate, consisting of 24 allotments on the south side of Forrest Street bounded by Fairy Street to the west and an unnamed proposed street (now Vale Street) to the east. In August 1927, the Queensland Development Company sold the Mayfield Gardens Estate, consisting of 490 allotments (474 residential and 16 commercial) centred around Vendale Avenue and bounded to the west by Beaudesert Road, to the south by Mayfield Road and to the east by Tarragindi Road.
Moorooka State School opened on 28 January 1929.
In August 1937, auctioneers F.G. Pearce sold a suburban subdivision called Coniston Park Estate, consisting of 96 allotments, bounded by Beaudesert Road, Bracken Street, Margaret Street (now Medina Street) and Sherley Street. The estate was adjacent to Moorooka State School and the Moorooka tram terminus and provided "extensive views with every convenience" including electric light, mains water and gas.
Moorooka State Infants School opened on 27 January 1959; it closed on 11 July 1983.
The Brisbane City Archives (a collection of local historical records dating back to 1859) was established at Moorooka.
Moorooka has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "Moorooka Park". State Library of Queensland. 1889. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Advertising". The Telegraph (5, 111). Queensland, Australia. 28 February 1889. p. 3. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Advertising". The Brisbane Courier (21, 669). Queensland, Australia. 9 July 1927. p. 31. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Hollywood Estate, Moorooka". State Library of Queensland. 1927. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Advertising". The Telegraph (17, 034). Queensland, Australia. 8 July 1927. p. 20 (SECOND EDITION). Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Mayfield Gardens Estate, Moorooka". State Library of Queensland. 1927. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Advertising". Truth (1430). Queensland, Australia. 14 August 1927. p. 11. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Advertising". The Courier-mail (1192). Queensland, Australia. 26 June 1937. p. 24. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- James, H.T. (1937). "Coniston Park Estate, Moorooka Heights". State Library of Queensland (Map). Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- 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