1959: In Queensland’s Centenary year, Hooker Rex planned the Centenary project, an ambitious long-term suburban development proposal that included a number of neighbourhoods, or suburbs, each with sufficient services and facilities for its residents to have their day-to-day needs met without having to go elsewhere. Purchase of farmland commenced in the area about 1960. Agreement with Council was reached on 12 October 1961. Contracts for almost all of the 1416 hectares ultimately proposed, had already been entered into. The Centenary Bridge and Highway, creating access to and from the northern suburbs and the city, were an integral component of the development. The suburbs of Jindalee, Jamboree Heights, Mount Ommaney, Riverhills, Westlake and Middle Park were all part of the planned Centenary project. Seventeen Mile Rocks and Sinnamon Park were developed separately.
Two industrial estates, Sumner and Oldfield (now part of Seventeen Mile Rocks suburb) were included in the Centenary project. The project was managed for six years by Centenary Estates Limited, a public company. In October 1967, the private shareholders were bought out by the Hooker Corporation Limited and the Centenary project became once again a fully owned subsidiary of the Corporation. From July 1971, the name of the company was Hooker Centenary Pty Ltd.
Suburbs establishment timeline
(Formal commencement of suburbs, not necessarily when each was completely developed):
1962 (Sept.): Official opening of Jindalee (an Aboriginal word meaning “bare hills”). Its establishment brought the first public transport to the district, a bus to and from Oxley Station. The Jindalee Golf Course, Swimming Pool, Bowls Club and the Looranah St. shopping centre (the first shops ever in the district) were established early in the suburb’s development. Jindalee became a focal point for sporting activities, with various facilities available.
1964 (14 October): Opening of Centenary Bridge, financed by the developers. This bridge linked north-western and south-western suburbs. The Centenary Highway between Moggill Road and Ipswich Road, Darra, was built by the Brisbane City Council at the developers’ expense, and bus services were established. The whole Centenary Highway/Western Freeway (to Milton Road, Toowong) was eventually completed in 1969.
1969: Jamboree Heights, with many street names reflecting the recent history of the area as the location of the 8th Australian Pan-Pacific Scout Jamboree (see below).
1970 (Jan.): Mount Ommaney, with allotments considerably larger (over 1000 square metres) than the average size of those in Jindalee and Jamboree Heights. The first stage and major part of the development comprised private courts, each containing approximately seven large properties, with private entrance and shared private ownership of internal roads and nature strips: this was the first such development in Australia.
1973 (Jan.): Riverhills. The name, proposed by the developers, reflects the location of the suburb on rises overlooking the Brisbane River at the western end of the Centenary Suburbs area. It is in a quiet cul-de-sac and was designed for young people raising young families. Many streets were named after rivers, lakes & waterways of the world.
1973 (June): Westlake, which has many riverside properties as well as others, was named by developers for a 9-hectare freshwater lake, with a weir constructed by the developers, around which the estate was built.
1975: Sumner – name and boundaries were confirmed in August. It had first been named in 1969, its name taken from the road that was named after the Sumner family who had been landholders and farmers toward the western end of the road.
1975: Seventeen Mile Rocks suburb. Though officially named in this year, the suburb as it exists today took many years to develop, with successive housing estates established by different developers (an early developer was ECOSSE Investments Pty Ltd; others included BMD Constructions and Baldwin-Riverlands). One of the most recent estates to be established is Verandah.
The Seventeen Mile Rocks suburb boundaries originally extended farther west, including what is now Sinnamon Park along Seventeen Mile Rocks Road. The boundary changed with the creation of the suburb of Sinnamon Park. Part of Edenbrooke Estate is in Seventeen Mile Rocks, part in Sinnamon Park.
1976 (July): Middle Park. The name, suggested by the developers, reflects the suburb’s location in the middle of the Centenary Suburbs area. It has northerly views over the McLeod Country Golf Club.
1989: Sinnamon Park, developed by Jennings, was created as an excision from the suburb Seventeen Mile Rocks. It was named after the family of James Sinnamon (1824-69) and Margaret (née Mathers) (1821-1904), pioneer European settlers in the area. Part of the Edenbrooke Estate is in Sinnamon Park.
See aerial photos of the Centenary suburbs taken in 1994 here.
Other Significant Events
1960s-1970s: Additional sand and gravel dredging industry companies established bases on the river at and a little upriver from the Seventeen-mile Rocks, near the Stirling Sand and Gravel enterprise that already operated from there. Read more about the work of these companies here.
1966-7: Seventeen Mile Rocks Uniting Church had to be removed from its original location at the corner of Goggs and Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, because of roadworks associated with Centenary Highway access and overpass. Sir Hercules Sinnamon, pioneer descendant and local resident, donated a block of land on Seventeen Mile Rocks Road to which the Church was relocated.
1967-8: The 8th Australian Pan-Pacific Scout Jamboree was held from 28 December 1967 to 6th January 1968 on undeveloped land at what is now Jamboree Heights (then part of Jindalee). Read further details in the article Jindalee Scout Jamboree 1967-68 – commemorated in 2007.
1969: The first women’s golf club in Australia, the McLeod Country Golf Club, was completed in 1969 comprising 9 holes and a clubhouse. The course was extended to 18 holes in 1971.
1970: first plaque commemorating Thomas Macleod’s glider flight (see History Pre-Suburban Period – 1910) was installed on the 60th anniversary of the flight, on the land from which the flight took place. Read more information in the article Thomas Macleod, Aviator – December 2010
1974: Large areas of the Centenary Suburbs were flooded. See The January 1974 Flood.
1976: Sir Arthur Fadden Memorial Garden established: see “Commemorative Places and Plaques”.
Late 1980s: Seventeen Mile Rocks State School, no longer in use, was purchased by Sir Hercules Sinnamon and relocated to Seventeen Mile Rocks Road to become part of his proposed heritage precinct that also included three Sinnamon farmhouses. See History Pre-Suburban Period.
1992: Sinnamon Farm precinct on Seventeen Mile Rocks Road – comprising Glen Ross, Beechwood, Avondale, the Macleod Aviation site, and the Seventeen Mile Rocks State School – was heritage-listed. See History Pre-Suburban Period.
2000: Centenary Suburbs War Memorial Gardens was opened by the Governor of Queensland.
2010 (Dec.): Amore substantial monument commemorating Thomas Macleod’s pioneering biplane glider flight was installed in the parkland at Windermere Estate, below the slope from which the flight took off. Read more in the article Thomas Macleod, Aviator – December 2010.
2011 (Jan.): Major floods. Read the article January 2011 Flood for more details. More images from the 2011 flood are published in our online photo gallery.