The History of Mitchelton Rotary

Rotary Club of Mitchelton was formed through a sponsorship by the Rotary Club of Chermside. It was chartered on 10th April, 1967 with a membership of 24. The Charter President was Col Kirkpatrick and the Charter Secretary: John H. Campbell.
The club then sponsored the establishment of the Rotary club of Stafford in 1975 and the Rotary Club of Samford in 1980.

The Rotary Club of Mitchelton was responsible for building the Mitchelton Senior Citizens Centre, in conjunction with the Enoggera Lions Club. This project won the District 9600 Significant Achievement Award for 1977. This project was completed in 1979. It was a huge undertaking, consuming the energy of the Club for the best part of three years. The value to the community is there for all to see today. Even in their wildest dreams the originators could not have imagined how the facility would contribute to the whole life of the Mitchelton area, and not just to the senior citizens.

It also established the Mitchelton and District Meal-on- Wheels service. The Club supplied and erected the roof to the new Mitchelton Youth Club’s clubhouse. It designed and constructed an adventure playground at Mitchelton Special School and erected a shelter in Fenwick Park.

For several years an annual art show was held in the Brookside shopping centre. This was started to support the building of the Senior Citizens Centre, and went on to be the mainstay of Club fundraising for many years. However, as with many things, it proved to have a natural life and was in gradual decline when the Club decided that other avenues of fundraising would be more productive.Today pre planned Fundraisers, along with raffles and sausage sizzles are the most productive means of raising funds.

Women were first admitted to club membership in 1999 and the first female president of the Rotary Club of Mitchelton was installed in June 2005.

Involvement with young people is the present mainstay of Club activity. The local high schools are provided with awards for speech night in the area of citizenship education. Students are encouraged to participate in RYLA, RYPEN and NYSF camps, and the club has hosted several inbound and outbound overseas student exchanges.

The Club continues to give strong support to the eradication of Polio, the Donations in Kind program in which hospital and school needs are packed in to containers and sent to needy countries; as well as local programs to assist the needy and our young people.

The History of the suburb of Mitchelton

The following history of the Mitchelton area has been compiled from the work of local historian, Lesley Jenkin and from from research conducted by Brian Randall of the State Library of Queensland.

The suburb of Mitchelton is 11.3 kilometres from the GPO. Nestling at the foot of the Taylor Range and bordered by Kedron Brook, Mitchelton originally supported a good cover of ironbark. It lies in the valley north west of the city and is bounded by the suburbs of Grovely, Gaythorne, Oxford Park and Everton Park. Kedron Brook is one of the major creeks in Brisbane and was named by German missionaries, who established Zion Hill Mission for the Aborigines in 1838.The name Kedron Brook is derived from biblical references to the crossing of Kidron Valley to enter the Garden of Gesthsemane.

In its early days the creek was described as a ‘fairy-like stream, its banks lined with wattle, ti-tree and flowers’. Land in the area known as Mitchelton was opened for settlement in 1857. The first land was purchased on 30 January 1857 and the title deed bore the signature of Sir William Denison, Governor of New South Wales.

The Mitchell family arrived from England in the 1850’s and by 1875 Nicholas Mitchell had established the Mitchelton estate on 75 acres on the southern side of Kedron Brook. The land was covered with ironbark which was an ideal source for stumps and shingles. The estate was sub-divided in 1890.

church 1937St. Matthew’s church was built on land donated by John and Mary Nicholson. It was designed by Charles Tiffin, the Colonial architect, based on the design of Barford, St. Martin’s in Wiltshire. The foundation stone was laid by Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Governor of the fledgling State  of Queensland, on 23 September 1867. The building was constructed from locally made bricks. It is thought the clay came from a site near the present Elsworthy St. and Grovely Terrace intersection.

Other settlers included the Nicholson brothers, the Keylars and the Duncans. The suburb was given the name of Mitchelton in 1894 and the opening of railway lines to Enoggera in 1899 led to further commercial development.

Although farming and dairying were major activities in the Kedron Brook catchment, the water flow lent itself to the production of hides and slaughtering. Tanneries, skin traders and slaughter yards were established. The first tannery was established in 1886 at Kedron. Others were located in the Ferny Grove and Keperra areas. Intensive use and limited sanitation led to pollution of Kedron Brook by the early 1900’s.

As early as 1855, before separation, land was set aside at Enoggera for military purposes. The Enoggera Army Base dates from the 1890’s. Mitchelton has also had an important association with the armed forces of the Enoggera Army Base, which forms one of its suburban boundaries, for more than 100 years.

Mitchelton became popular as a wine growing area. By 1887, Brisbane had 350 acres of vineyards and 24,591 gallons of wine and 361,464 pounds of table grapes were produced and a substantial number of the wineries were in the Mitchelton area.

taylors vineyard

The Grovely Farm/Winery was established by the Nicholson family in 1875 and John Lade commenced the Glen Retreat Winery near the intersection of Glen Retreat Road and Kooya Street. Wineries were also established by the Taylor family and the Hurdcott family. John Lade also commenced the Surrenden Winery in Lade Street Gaythorne and Edward and Hannah Pickering operated the Rose Hill winery at nearby Enoggera. The Mitchelton View Estate winery was established in the 1920’s.

The first picture theatre in the area opened in 1916 – established by John Nugent in Osbourne Road. During the 1920s and 1930s it was used as a community centre. The theatre ceased to operate in 1959. Following closure it was used as a skating rink and is now used as a hardware outlet. In 1917 the Lee sisters opened a general store in Blackwood Street. Later their brother, Alec became the postmaster. In the 1930’s Chinese market gardens existed in the area facing the present Brookside Shopping Centre.


 The Shopping Centre was opened in September 1971. Mitchelton Park is an important landmark for the community. Grovely State School opened in 1914 and was later renamed Mitchelton Infants Primary School. In 1952,Year 3-8 students moved to the present site of the school whilst the infants remained at the same location, renamed Mitchelton State Infant School. The Mitchelton State High School opened in 1956.

As the years passed resources of the area have been gradually depleted as development increased in intensity and moved up stream along Kedron Brook. Subdivision in the Stafford area in the 1940’s was followed by development at Grovely, Arana Hills and Ferny Grove in the 1960s and 1970s.

The rate of development has slowed since the mid 1990’s but clearing of native vegetation for housing development is still occurring in the upper catchment. Development in the 1960’s and 1970’s led to siltation of the creek.

Landfills and refuse dumps were seen as ways of making low-lying terrain more usable. Sites were located in the past at Upper Kedron and Teralba Park. Bushland remnants are located at Enoggera Military Area.

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