Home - Chermside & District History

Chermside Historical Precinct

The Chermside Historical Precinct is a small, about 2,845 square metre section of 7th Brigade Park on Kittyhawk Drive. It was created by the Brisbane City Council in 1997 for community use to preserve something of the history of Chermside and Districts. The Precinct is sub leased from the Kedron-Wavell Social Club which, in turn, leases a larger area from the Council. It was officially opened by Lord Mayor Jim Soorley on the Remembrance Day 11th November 2001.

The Precinct is not just a collection of old buildings to attract tourists but rather, as the Brisbane City Council Heritage Citation describes it, "a publicly owned community facility that utilises the old buildings that have been moved into the Precinct. This makes it unique in Brisbane."

Chermside & District History Precinct
The southern side of the Precinct clearly shows the three buildings each of which has a story to tell about the history of the area.

The Precinct houses the headquarters of three local organisations:

The Voyager Centre

Voyager Centre
The eastern end of the Voyager Centre contains a meeting room on the upper floor with the pottery workshop below.

The land for the Centre was leased from the Brisbane City Council by the 2nd Chermside Sea Scouts on 1st October 1962. In about 1964 they erected part of the present building as their headquarters and named it HMAS Voyager after the two Australian Navy vessels of that name. The first Voyager was lost in the Second World War at Bentano Bay, Timor in 1942 while the second collided with the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne in 1964 resulting in the loss of 82 hands.

Now operating as a Craft Centre, it is managed by the Kedron Wavell Sub-branch of the RSL and provides classes in:

  • Lead lighting and copper foil
  • Picture Framing
  • Mahjong
  • Pottery - Wheel and hand building
  • Wood Carving
  • Art - Oil painting
  • Jewellery making
  • City of Brisbane Pipes and Drums

The building is centred on a large open workshop room and surrounded by small rooms which provide storage for the different crafts as well as a kitchenette. A large well equipped potter's workshop is on the eastern end while the Precinct toilets are housed in the western end. Plans are being drawn up to extend the building as the demand for craft services is constantly growing.

Voyager Centre
The western end of the Voyager Centre has this mural painted by the Street Artists. Behind it is a storage area and the toilets.

The Chermside & Districts Historical Society Inc

The Chermside State School operated at the corner of Rode and Gympie Roads from 1900 till it closed at the end of 1996. The original building was presented to the people of Chermside by the Uniting Church of Australia and was transported to the Precinct in 1997 where it was renovated and opened as the headquarters of the Society.

Chermside & District History Precinct
The western side of the school is reached by the ramp or a short flight of steps. The veranda is the site of all too regular nightime parties which, sometimes, degenerate into smashing frenzies. We are constantly repairing and reinforcing the place.

The building contains two large rooms, one for meetings and one for archives, front and back verandas with a small room off the back veranda which acts as an office. The front veranda is still open and is used by many people who leave a mess behind while the back veranda is totally enclosed by roller shutters and heavy wire screens. It houses the kitchenette and storage facilities.

The walls of the meeting and archives rooms are lined with framed pictures, wooden Honour Rolls, display and projection screens.

Chermside & District History Precinct
The eastern veranda of the school is totally enclosed and the small room used to be the Lavatorium or washroom. It faced the back fence where the old toilets were located. The bottlebrushes are being grown to deter the graffiti pests.

The Ninth Battalions Association War Memorial Museum Collection and Property Trust

The headquarters of the Trust and the Milne Bay Memorial Library and Research Cetre are located in the Sandgate Drill Hall which was opened in December 1915 at Bowser Street, Sandgate and played a central role in the community life of Sandgate as the only public hall in the area. It was entered on the Queensland Government Heritage Register in 1997 but was removed in 2000 when the owners, the Commonwealth Government sold the site and the building was taken to Chermside.

Chermside & District History Precinct
The southern side of the Drill Hall shows the main entrance which is big enough to admit a vehicle. There are two ramps, one for disabled and one for vehicles. The latter is used by local bike riders as a launching pad for doing skids on the red, sanded quadrangle. The window protection cages are prominent features of the building.

The eastern end of the Drill Hall has a small entrance off a landing. The Drill Hall provides large spaces which the graffiti pests once used with gusto but constant supervision has largely eleminated the problem.

There was intense lobbying by the Sandgate community and the Brisbane City Council against the removal of the Drill Hall, but to no avail. The Defence Department sold it to the Trust on condition that it would be suitably located at Chermside.

The building is a very large high hall with extensive windows on three sides which, when opened would ventilate and cool the inside as there is no ceiling under the corrugated iron roof. The northern side has a series of small rooms which house a kitchenette, a library, an office and store rooms while the eastern end contains the armoury.

Inside the main hall the Trust has arranged two very large glass fronted display cases. The eastern one, the Heroes of Milne Bay, houses figures and facsimiles of their medals which include one Victoria Cross; the southern one has photos of 61st Battalion, uniforms, a record of the Swan family and the Palm Stump memorial from Turnbull Field, Milne Bay commemorating the Australian and Japanese dead. A very large, independently standing, notice board is aligned with the north side of the hall showing the RAAF pilots who fought at Milne Bay and a series of maps to show the progress of the battle. On display is a large diorama (three dimensional map) of the Battle of Milne Bay.

The hall which is the headquarters of the Laurie Young Concert Band, provides comfortable seating for one hundred people and is available for hire.


Ninth Battalions Association Inc

Brad Shillig
0431 440 066

Voyager Centre

Alan Walker, K/W RSL Sub Branch
3359 0460

Chermside & Districts Historical Society Inc

Bradley Scott
7 Billing St.
Chermside West Qld. 4032
0435 285 234

Patrick O'Shea, Research Officer
52 Royal Street
3260 7384
0415 301 761

Beverley Isdale, Archivist
62 Bramcote Street
3350 2874