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Coniston

Parish: Wollongong
County: Camden

Coniston is a short distance south west of the Wollongong City Centre.

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Local communities of Aboriginal people were the original inhabitants and Traditional Custodians of Illawarra Land. Their dialect is a variant of the Dharawal language.

Before European settlement, the Aboriginal people of the region lived in small family groups with complicated social structures and close associations with specific areas.

Suburb boundaries do not reflect the cultural boundaries of the local Aboriginal community.

Traditional Custodians today are descendants of the original inhabitants and have ongoing spiritual and cultural ties to the Land and waterways where their ancestors lived.

Mount Drummond was the original name of Coniston, also sometimes referred to as South Wollongong. It was a grant of 280 acres made to Rachel Moore White.

It seems that land in the area was owned at one time by a J. Drummond. Drummond is said to have owned 300 acres, bounded on one side by Garden Hill Estate and running down to Tom Thumb's Lagoon. The debate over a suitable name for the area seems to have continued for some years, with the Illawarra Mercury reporting in 1923 that "Mt Drummond, or South Wollongong or Coniston which of these names will settle permanently on this locality is not definite".

One objection to the name Mount Drummond was that there was already a mountain of that name in the County of Hardinge near Armidale.

DateEvent
1917Progress Association formed (Illawarra Index)
1917Congregational Church, now know as the Coniston United Church, opened (Illawarra Index)
1921
Mount Drummond, later known as South Wollongong Public School, established in church hall (Illawarra Index)
1923New school opens at "terminus of Auburn Street", now corner of Auburn & Bridge Streets. Originally known as South Wollongong Pubilc School (Illawarra Index)
1924Mining lease for brick making granted to Wollongong Brick & Tile Company (Illawarra Index)
1924Mount Drummond Railway Station nearing completion (Illawarra Index)
1927Electric light scheme of the Central Illawarra Council switched on (Illawarra Index)
1927Gladstone Estate, originally Crown Street to Mount Drummond, subdivided (Illawarra Index)
1927Coniston Progress Association met at school. This was the first mention of Coniston, previously referred to as South Wollongong or Mount Drummond (Illawarra Index)
1929Electric light switched on in Gladstone Estate (Illawarra Index)
1930Mr W Thomas establishes the first grocery business in Coniston with the opening of his Post Office store in Auburn Street (IHS Bulletin, Oct 1960)
1931Gladstone Park opened (Illawarra Index)
1935
Three new rooms opened  at public school (Illawarra Index)
1935Newbolds take over brickworks (IHS Bulletin, Oct 1960)
1937
New Technical College proposed  (Illawarra Index)
1940sNational Emergency Services (NES) Hall built near Railway Station (IHS Bulletin, Oct 1960)
1941New Railway Station built [current location] (IHS Bulletin, Oct 1960)
1946Separate Infants Department established at public school (Illawarra Index)
1955Hotel Coniston opens opposite the Railway Station (IHS Bulletin, Oct 1960)
1955Coniston Scout Hall officially opened by Area Commissioner Mr C F T Jackson (IHS Bulletin, Oct 1960)
1956600 people attend the re-opening of Coniston Hall (Illawarra Index)
1961Coniston United Church hall opened (Illawarra Index)
1961Preliminary plans to build a new depot and administration centre decided at Illawarra County Council meeting (Illawarra Index)
1962
Local Government Minister accepts invitation to open two new Illawarra County Council buildings and lay the foundation stone for the new administration block (Illawarra Index)
1963Work started on new Illawarra County Council building (Illawarra Index)
1965Newbolds Brickworks demolished to make room for railway extensions (Illawarra Index)
1966Foundation stone laid for shelter for men, built on the corner of Miller and Auburn Streets (Illawarra Index)
1967300 people attend dedication and blessing of the shelter for destitute men built by St Vincent de Paul Society (Illawarra Index)
1968
Wollongong City Council builds new ticket office at Coniston Railway Station in preparation for the widening of the overbridge (Illawarra Index)
1973Wollongong Garbage Depot in Springhill Road to close (Illawarra Index)
1973Neville McKinnon, former licensee of the Coniston Hotel dies. Mr McKinnon boxed under the name of Tancy Lee (Ilawarra Index)
1975Premier, Mr T Lewis, opens Illawarra County Council building (Illawarra Index)
1978Coniston (later Kenny Street) Neighbourhood House, including child care centre for 'at risk' children, opens (Illawarra Index)
1979Newly formed Illawarra Folk Club finds home at Coniston Hotel (Illawarra Index)
1982
Water Board relocates to new headquarters within the existing depot in Old Springhill Road (Illawarra Index)
1985Theatre South makes Coniston Hall its permanent home (Illawarra Index)
1992
Coniston Scout Group re-forms after a five year closure (Illawarra Index)
1994St Vincent de Paul Hostel rebuilt providing a 26 bed home-style accommodation complex for homeless men (Illawarra Index)
1996Tom Thumb Wetlands undergoes six months of regeneration thanks to a YWCA New Work Opportunities program (Illawarra Index)
1998Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter moves into newly constructed heliport on Springhill Road (ProQuest)
2003Theatre South closes (Illawarra Index)
2009SES Warehouse opens in Drummond Street (Illawarra Index)
2011Phoenix Theatre opens in the renovated Bridge Street Theatre, former home of Theatre South (Illawarra Index)

Do have historical information, family stories or photographs of Coniston ?

We welcome donations of historical and recent material about our region, as long as there are no restrictions on how material can be used.

Contact our Local Studies team to discuss a donation in person, by phone on (02) 4227 7415, or by email.

Top image: Robertson Street, Coniston. See image details on our catalogue