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New South Wales


Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Wollongong Local History

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Wollongong is a vibrant coastal city located in New South Wales, Australia. Its rich history dates back to the early 1800s when it was first discovered and settled by European explorers. Over the years, Wollongong has grown to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, attracting visitors from across the globe who come to experience its charm, beauty, and unique culture.

Origins and Early Settlements

The original inhabitants of the Wollongong region were the Dharawal people. They were a proud and resilient community who relied on the land and sea for their survival. The Dharawal people have inhabited the area for thousands of years, and their presence is still felt in the region today. Their rich culture and traditions continue to be celebrated and respected by the local community.

Wollongong was first discovered by Europeans in 1797 when Captain Peter Raines sailed into the area. However, it was not until 1816 that Europeans began to settle in the region. In that year, a small group of men led by ex-convict Cornelius O’Brien arrived in the area and established a cattle station. They named the area Wollongong, which in the local Aboriginal language means “seas of the south”.

The Growth of Industry

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw Wollongong undergo significant changes as the region developed and grew. The discovery of coal and other minerals in the area led to the growth of mining, and the establishment of a large number of steel mills and factories, which generated significant employment opportunities.

The steel industry played a crucial role in the economic development of Wollongong in the 20th century. Steel production began in the region in 1928 when the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) opened a large steelworks in the suburb of Port Kembla. The steelworks provided jobs for thousands of people and helped to drive economic growth in the region.

Wollongong in the 21st Century

Today, Wollongong is a thriving city with a diverse economy that includes manufacturing, education, healthcare, and tourism. The city's stunning natural landscape, including its magnificent beaches and beautiful coastal escarpment, continue to attract visitors from around the world, making tourism an important part of the local economy.

Wollongong is also home to a number of world-class educational institutions, including the University of Wollongong, which is renowned for its research and teaching excellence. The university attracts students from all over the world and has helped to establish Wollongong as a hub for knowledge and innovation.

The local community is proud of its rich history and culture, and works hard to preserve and celebrate its heritage. The Wollongong City Council has established a range of initiatives and programs aimed at protecting and promoting the region's unique history and culture, including the preservation of historic buildings and landmarks.

History of in Wollongong

Wollongong is a remarkable city with a rich and fascinating history. From its earliest origins as a Dharawal settlement to its present-day status as a thriving hub of culture, education, and industry, Wollongong has undergone many changes and transformations over the years. However, the city's character and spirit remain as strong and vibrant as ever, and it continues to be a source of pride and inspiration for all who call it home.

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