1990s Our Campbelltown

Our Campbelltown 1990s


Nathan Cavaleri

Nathan Cavaleri grew up busking around Campbelltown. He acquired most of his skills on the guitar during his painful years as a Leukaemia patient, after being Diagnosed with the disease at age six. He was identified as a child prodigy. He released two blues albums between the ages of 9 and 12. The talented musician went on to perform alongside the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Diesel and Mark Knopfler. Nathan was recently featured on Australian Story on the ABC, where he discussed his issues with bullying and mental health, his break from music, and his return to the stage, making original music and performing.

Nathan Cavaleri during a busking session outside the old Post Office building.

A young Nathan Cavaleri
(Image sourced from Campbelltown Camden Chronicle, June 1991)

Ron Moore

Ron Moore, one of the giants of Campbelltown life in the 1990s. He was well known for not only his Minto Hardware store (famed for its support of community charities) but also the owner of the Dumaresq Street Cinema. A community centre in Minto has since been named in his honour by Campbelltown Council.

Ron Moore
(Image sourced from Campbelltown- Macarthur Advertiser)

A typical family barbeque

A typical family backyard barbie in the 1990s, this one featuring well-known Campbelltown identity Ron McDonald (at left).

1990s style backyard barbeque
(Sourced from McDonald Family Collection)

The cultural fabric begins to change

Campbelltown began to have a stronger multicultural feel in the 1990s. Here is Immigration Minister Nick Bolkus with local students and Buddhist leaders at Wedderburn in the 1990s.

Students and Buddist Leaders
(Image sourced from Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser collection)

Local Talent

The winners of a local talent contest in 1992 were "The 4 Trax" - four teenagers from Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Today, Toby Allen, Phil Burton, and brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney are better known as the world-famous act Human Nature. They are pictured here with Catholic Club CEO Steve Muter.

Talent quest winners
(Image sourced from Campbelltown Catholic Club Collection)

Many locals served as peacekeepers in overseas conflicts

Neal McGarrity was one of many Campbelltonians to serve overseas as peacekeepers during the 1990s - and a proud indigenous serviceman. He is pictured here on his return from Somalia with his fiancé Samantha Monkcom.

Returned Peace Keeper and his partner
(Image sourced from McGarrity Family Collection)

1990s Fashion

Local young people dancing in a local hall in the early 1990s.

Locals dancing in a hall

Local students from Rosemeadow's John Therry High School at a school formal event in the mid-1990s.

School Formal photo
(Image sourced from John Terry Catholic School)

Kentlyn Fire Brigade Volunteers

Kentlyn Bush Fire Brigade volunteers Kalena Maika and Ron Worrell in 1996 - they were the newest and longest-serving members of the brigade at the time.

Kentlyn Bush Fire Brigade
(Image sourced from Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser collection)


New Year's Eve

Welcoming in the new millennium…the huge New Year's Eve party of 1999 at Koshigaya Park.

Thousands of people at 1999 New Years Evev in Koshigaya Park
(Image sourced from Campbelltown Catholic Club Collection)

A Wedderburn Koala Protests and Green Bans

During the 80s and 90s a campaign was fought to save the Wedderburn koalas. Community members and environmentalists were involved in the struggle, as well as union officials, journalists, and local UWS scientist Dr Robert Close. In 1988 a developer attempted to build a housing estate on the original habitat, only to be met by a wall of local opposition. The battle lasted years, involved protests, picket lines, courtrooms and police, and won the crucial support of the union movement which declared a "green ban" on the site — the longest in the nation's history. That original battleground is now a key part of the national park. Wedderburn, to the south of Campbelltown in the Macarthur district, is home to the largest and best known koala colony in the Sydney region. In 2004 a new pocket of national park was gazetted which covered 461 hectares of the O'Hare's Creek Gorge, which is a vital habitat and a migration route for the 200-strong Wedderburn koala colony. Dr Robert Close, environmental scientist, spent much of the 1990s tagging and researching Koalas. He has been instrumental in the fight to save Koalas in the Macarthur region, which continues to this day. From Wedderburn koalas are now spread throughout the wider Campbelltown area.

Below is an image of a protest at Wedderburn in 1991-92. This spot, at the end of Victoria Road, is now the main entrance to Dharawal National Park.

Koala Protest
(Image sourced from Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser)

Dr Robert Close shown in the photograph below.

 Robert Close
(Image sourced form Campbelltown City Council Public Relations Collection)

Campbelltown ranger Keith Longhurst leading NSW Premier Bob Carr a party of locals through the Georges River bushland in the mid-1990s, in an effort to have it preserved as national park.

Bob Carr visits Georges river bushland
(Image sourced from Jeff McGill Collection)

Major roadworks make big changes for the new city

Before the bypass went through in the early 1980s Oxley Street was lined with houses instead of the car parks that dominate the western side of the bypass today. The Moore Oxley bypass became operational in November 1980. This was a second blow to shop keepers on Queen Street who had also had to contend with the opening of Macarthur Square. The bypass took through traffic trade away from the main street. Another casualty of the widening of the bypass was St David's Presbyterian Cemetery on the corner of Moore Street and Broughton Street which had a number of headstones moved to a different part of the cemetery to make way for the roadworks.

Headstones at St David's Presbyterian Cemetery during the widening of the Moore Oxley Bypass shown in the image below.

Graves to be moved due to road widening
(Image sourced from Fairfax Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Flying of the Aboriginal Flag in Campbelltown

In May 1993, Campbelltown Council voted and it was unanimously agreed that the Aboriginal Flag would be flown alongside the Australian Flag on a permanent basis at Council. Mayor Patterson backed the idea and said it was a mark of respect to the Aboriginal community. This was in acknowledgement of the Year of Indigenous People, and to honour the significant historical part played by Aboriginal Australians in the Campbelltown area.

L - R Alderman Paul Blyton, Barbara Keeley, and Chairman of the Tharawal Land Council Garry Green with the Aboriginal Flag.

Locals holding an Aboriginal flag
(Image sourced from Macarthur Advertiser)


Quondong - The Visitors Centre

Heritage listed, Quondong(PDF, 208KB) is shown on the Bradbury Park estate map (1844) and pre-dates the Queen Street buildings, making it one of the oldest buildings in Campbelltown. It was built as a school and was the first catholic school in Australia to be built from private subscription. It remained in use as a school until 1914 when Father James Dunne opened St John's Primary School in Lindsay Street. It was then sold to Mrs Kate Keihone who had it converted to a dwelling, and wishing to give it a truly Australian title, renamed it Quondong(PDF, 208KB). Mrs Keihone sold it to her nephew William Thomas Bourke who resided there till the 1950's when Mrs Cyril Seagal of Wilton owned it till 1991. It was restored by the Campbelltown Catholic Club and opened as a Visitor Information Centre in 1997.

Quondong building
(Image sourced from Stan Brabender Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Narellan Road Overpass

In August 1994 it was proposed by the R.T.A. that a bridge be built over the main southern line and Bow Bowing Creek to replace the existing level crossing on Camden Road. Council had no objection to the proposals and it was anticipated that the bridge would be completed by late 1996. The upgrade was intended to improve access to Campbelltown and improve road safety. On Sunday 13th October 1996 the bridge was officially opened by Michael Knight, the Minister for State Roads, and Member for Campbelltown. Residents walked over the bridge before it was opened to traffic in the afternoon. The construction of the overpass was a sign of population growth, more traffic, and the need for safer, better access to Campbelltown.

Level crossing at Camden Road, Campbelltown adjacent to the overbridge just prior to completion, shown below.

Narellan over bridge
(Images sourced from Local Studies Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

New HJ Daley Library

The massive growth in population experienced during the 70s and 80s was exemplified by the need for an expansion in library services. The H.J. Daley Library was originally housed in a building adjacent to the Council chambers but it outgrew its space, and by 1988 the Council had committed itself to constructing a new central library. The new H.J. Daley Library opened on Jan 2nd 1991. It was hailed as a "state of the art library, designed to meet the needs of the growing population into the 21st Century and beyond." The selection of the site had caused some controversy, however the amount of space available, for parking, for a large building and for future expansion overrode the opposition. The statistics soon showed that the new library was a success, with loans and usage increasing rapidly in the new building.

The old HJ Daley Library
(Image sourced from H.J. Daley Library, civic precinct, Queen Street, Campbelltown)

Campbelltown Library under construction in 1990, and also a photo of head librarian Raewyn Kidd promoting the new technology of CD-roms which would hold on it the information normally contained in a whole set of encyclopaedias.

New Library under construction
(Image sourced from Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser)

New HJ Daley Library building
(Image sourced from H.J. Daley Library, corner Hurley Street and Camden Road, Campbelltown)

Glenalvon House

Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society president Alex Goodsell in 1997 with students from St Peter's Anglican School at The Stables, behind historic Glenalvon House.

Students at Glenalvon House
(Image sourced from Jeff McGill Collection)

Queen Street

A 1990s view of Queen Street.

Queen Street in the 1990s
(Image sourced from Campbelltown- Macarthur Advertiser Collection)