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Gold Coast history and heritage

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Guanaba history

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Click to enlarge The official opening of Guanaba State School, June 1930. Photographer unknown.

The official opening of Guanaba State School,
June 1930. Photographer unknown.

Gugugan was the name of the locality group of the Yugumbeh people.

They lived in the vicinity of Guguanbe, or Guanaba, where now is the town of Beenleigh.

How the name Guanaba became associated with a district in the Upper Coomera area, quite some distance and one mountain range apart from Beenleigh, is a bit of a mystery.

One explanation may be that by the time Watson was documenting the Yugambeh language, the Gugingin family group had a found refuge in the Coomera hills, some distance from the Beenleigh area.

Perhaps too, this family group had always lived in these hills on a seasonal basis.

Families of farmers

The European families who settled at Guanaba, made their living timber getting, dairy farming and for a period growing bananas.

By the 1920s, the population of young families in the district warranted the opening of a school by the Education Department.

Recycling buildings

The former Carrara State School building was removed to Guanaba in 1929.

Guanaba was a closely knit community and some of the families listed in an early school photo include the names, Hollindale, Whitting, Binstead, Bignell, Billiau and Collins.

Like many tiny schools, the number of pupils attending the school fluctuated.

In 1942, the school closed and most of the children from the area attended the nearby Maudsland School. The recycled school was removed once more and transported to Southport to be used as a residence.

Guanaba today

These days, the school and dairy farms are gone and there are many new families living in the area.

The name Guanaba remains as both a district located at the foothills of Tamborine Mountain as well as the name of a creek which flows into the Coomera River.

Information and images provided by the City of Gold Coast Local Studies Collection.

Sources of information and further reading

Watson, F.J., Vocabularies of Four Representative Tribes of South Eastern Queensland, p58

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