Lifestyle living on Jervis Bay | MEMBERS area

Jervis Bay is thought to have been formed about 11,000 years ago after the last Ice Age and it is likely that Aborigines have been living in the area  for at least 20,000 years, as evidenced by the many middens and rock shelters still to be found in the area.

Anyone interested in history of the Jervis Bay area should visit the Lady Denman Maritime Museum in Huskisson. Grand Visions for Jervis Bay is a permanent exhibition at the Lady Denman Maritime Museum Jervis Bay. This exhibition features the largely untold story of Jervis Bay and the Grand Visions which were proposed for the development of Bay’s foreshores.

Jervis Bay Territory History



Captain Cook sighted Jervis Bay and named St George’s Head (it was St George’s Day April 1770) and called Point Perpendicular ‘Long Nose’.


The bay was named ‘Jervis Bay’ by Lieutenant Bowen of the Atlantic in honour of Admiral Sir John Jervis under whom he had served.


GW Evens surveyed the bay. Governor Macquarie visited both the southern side of the bay and Bowen Island.


Aboriginal people were displaced by Alexander Berry’s takeover of land in the Shoalhaven. They were moved to Wreck Bay. Smallpox and syphilis significantly reduced local populations.


Lighthouse constructed. Even before construction was completed doubts were expressed at the preference for the site at Cape St George over Perpendicular Head.


Jacob Ellmoos established what is believed to be the first European settlement other than the lighthouse consisting of 100 acres for crops grazing stock and fishing for the Sydney markets. The land was located on the western side of the Territory, opposite the NSW village of Sussex Inlet.


The Ellmoos family opened a guesthouse (believed to be the first commercial accommodation on the south coast) named Christian’s Minde in memory of Christian Ellmoos who had died in 1888.


The Commonwealth selects the site of Captain’s Point for the Royal Australian Naval College.


Jervis Bay School opened on the land of the Naval College.


The Commonwealth acquires the land and sea that form the Jervis Bay Territory from NSW under the Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 . The Act also allows the Governor-General to make Ordinances for the peace order and good government of the Territory.

The first naval cadet-midshipmen commenced training at the newly opened Royal Australian Naval College being transferred after their second year of training from temporary facilities near Melbourne.


The first Passing Out Parade took place at the Naval College. Reviewed by the Governor-General the Parade included Midshipmen Collins and Farncomb who went on to Flag rank in World War Two including command of British and US forces thus providing Australia’s first international naval commanders.


New proposal for rail link (Canberra-Vincentia-Hole in the Wall) fails due to lack of funding. Due to the Great Depression the Naval College was transferred to HMAS Cerberus at Flinders Naval Depot near Melbourne and the buildings were leased to contractors for use as holiday accommodation.


A primary school was opened on the Aboriginal settlement at Wreck Bay and a teacher / manager appointed.


Records indicate that about fifty people lived at the Aboriginal settlement.


Approval granted for the establishment of an Annexe to the Canberra Botanic Gardens near Lake McKenzie.


On 20 January the Naval College was reopened and the establishment was commissioned HMAS Creswell after Vice Admiral Sir William Creswell KCMG KBE RAN who was the First Naval Member of the Australian Naval Board (Chief of Navy) from 1911 to 1919.


Nuclear power station proposed for Murray’s Beach.
Bitou bush deliberately introduced into the area for dune stabilisation. It is now considered the most significant weed in Booderee National Park.


Construction of high quality road and site excavation in preparation for planned construction of a nuclear reactor by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission.
Jervis Bay Nature Reserve was declared under the Public Parks Act 1928 (ACT).


Wreck Bay Housing Company and the Wreck Bay Women’s Committee formed. Land rights issues were the main topic for discussion between the Community and the Government.


The pre-school is opened alongside the Jervis Bay School on Dykes Avenue.


Frustration at the progress of land rights issues led to the blockade of the Summercloud Bay Road which prevented the general public’s access to the Summercloud Bay day visitor area.


Bowen Island Nature Reserve declared under the ACT Nature Conservation Act 1980.


The Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Act 1986 enacted.


The Australian Capital Territory achieves self-government and the Commonwealth negotiates with the new Government to provide services to Jervis Bay Territory.


Administration Ordinance 1990 enacted to allow the Minister to supply utilities and services and to determine fees for those services in JBT.


Jervis Bay Nature Reserve handed over to Australian Nature Conservation Agency and renamed Jervis Bay National Park.
Leases Ordinance 1992 enacted to allow the Minister to regulate leases in JBT.


Jervis Bay National Park and Jervis Bay Botanic Gardens Annexe granted to Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and leased back to the Director of National Parks.


Jervis Bay National Park renamed Booderee National Park.


The Parks Act replaced by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Booderee Botanic Gardens legally incorporated into Booderee National Park


Rural Fires Ordinance 2001 applies the Rural Fires Act 1997 (NSW) and Rural Fires Regulation 1997 (NSW) to JBT. This ensures that JBT aligns the management and control of fires with the structures in place in adjoining NSW communities.


Booderee National Park Management Plan (2002-2009) comes into force.


Draft Booderee National Park Management Plan (2011-2021) released for comment