|Population||8,401 (2011 census)|
|• Density||109.53/km2 (283.68/sq mi)|
|Area||76.7 km2 (29.6 sq mi)|
Gracemere is approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) west of the city of Rockhampton. Because of the proximity of the town to Rockhampton, Gracemere has become a dormitory town, with many residents commuting the short distance to work in the city.
The area was first explored by Europeans in 1853, when the Archer brothers arrived looking for pastures for their sheep. They settled by a small lake, originally called "Farris" or Padgole lagoon which was named Gracemere in 1855. The name Gracemere comes from "Grace", the name of Thomas Archer's wife and "mere" which is a Scottish term for lake. They also located a suitable landing point for supplies on the nearby Fitzroy River, which later became Rockhampton.
In July 1855, Charles and Thomas Archer with around 30 other people including four Native Police troopers, four Aboriginal men from the Burnett River and their wives, left the Archer's Eidsvold pastoral station in order to construct the Gracemere run. The Commissioner for Crown Lands in the Leichhardt region, William Wiseman, joined them to help locate the most appropriate area, and in August 1855 they determined the area next to the current Gracemere lagoon was best. The local Aboriginals led by "King Harold" wished to obtain peaceful conditions with the Archer brothers and in return for allowing the indigenous people to live in the area, the Archer brothers utilised Harold's people to aid in forcibly "restraining the outside blacks" who were resisting British occupation.
Gracemere State School opened on 20 February 1871.
As Gracemere developed as a dormitory town, further schools were needed with Waraburra State School opening on 27 January 1987 and St Paul's Catholic Primary School opening on 27 January 1988.
Gracemere has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
Construction and industryEdit
Gracemere, as a commuter town, has a relatively low level of industry compared to Rockhampton. Grazing, particularly of beef cattle, has long been the significant industry of the area. The Gracemere Saleyards, located on the western side of the town, is the largest cattle sales facility in the Southern Hemisphere, and has recently[when?] undergone a multimillion-dollar upgrade. A new shopping centre, Gracemere Shoppingworld, located just off the Capricorn Highway has just opened with Woolworths and Best and Less operating as the anchor stores along with up to 20 speciality stores. Gracemere is rapidly expanding with around 10 new housing estates under construction.
There are three schools servicing Gracemere. They are all primary, one catholic and two public. These are St. Pauls Gracemere, Gracemere State School and Waraburra State School. Currently, all high school students travel by a free bus service into Rockhampton to continue their senior education.
As a dormitory town, most Gracemerians either drive a private vehicle or catch a bus to the city. The bus service, Youngs Bus, operates hourly between the town centre and South Gracemere. Traffic can peak at around 8:00 in the morning, with traffic being banked up for around 1-1.5 kilometers on weekdays. Infrastructure problems are now becoming a reality for the small town and surrounding Capricorn Highway towns. This has resulted in constant roadworks and upgrades of the highway road quality. This mass influx of vehicles has resulted in a proposal for a new western bypass for Rockhampton, to send vehicles right to the northern suburbs, avoiding inner city congestion and delay, as this is where many Gracemerians work.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Gracemere (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "Gracemere - town in Rockhampton Region (entry 14505)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- "Gracemere - locality in Rockhampton Region (entry 48661)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- "ROCKHAMPTON.". The Capricornian. 8, (52). Queensland, Australia. 30 December 1882. p. 5 (The Capricornian ILLUSTRATED CHRISTMAS SUPPLEMENT 1882.). Retrieved 6 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
- "Gracemere Homestead (entry 600508)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- Gracemere State School (1971), Gracemere state school, 1871-1971 : centenary souvenir, City Printing Works, retrieved 14 September 2017