First Occupants

Thousands of years before European occupancy, the North Shore was the land resource area of the Toombra clan of the Undanbi people. They educated their children in matters relating to sustenance and preservation of culture. Using the natural landscape as a schoolroom, skills and knowledge were acquired by observation and through tutoring by their elders.

Occupancy by Europeans

Europeans commenced to occupy the land from the 1880s but not provisions were made for establishing a school. Selectors among whom were William Harry Baker, William Parsons, Amos Wickerson and William Godfrey alienated their selected from the Crown and used the land as free range for cattle and horses as well as growing citrus crops. In the 1890s two children, Eleanor May and Harry Searle, were born to the Baker family who had freeholded Portion 102V, Parish Maroochy County Canning on a part of which the Pacific Paradise School was located in 1992.

Attendance at a school for sixty days in a year had become compulsory in 1875. Some of the children in the late 1880s were aged between six and twelve years. Since their parents lived farther away than three miles from the nearest school the children were exempted from attending school. However one family, the Peatlings, sent their youngest son Frederick John, six miles to the Diddillibah Provisional School that was opened in 1885. Other children were either taught at home by their parents or did not receive any schooling. After 1893 when the river broke its banks causing major flooding in which the site of the Pacific Paradise School was five feet under water, many of the families suffered great hardship.

Towards an Urban Future

The initial phase of urbanisation took-off in the 1950s. Plans for major improvements in ways to access the North Shore, among which was the David Low Bridge at Bli Bli, the David Low Way and the Maroochy Airport, aroused the interest of the government and private urban developers in the potential of the "huge area of undeveloped country most suitable for seaside resort development".

A School site set aside

The chairman of Maroochy Shire's approach was successful. Arthur Low, in March 1959, suggested to J A Pizzey, the Minister for Education, that "a site/sites for a future school/schools should be acquired at Mudjimba Beach and Pacific Paradise", the District Inspector of Schools investigated what land was available in the locality. He recommended land in the north-west corner of Portion 598, Parish of Maroochy as a site suitable for school purposes.

Ushering in the school 1980 - 1991

The establishment of the school in the Pacific Paradise locality had its beginnings in the 1980s. Mudjimba, Marcoola and Pacific Paradise had become medium density residential areas. A major development of 250 acres - Maroochy Woods and Maroochy Waters Estate - was also being planned on the southern side of the urban areas and the smaller development of Suncoast Estate comprising of 87 lots was set to take off at Marcoola. Gordon Simpson, the State Member for Cooroora, in 1982 recognised the necessity of a larger school reserve to cater for the growing population.

The Education Department then investigated not only the suitability of the reserve but also the need to establish a school. Enrolments for 1983 were calculated and eighty-six students were "not sufficient to warrant the opening" of a primary school. Moreover the school reserve that was approximately "half low-lying tea-tree swamp_ was not adequate for school facilities.

The importance of establishing a school surfaced again in 1986. The enrolment of 488 students was over taxing the facilities at Bli Bli State School and to relieve the situation a relief school was required.

Building the School

A modern primary school was built on the site. Architects, Microvitch & Microvitch, designed a campus similar to one at Morayfield East Primary School in which the facilities of a preschool were integrated with those of a primary school Grade 1.

The school complex was built over a period of five months. All buildings except the store were constructed to S88 standard. They were of single story concrete slab on ground construction.

The Name

The school was officially named on 3 December 1991. The school was named after its precise geographic location and was called Pacific Paradise State School.

Laying the Foundation

The day - 28 January 1992. The gates of Pacific Paradise State School were officially opened and, during the morning, 370 students and fifty preschoolers passed through into the grounds.  

Last reviewed 31 March 2020
Last updated 31 March 2020