Caroline ChisholmPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The park was established in honour of Caroline Chisholm (1808-1877) who was known as `the emigrant`s friend`. She earned this title for her work with poor migrants to Australia during the nineteenth century.

Chisholm was one of this country`s most outstanding women. Her portrait was on the five dollar note for more than twenty years. 

Caroline Chisholm assisted settlers to Shellharbour in 1843. Her ‘Shellharbour experiment’ gave families the opportunity to settle on clearing leases, enabling them to live rent free for six years on the condition they clear the land of trees and scrub for future farming.

Robert Towns, son-in-law of original landowner D’Arcy Wentworth, provided land and basic supplies for the scheme. Towns offered 4000 acres of land to Chisholm to settle families on clearing lease farms at Shellharbour on the Peterborough Estate.

On 6 December 1843, Chisholm brought 23 families by steamer to Shellharbour Harbour. The families were reported to have lived in tents until bark huts were built.  Matthew Dorrough, his wife Martha and their children, came with Chisholm and farmed the area known as Shell Cove today. The family was off-loaded onto the beach in the afternoon and spent their first night under the stars, with the children huddled up under the roots of a large fig tree at the edge of the beach.  The next morning, they were picked up by bullock dray and transported to the site of their proposed farm.

By 1857, many of the settlers had secured or leased homes and properties, and they turned mainly to dairy farming to make a living. By 1861, the population had grown to 1,415 and land began to open up throughout the whole of the new Municipality of Shellharbour.   


Address:Addison Street, Caroline Chisholm Park, Shellharbour, 2529
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.578767
Long: 150.868317
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Caroline Chisholm Park


In 1843 Mrs. Chisholm Took Up 4 Acres At Shellharbour
For The Settlement Of Immigrants.  In December, 1843 
Mrs. Chisholm Left Sydney With Thirty Families Totalling 
240 People To Settle At Shellharbour.

One Hundred Years Later Sir Joseph Carruthers Said 
"Work Such As This Great And Noble Woman Did Ought Never
To Be Forgotten, Least Of All In Places Like Shellharbour 
Where She Did So Much For Settlement."

    Opened By Alderman H. Pilton

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design