History Visits Aroona

On a warm, Autumn afternoon in April, we were delighted to host the Gehrke family back to their ancestral property, Aroona, in a region formerly known as Gehrkevale, on Yugara Country. The visit was a celebration of a family member’s 90th birthday while also commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Gehrke family’s arrival to the Colony of Queensland. 

At the turn of the 20th century, Carl Friedrich Wilheim Gehrke acquired several properties and sites in the local community at the time that eventually became known as Gehrkevale. Peter Gehrke, the great grandson of Carl Friedrich Wilheim Gehrke, had retraced his ancestry back to Aroona and during the family’s visit we explored multiple sites of significance including the old Gehrkevale school house and the family’s Sunnyside residence. The family also visited the burial monument of Carl Gehrke’s wife, Berth nearby the original Sunnyside residence. 

Peter Gehrke said of the visit, “It was a wonderful experience to visit the old family Sunnyside properties at Gehrkevale and to see them as they are, rather than through photographs and the distorted perspective of Google Earth. All the properties looked so different to how I had imagined them.” 

Aroona Station was gifted to QTFN by Dr Robin and Kathleen Stock and they continue their amazing legacy through their involvement on the Stock Foundation, established to oversee the management of Aroona into the future. As one of our Long-Term Holding Properties, our staff are particularly fond of Aroona and we’re always keen to learn and discover more about its past as we continue to pave its future. We’d like to say a big thank you to the Gehrke family for sharing this experience with us. The energy and excitement with each new discovery and each story shared on the property was an experience we’ll treasure.