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History of Wollongong Memorial Gardens

We show our respect and acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Dharawal Country, Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.


Wollongong Memorial Gardens has been operating as a service of Wollongong City Council since 1959, when our main site at Unanderra was opened. However, our story goes back much further than that.

Many of the cemeteries we manage date back to the 1800s, and were established by some of the earliest European inhabitants of the Wollongong region.

In 1959, our Memorial Gardens at Unanderra were established. This location is home to our administration centre, which coordinates the management of all Wollongong Memorial Gardens locations.

Until the 1960s, public or 'general' cemeteries were manged by the NSW Government. In 1967, the care of these cemeteries was passed to local councils. Wollongong City Council was given responsibility for cemeteries at Wollongong, Bulli, Scarborough, Kembla Grange (Settler's Cemetery), Waterfall and Helensburgh.

In 1979, Kembla Grange Cemetery (previously called Wollongong Lawn Cemetery) was opened to provide additional burial and memorial sites for our growing city.

In 1989, the Church of England also transferred care of the Berkeley Pioneer Cemetery to Wollongong City Council.

Over the years we have continued to offer diverse options for burials and memorials, and to meet the cultural and religious needs of our community, now and for future generations.