For many thousands of years Aboriginal people have been custodians of the land on which Amaroo EEC now stands. The Jarowair and Giabal are acknowledged as traditional owners of the Toowoomba-Highfields area. Not far from Amaroo EEC is Gummingurru, a stone arrangement/ceremony ground that is believed to have been used by various groups as they came through to the Bunya Mountains every few years.
The story of contact with European settlers in this area is an unfortunate one involving dispossession and bloodshed. As a result of those times there are relatively few remaining members of the Jarowair and Giabal people in this area.
European settlement of the Kleinton/Highfields area dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for grazing. The population was minimal until the 1870s when other land uses began, including dairy farming and timber-getting. Growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s, aided by the opening of the railway line from Toowoomba in 1883. The most significant development occurred from the 1960s. The population increased substantially from the early 1990s, with the population almost doubling between 1991 and 2011 as new dwellings were added to the area, particularly from the outward expansion on Toowoomba's fringe.
Kleinton State School was opened on 20 February 1911 as a one-teacher school and closed in 1970. Apparently two acres of land for the school was donated to the Department of Public Instruction for the establishment of a local school by the Brazier family who owned the local brickworks. We believe the school building is the oldest one-teacher brick-built school in Queensland.
Amaroo Environmental Education Centre
Kleinton State School remained closed from 1971 to 1975 when it was opened as the Amaroo Field Study Centre on 14 March 1975. The centre staff provided camping and day visit environmental education programs for schools in the Toowoomba region and also managed Deongwar State Forestry camp site off the Hampton-Esk Road until it closed in 2000. In 1992 the centre was renamed Amaroo Environmental Education Centre.
Amaroo 40th Anniversary brochure (PDF, 933KB)