Currawong has a long and varied history. The land was originally part of the traditional lands of the Garigal and Cannagal peoples and was used by Aboriginal people until the early 1800’s. The existing Currawong land parcel was created as early as 1823 when the land was selected. A formal land grant was then made in 1836 to Martin Burke.
From this time until the1940’s the land was used by various owners and families as farming land. Only one of the original farm homesteads remain from this period, being the heritage listed “Midholme”, which was constructed about 1910 and remains as one of the oldest buildings on the western foreshores.
The next important phase of the history of Currawong begun in 1949 when the land was purchased by the Labor Council of NSW (now Unions NSW). The Labor Council purchased the site specifically to provide inexpensive holiday accommodation for union members and their families. The majority of the ten (10) camp cabins were constructed between 1949 and 1953. The first one built was called “Kenny’s cabin” after J.D.Kenny, the Assistant Secretary of the Labor Council at the time of purchase of Currawong, and the main instigator of the development of the union holiday camp. The next eight (8) cabins were built up behind Kenny’s cabin, following the escarpment and connected by pathways. These cabins are significant as they were built to plans by the Vandyke Brothers, using their new “Sectionit” prefabricated system of construction.
A good summary of the history of Currawong can be seen on the State Inventory sheet prepared by the NSW Heritage Branch