Goodna, an outer eastern suburb of Ipswich, is on the south side of the Brisbane River (opposite Priors Pockett, Moggill), 13 km from the centre of Ipswich. Its eastern boundary is the Woogaroo Creek, and when the village site for Goodna was proclaimed in 1856 it was known as Woogaroo.

The Brisbane River was explored by John Oxley as far upstream as Goodna in 1824 and again by Edmund Lockyer in 1825. There are extensive beds of sandstone (the Woogaroo Subgroup) at Goodna, and Commandant Patrick Logan had building material quarried there in 1826. Stone was again quarried for the 1880s building boom.

Agricultural settlement moved inland along the Brisbane River valley and the Goodna village was allocated a post office in 1862. It was on the Ipswich - Brisbane telegraph link by late 1864. A Congregational church was opened in 1863 and a primary school in 1870.

When the railway line from Ipswich to Brisbane was opened in stages during 1874-75, Goodna was one of the original stations; in fact, a ceremony for turning the first sod was held in Goodna in 1873.

Apart from the usual farm occupations and tradespeople in a country town, Goodna had the Woogaroo asylum (site reserved 1861), coal mining to the west and quarrying. A quarry in Stuart Street supplied stone for a new Catholic church (1881) designed by Andrea Stombuco. Named St Patrick's, the church was renamed St Francis Xavier in 1924, and it is listed on the Queensland heritage register. A former Sisters of Mercy convent (1911) and a primary school (1910) adjoin it. The church became the nucleus of a new village, up from the flood-prone river bank.

In 1903 Goodna was described in the Australian Handbook:

There were also several friendly societies and Goodna Jockey Club. The racecourse was east of the present Gailes railway station, indicating that Goodna extended well beyond its present boundary which runs along Woogaroo Creek. Goodna's main civic precinct is along Church Street, including the Presbyterian church (1915, demolished in controversial circumstances in 2006) at the north end, the Catholic church, the war memorial, several heritage houses and the Police barracks. A school of arts was burnt down.

In 1924 the sporting community formed a local golf club, choosing land next to the railway line in the direction of Brisbane. It is now the Gailes golf course, immediately west of the former racecourse. Postwar urbanisation of the fringe of metropolitan Brisbane, along with urbanisation along the railway east of Ipswich, positioned Goodna as a location for the Westside Christian College (1977), a P-12 school with an enrolment of over 780 by 2002. The Ipswich motorway brought vehicular commuting to Goodna, and a drive-in shopping centre (1987) was built away from it, but close enough to be within earshot. It has a supermarket and 48 shops.

Whilst the Catholic church is the architecturally notable building, there were four Protestant congregations all with their own buildings. Hotels have not survived in their original numbers, only the Royal Mail remaining. The Woogaroo asylum is now the John Oxley Hospital in Wacol.

Goodna has the Woogaroo Creek and smaller streams that pass through its built-up area. When the Brisbane River flooded in January 2011 its waters covered a swathe of the Ipswich Motorway and three tongues of lower-lying land. These included the shopping centres west of Queens Street, the floodway east of the (high and dry) Catholic school, and the floodplain on the Woogaroo Creek (including adjacent houses). About 300 houses were flooded.

Goodna's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation
1871282
1901704
19112167
19471159
*2064
20067939
20118777
* Includes Woogaroo asylum.

 

Further Reading: 

D.R. Teague, A short history of the Goodna district and State School, Goodna, Goodna State School, 1966