Japoonvale is a rural village 25 km south-west of Innisfail. It is thought that 'Japoon' derived from an Aboriginal word describing eels.

Farm settlements at Japoonvale began in the early 1900s. Sugar cane was transported northwards to the Goondi mill. Timber and other crops were taken by tramway (1910) to the Maria Creek wharf at Kurrimine Beach. When the South Johnstone sugar mill was opened in 1916 the tramway was continued northwards, joining Japoonvale to the mill. Almost immediately a primary school was opened at Japoonvale. It was named Stratvell, in honour of Joseph Stratford from Innisfail, reputedly the first soldier ashore at Gallipoli, and Nurse Edith Cavell. Later there was a store, a church and a public hall.

West of Japoonvale there is the Japoon National Park (1992). Stratvell school closed in 2002.

Japoonvale's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation
192150
1947165
1961256
2006*957
2011not recorded

*district

Marlene Bromell and Rosanna D'Urso (comp), Stratvell State School, Japoonvale: the first 75 years, the school, 1991

Alan Hudson, Sweet success: the story of South Johnstone mill, Ascot, Christopher Beck Books, 1995

Headwords: 
Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, 2018. All rights reserved.
UQ Logo