Map - Rodd Island

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Rodd Island

Rodd Island is a 6700 m2 island on the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia. It lies in the centre of Iron Cove, between the suburbs of Drummoyne, Russell Lea, Rodd Point, Haberfield and Leichhardt. It is located west of the Sydney Harbour upstream and the Harbour Bridge. Today the island is uninhabited, and forms part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. The island has had various other names over its history: Rabbit Island, Rhode Island, Snake Island and Jack Island.

The island is named after Brent Clements Rodd, who had a long association with the island and the local area. He first attempted to buy the island from the government in 1842. The Rodd family, who lived on the western shore of Iron Cove in what is now the suburb of Rodd Point, used the island for recreation. Rodd tried again to purchase the island in 1859 and even put down a deposit of 17 pounds on it. However, the transaction was never completed and the island eventually became part of the first public recreation reserve in Sydney Harbour in 1879. Despite being a solicitor, Rodd managed neither to purchase the island, nor to have his deposit refunded.

Between 1888 and 1894, the island was used as a laboratory by scientists working for the Pasteur Institute, who were researching the use of the chicken cholera microbe to control Australia's rabbit population. Louis Pasteur sent his nephew, Doctor Adrien Loir to conduct the experimentation in Australia and facilities were constructed on the island. Pasteur was interested because he had been conducting similar research in France and Henry Parkes had offered a 25,000 pound reward to anyone who could solve the rabbit infestation problem. However, the research received an unfavourable report in 1889 and from June, 1890, the facilities were used to manufacture sheep and cattle vaccines for anthrax and pleuro-pneumonia.

The island was briefly home to Sarah Bernhardt's dogs. They were quarantined there during her 1891 world tour at the suggestion of Loir. Bernhardt was a frequent visitor to the island during her time in Sydney.

After 1894, the laboratories were demolished and the research station residence was converted into a dance hall, which still stands there, along with two summer houses and a gazebo constructed in the early 20th century. At this time, the island was managed by the Rodd Island Recreation Trust. Further changes were in the pipeline but never went ahead because of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Sydney in 1900. The Sydney Harbour Trust took over managing the island and they doubled its area by reclaiming land from the bay and constructing sea walls. Once the outbreak of the plague had finished, the island became a recreation area.

During the Second World War, from 1944, the island was used as a training base for the US Army. After the war, it reverted to its former use as a recreation area. The island became part of the Sydney Harbour National Park in February, 1982, and is now a popular picnic area and function centre. Loir's restored house was opened to the public in 1996.

 

Map - Rodd Island

Latitude / Longitude : 33° 51' 49" S / 151° 9' 12" E | Time zone : UTC+11:0 / UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  

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Photograph

Rodd Island-History-Sketch of the Australian Pasteur Institute, Rodd Island, Sydney, ca. 1890
History
Sketch of the Australian Pasteur Institute, Rodd Island, Sydney, ca. 1890
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Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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