History

The Acacia Swimming Club had its humble beginnings in the (then) outer Brisbane suburb of Sunnybank. It was formed in 1958 by two of our Life Members, Bill (Tich) Lee and John Henley.

The venue was the Acacia Tourist Gardens in Station Road, Sunnybank.  The pool itself was built in the late 1930s and was 100 feet (30 metres) long and 20 feet (6 metres) wide.  It had a diving tower at one end.  At the shallow end a 1.5 metre stone frog jetted water into the pool through its mouth.  Two sets of steps ran down into the pool at the shallow end for easy entry.  However this made tumble turns very difficult during competition.

Bernie Wakefield joined the Club in 1963 with his wife and two children and became a part-time coach.
 
Acacia affiliated with Brisbane Swimming in 1963 as an E grade club.  Today, we are a Premier Division Club. Due to the area being rezoned and later sold, the Club had to move during the 1980s to the 50 metre pool at Hibiscus Gardens, Mt. Gravatt where it remained for another 10 years.

When the Chandler pool was built for the 1982 Commonwealth Games, Acacia leased several lanes for winter swimming.  In the mid-1990s the Club moved permanently to Chandler when 5 lanes became available for lease. In 2001 the Club moved again to the Moreton Bay College pool when the increasing lane hire charges and entry costs at the Chandler complex threatened to put Premier Club swimming beyond the reach of many in the community.  Most club members are now residents of the eastern and southern suburbs of Brisbane.

The Club has produced 10 Australian representatives and two Olympians in Susan O’Neill and Scott Logan.  Susan also contested two Commonwealth Games, three Pan Pacific Championships and three World Championships whilst a member of the Club.

Club members have won more than 50 Open Australian Championships, with over 87 medals in total and a further 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze in relays.  Members have also won over 55 Gold and 160 medals in total from Australian Age Championships.

Club members have won more than 530 State Championships, including over 42 Open Titles.  The total medal count for State titles is over 1,000.  The Club has    twice won the Brisbane premiership. In 1991 Acacia was recognized officially as an Australian High Performance Club.  Swimmers were placed each year on the prestigious Queensland Target Squads and Development Squads.

The Club’s original Head Coach, Bernie Wakefield, represented Australia as a Team Coach at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the 1993 Pan Pacific Games in Kobe, Japan, the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada and the 1994 World Swimming Championships in Rome, Italy.

Acacia Swimming Club’s achievements under Bernie Wakefield’s coaching are now fittingly remembered through the Memorial Honour Board at the entry to Moreton Bay College Pool.

The move to the Moreton Bay College pool has been very successful. Competition standard lights were installed early in 2003.  The blocks used at the Chandler complex for the Goodwill Games were purchased and installed in 2004 and a new PA system was added. 

In the 2008/09 season Tom Barrett went to the Youth Commonweath Games in India.  He won Gold, Silver and 2 Bronze medals.  We also had five of our swimmers (Maddi Bruce, Katherine Gaynor, Carla Buchanan, Delenn Palmer and Barbara Vali) go to the Pacific School Games winning 13 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals with Maddi Bruce breaking the Australian Record in the 50 Backstroke.  We had a very successful state tiles with the club coming 9th which is the first time Acacia has been in the top 10 since moving to MBC.  At this year’s Age Nationals, Carla Buchanan won gold in the 13 years 200 IM and Silver in the 400 IM - this capped of a great season.