Russell Island is situated just off the coast of Brisbane, Queensland Australia.
It was first settled in 1866 and become a major supply of fruit and vegetables to the Brisbane market and supplied Australia with oysters from the many oyster farms throughout the area . Today is a cheap land, low cost living place attracting people who cannot afford living on the mainland or who like the idea of living on an island, usually to retire there with their cottage and boat and retirement lifestyles.
There is a shopping centre with a IGA Supermarket, Chemist, Hairdresser, Take-away that is constantly changing hands and management, a PO, a Bakery and that’s it. Across the road a Police Station manned one day a week, an Ambulance station that is almost complete, a Library, a Motel, Liquor Store and 4 Estate Agents…or is it 5 or 6..There is a Cafe, a Medical Centre and an Estate Agent around the corner and a church and a Rec Hall also used as 4 churches on a Saturday and a Sunday., and the Anglican Church, an original building.
Russell had 1,779 permanent residents in 2006 up 35.9% since 2001. However, this changes dramatically on weekends and holidays when many of the 30% of dwellings on the island which are classified as unoccupied are visited by their owners. Fast ferries and scheduled barges straddle the distance to Redland Bay quickly for most of the day.
In the 2011 Census the population of Russell Island is 2,473, 50.3% female and 49.7% male.
The median/average age of the Russell Island population is 51 years of age, 14 years above the Australian average. This pattern is changing in recent years with Centrelink sending people to live on the island and families bringing children and animals to live cheaper than they can on the Mainland. The pattern is changing and this is reflected in the shopping areas and Ferry travel and the number of people working for the Dole or shopping at the Community Centre Op Shop.
68.8% of people living in Russell Island were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 6.1%, England 5.7%, Scotland 1%, Philippines 1%, Germany 0.9%
Electricians, builders and plumbers are resident on the Island, making the island somewhat self-supportive. Services include power, phone, broadband, water and garbage collection but sewerage and tarring of the vast majority of streets is still some time away. Garbage is trucked to the mainland for disposal. The Rural Fire Brigade, State Emergency Service and the Ambulance service receive strong volunteer support. Several volunteer Justices of the peace live on the island. A small primary school for around 180 students and there is a swimming pool next door as well as the shark proof swimming enclosure next to the Jetty.