John Fisher Cambage arrived in Sydney as a convict in 1835, was pardoned in 1837 and arrived at a Macleay property near the present ‘Sunnyvale’, Milton and worked as a blacksmith.
After being granted 92 acres near Wilfords Lane he proceeded to build his holdings up to 377 acres, eventually extending along Croobyar Road towards Ulladulla.
His descendants continued to live and farm on properties near Woodstock Road and Wilfords Lane until well into the 20th century. Settlers found that sheep and wheat did not do well in this climate, so most turned to raising pigs, vegetables and dairy products, with dairying becoming the most common rural occupation in the area.
The land on Croobyar Road was later acquired by the Porter family and a portion was sold by Henry Porter to a group of local parents wishing to build a private school. After vigorous fundraising, including many bush dances, barbecues and cake stalls by the families from the 1970s onwards, the Croobyar Christian School was opened behind the present joinery on Croobyar Road in 1985.
The clerical assistant worked on a voluntary basis. Parents spent much of their spare time establishing, equipping and maintaining the school which started with only a Kindergarten class, adding a new grade each year.
The independent schools association appointed Mr Paul West as the first principal, with his wife Audrey as teacher. The school was later moved to the present site. With the school’s debts rising alarmingly withing a few year Dr Ellis, whose two children attended the school applied to the Anglican Church to take it over, which they did in 1991.
By 1994 the school consisted of infants and primary with several demountable classrooms and grew to HSC level with accompanying facilities by 2010. The school was closed in 2016 and remains empty.
This information was provided by the Milton-Ulladulla Historical Society Inc.