Norman Park, mainly an interwar suburb, is four km east of central Brisbane. It lies east of the Norman Creek which was first bridged in 1856. Subject to recurrent flooding, the creek overran much of Norman Park in both 1893 and 1974. Unsurprisingly, European settlement concentrated on the higher ground of East Brisbane until forced over the creek, aided by tram services along Cleveland Road (1915) and Wynnum Road (1926).
The Norman Creek was named 'Gorman' in about 1825, and the district was settled for farming purposes in the 1850s when the creek was bridged. Even so, fewer than ten houses north-east of the creek were recorded in 1880. A little later 'Eulalia' at 75 McIlwraith Street was built in 1889 for the prominent barrister Patrick Real. The Norman Park Estate, probably named after the creek or Sir Henry Norman, Governor of Queensland (1889-95) was put up for sale toward the end of the land boom. Financial depression, and then the 1893 flood, retarded sales. The Cleveland railway line was opened in 1899, but without a Norman Park station until 1911. A primary school was opened in 1900, and the following year the Norman Creek Bridge Board was established. Neither, however, promoted much growth in Norman Park: the Bridge Board was concerned with access to Balmoral, Bulimba and Hawthorne, and the initiative for the school came mainly from residents of Hawthorne.
A tram line (1903) along Lytton Road, East Brisbane, stayed stalled at Norman Bridge until 1926, when it was pushed across to Wynnum Road. Between those years there was an unusual railway line operated by the Belmont Shire, running through Seven Hills to the Norman Park railway station. It was ahead of its time, ceasing in 1926, and Norman Park was merely a change-over point for country folk on their way to the city.
The Norman Creek and an eastern tributary near the railway station was edged with tropical vegetation, over which views could be had, particularly near Galloways Hill and Lourdes Convent beside the Brisbane River. They were popular picnic spots. A chain of parks now stretches from half way across the suburb to the River. 'Norman Park', west of Scott Street, is one of them.
The Norman Park post office was opened in 1914 and substantial residential settlement in Norman Park started in the 1920s. The ridges were occupied by middle-class houses, and workers' houses and post World War II Service homes were located in the lower areas. Since the 1970s when upstream flood mitigation works in the Brisbane Valley were improved, the lower parts of Norman Park have been a safer place to reside. Revegetation of the creek banks was done in the 1990s.
There are parklands and a bowling club to the west along Norman Creek. To the east, Norman Park included part of Seven Hills until 2001, when Seven Hills was declared a separate suburb and Norman Park's boundary retreated westwards.
In 2011 the median weekly income of Norman Park's residents was $975, 40% higher than the median for metropolitan Brisbane.
The floods in January 2011 followed the open spaces adjoining Norman Creek and spread beyond them to houses in a few places. If the 1893 or 1974 flood patterns had been repeated, land up to Bennetts Bushland Park and down Bennetts Road past Bottomley Park would have been covered.
Norman Park's census populations have been:
Kevin Conmee, 'Subdivision boom, building bust: The slow settlement of Norman Park' in Rod Fisher and Barry Shaw, eds, Brisbane, people, places and progress, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane History Group, 1995
Jessica Swanwick, 1900 Norman Park State School 2000, Deagon, Erinport, 2000
John F. Higgins, Early days: a history of Norman Park, Brisbane, J.F. Higgins, c1990
Seven Hills entry