The name Success is one of the oldest names in Western Australian history.

In 1827 Captain James Stirling sailed out of Sydney Harbour en route to the Swan River, to explore it as a site for settlement. His ship was named the H.M.S Success, and the survey was profitable.

The Success visited WA shores again in 1829, under Captain William Jervoise. This time there was some drama: the ship ran aground on a sandbank in Cockburn Sound and had to be completely rebuilt, which was done using sturdy Western Australian jarrah. The sandbank was named Success Bank, and Captain Jervoise gave his name to the little bay south of Woodman Point, and in turn to the ill-fated City of Jervoise Bay (the name for the proposed merger between Cockburn and Kwinana, a generally unpopular and now abandoned process).

HMS Success

The Success being repaired off Carnac Island, WA, after running aground on a sandbank


The area we know as Success was part of a land grant to George Dunnage in 1829. He built a cottage, several outhouses and a well, and cleared a road to the Clarence townsite near Woodman Point. Over the years, the area was cleared for agriculture, the wetlands drained and a tram line built.

The name Success was approved as a suburb in 1973 (it was a toss-up between ‘Success’ and ‘Omeo’, also after a ship), but housing development didn’t begin until the 1990s. Gateways was built in 1999, and the suburb continues to thrive and expand today.

Here’s a gif I made of the development of Success, from 1953 until 2014.
All these photos are available on the City of Cockburn’s website, under the ‘Aerial Historical’ feature of IntraMaps

Success through the decades

Success through the decades