Oh baby! 2016 really was a big year for Cronulla

​Shire girls: Tess Berry (left), Keryn Barclay, Rebecca Shean and Cruz, Lauri Gouch, Chevaun Ambler and Eden, Julia Kerwand and Asher, Leanne Oakley, Alison McGuire. Front: Ester, Jaxson, Willow, Jed, Ellie, Asher. Picture: Chris Lane
​Shire girls: Tess Berry (left), Keryn Barclay, Rebecca Shean and Cruz, Lauri Gouch, Chevaun Ambler and Eden, Julia Kerwand and Asher, Leanne Oakley, Alison McGuire. Front: Ester, Jaxson, Willow, Jed, Ellie, Asher. Picture: Chris Lane

​2016 was a big year for Cronulla in more ways than one.

Not only did the Sharks win their maiden rugby league premiership after 50 years, the suburb also experienced a mini baby boom.

The NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriage recorded 257 births in Cronulla – the highest of any suburb in Sutherland Shire.

Cronulla was the only shire suburb to make the state’s Top 50, in 47th position.

But, Cronulla is not the only area in the shire to produce beautiful babies over the last year, as can be seen from Chris Lane’s photo of a group of friends gathered in Monro Park, Cronulla.

They are from suburbs that stretch from Cronulla, Woolooware and Burraneer to Miranda, Gymea Bay, Menai and Illawong.

All of them feel lucky to live in the shire.

“The best thing about having a baby in the shire is the beautiful hours of walking we get to do – trying to make our babies sleep,” one said with a laugh.

“You feel you have the support of so many like minded people, and it’s great being part of a relaxed and loving community,” said another.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman, who released the registry data, said Olivia and Oliver were the state’s most popular baby names in 2016 for the second time in three years.

New entrants in the top 20 girls’ and boys’ baby names in 2016 were Harper, Leo, Max and Evelyn.

Mr Speakman said the death last year of author Harper Lee, who published To Kill a Mockingbird under her middle name in 1960, has propelled the name into popular culture.

Names that dropped out included Charlie, Cooper and Matilda.

The top boy and girl names were:

  • 1 Oliver – Olivia
  • 2 William – Charlotte
  • 3 Jack – Amelia
  • 4 Noah – Ava
  • 5 Lucas – Mia
  • 6 James – Chloe
  • 7 Ethan – Emily
  • 8 Thomas – Grace
  • 9 Alexander – Isla
  • 10 Leo – Ruby
  • 11 Lachlan – Isabella
  • 12 Liam – Zoe
  • 13 Jacob – Sophia
  • 14 Isaac – Evie
  • 15 Samuel – Sophie
  • 16 Harrison – Ivy
  • 17 Benjamin – Ella
  • 18 Henry – Evelyn
  • 19 Joshua – Harper
  • 20 Max – Sienna