Australian History and Brisbane (and NZ)

1. Introduction to Sydney's early English Settlements

2. Australian Federation and Citizenship

3. Timeline of the Early Colonies freedom from Sydney's rule

4. Policing and Current Populations

5. Brisbane and Queensland initially the Moreton Bay settlement

Introduction — Sydney's early English Settlements

The population of Australia at the time of its "invasion" by England in 1788 is estimated at perhaps being about 1 million though it may well have been less. The population around the Sydney region was estimated as "about 1500". From the beginning, instructions from England were to "establish good relations with the Indigenous people" in order to "gain useful knowledge of the area", and all reports of Governor Phillip show that, yes, he endeavoured to do just that, ordering that the Aboriginal peoples must be "well-treated, and that anyone killing Aboriginal people (without due cause - Steve) would be hanged". But in 1791, Governor Phillips handed out muskets to ex-convict settlers, to "shoot at" aboriginals, and inevitably settler and government retaliation against aboriginal attacks led to unpunished massacres.
Year of last massacre by State (according to Wikipedia)

On the other hand, starting with Governor Macquarie on 4th May 1816, click here for the attempts at peace by the British Government in Sydney and in the other colonies during these early years by establishing "protected reserves". Click here for recent developments. No, no simple answers about how people can live together, particularly when they have different cultural backgrounds — James 4. Not without God's help.

On a somewhat related subject, click here for recent statistics on Refugees that have settled in Australia during the last 55 years 1965-2020. Currently about 50,000 are arriving each year. Once again, there are no easy answers when millions have said they wish to come.

Anyway , beginning in 1788 all the initial settlements in Australia were ruled from Sydney as penal settlements or "prison camps", with land grants and leases offered to convicts as they completed their sentences. Each Governor was empowered to grant land to these men. Every male was entitled to 30 acres, an additional 20 acres if married, and 10 acres for each child with him in the settlement at the time of the grant. To encourage free settlers to the colony, Governor Phillip received additional Instructions entitling non-commissioned Marine Officers to 100 acres and privates to 50 acres over and above the quantity allowed to convicts. Other settlers coming to the colony were also to be given grants.

Click here for historical maps of the boundaries of each colony. Note that Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) was assumed to be part of the mainland until 1798, when it was discovered to be an island.

Click here for some background on what was being used for money.

There were no (or minimal) land sales before 1831. Transportation to Sydney ended in 1840 as the colony opened up to free settlement, land sales (by auction), and subdivision. Self-government in NSW came in 1855.

Independent colonies opened up under British rule, starting with Hobart in Van Diemen's land in the south in 1825.

By the time transportation ended in 1868, the number of convicts is said to have totalled perhaps 164,000 with that figure including some internal transfers and local convictions. It has been estimated that almost two-thirds were English, though that figure included about 5% who were definitely Scots and perhaps 3% Welsh, with the other one-third coming from Ireland. Of their initial destinations:

A database of 123,000 names has been located of the British transportation registers, and is available for downloading from If you wish, click here to download it as a compact .csv file that opens in Excel, sorted by transportation year. It shows just the convict name and initial destination.

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New Zealand

Over the waters from Sydney in 1834, James Busby, the official British Resident in New Zealand, drafted a document known as the "Declaration of (sovereign) Independence" of New Zealand, under the protection of the British Crown, which he and 34 northern Maori chiefs signed at Waitangi on 28 October 1835. Back in 1769-1770 James Cook, followed by English missionaries, had started transcribing the Maori language into the English script, a development embraced enthusiastically by Maoris during the 1820s. By 1839, 52 chiefs had signed. In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi, that ensured future land sales always had to go via the Crown, meant New Zealand was now a British colony then in 1853 a self-governing British colony alongside New South Wales. Click here for further background to this document. Now in 1862, the first electric telegraph line was built, starting at Christchurch in the South Island. In 1872 it reached Auckland, then in 1876 a submarine cable was laid to Sydney, and thus to the rest of the world.

In 1907 the Colony of New Zealand changed its rank to that of a Dominion within the British Empire. Since the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, "Commonwealth Realm" is the term used.

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Australian Federation and Citizenship

Federation in 1901 now declared Australia's colonies to be self-governing states inside the Commonwealth of Australia, with the Australian constitution recognising the principal of "separation of powers" i.e. having three branches of government 1. Parliament: Making laws, with Parliament always subject to the Constitution 2. Prime Minister and the Cabinet: Enforcing laws 3. High Court Judges: Interpreting laws in light of the Constitution. The Constitution cannot be changed by an Act of Parliament alone, a referendum of the people is necessary. The change must receive majority support in a national vote, and also majority of support in a majority of states i.e. at least four of the six states.
Click here for further background to this Australian system of government.

In 1942, Australia changed its status from that of a "dominion" inside the British Empire to that of a "member" inside the British Commonwealth of Nations. In 1946, England dropped the word "British" in reference to this statutory body, in preparation for upcoming independence and membership by the Republic of India.

In 1948, the issue of becoming an Australian citizen, and having an Australian passport, arose. Prior to 1947, all peoples who lived under British protection by descent in the Commonwealth of Nations, including indigenous peoples in India and Australia, were entitled to British citizenship and to a British passport. This situation could no longer apply to subjects in the brand new Republics of India and Pakistan, at that time suffering from partition, population transfer, and violence.

Interestingly, an earlier move by the Irish Free State in 1924 to issue an Irish passport had deleted those two words "British Subject". This fact had made their passports unacceptable to British Consular and Passport officers worldwide when Irish citizens were wanting to enter, say, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, with replacement passports, say from Belfast, necessary.

Each member country click here in this new Commonwealth of Nations, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc (but not Ireland) now put in force local citizenship laws. On January 26 1949, Australia's first Minister of Immigration, Arthur Calwell, declared that

  1. ** Everyone born inside Australia were automatically granted Australian citizenship, regardless of parents nationality, unless the parent was a foreign ambassador.

    **After 20 August 1986, children born in Australia were required to have at least one parent an Australian citizen (or permanent resident) to be Australian citizens.

  2. Everyone who had been born outside Australia could automatically apply to become Australian citizens, provided they had been living in Australia for five years.

Rules have evolved somewhat. The other situation after 1949 of being an Australian citizen, and thus becoming a British subject was then acknowledged by the UK up to January 1983, but rarely since.

On 26 January 1984, all British subjects in Australia who were not Australian citizens became known as "permanent residents". If registered to vote, they were allowed to retain that right, but after that date the right to vote was only to be granted to Australian citizens.
At the same time, the residence period for naturalisation was reduced from 3 years to 2 years, though after 2007, it was increased to 4 years.

Click here for the latest rules on Australian citizenship.

Click here regarding Australian citizenship and indigenous peoples.

In 1992, in a High Court decision akin to New Zealand's formal declaration of historic land rights, the Murray Island decision asserted that "Native Title" pre-existed prior to 1788 for community governance purposes, and rejected the use of "Terra Nullius" inferred in an earlier 1971 decision by the Government of Queensland. Referred to as the "Mabo decision" after the trade union leader who had taken this case up to the High Court. Famously alluded to in "The Castle", a movie filled with Australia's talent at "sending itself up".

Terra Nullius — its background

  1. Terra is the Latin word for land (in general)
  2. Territorium is more specifically, the Latin word for the land around (or sometimes within) the boundaries of a town i.e. its territory
  3. In 1888 "Territorium Nullius" - nobody's territory - was first used as a Latin expression at the Berlin conference in Germany in reference to unclaimed territory around settlements in Africa
  4. In 1909 "Terra Nullius" - nobody's land - referred to an unclaimed polar region known as Svalbard by Camille Piccioni. Today polar regions are the subject of ongoing disputes by Russia, Canada, Denmark and Norway
  5. In 1992 "Terra Nullius" became a straw man argument made by Eddie Mabo's lawyers with specific reference to the Torres Straits Islands, claiming that the Queensland Government in 1971 had used the context of "Crown Land" to infer a prior "Terra Nullius" or "Nobody's Land" situation was applicable when James Cook made that declaration in 1770 at Cape York "claiming the territory of New South Wales in the name of the British Crown". But the land was occupied.
    So as a "straw man" argument in 1992, it could immediately be demolished by lawyers.

However, back in 1770 the British Empire, the French Empire, the Prussians the Russians and the Chinese were major world-wide institutions. The British Government knew that the occupants of the land were entitled to Common law rights, and that Cook's declaration would inevitably involve granting them their rights. The situation then was more complicated than a Polar region "Terra Nullius" debate. And on many levels the situation still is today. A kingdom, an empire, a nation divided against itself cannot stand. Matthew 12:25

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Timeline of the Colonies

Back to the 1800s. As far as "becoming free" of Sydney's oversight and control went, dates of independence (which made them answerable to London, not Sydney) followed by self-government were as follows:

  1. Hobart (Van Diemen's Land)
    was first in 1825, becoming a major penal colony for Britain until transportation finally ended for them in 1853. Self-government and the renaming of the island as Tasmania (thus removing that "demon" pun) followed in 1856.
  2. Western Australia
    was second. A small convict settlement was established at King George's Sound (Albany) in 1827, followed by an independent free settlement at the Swan River Colony in 1829, with its main town named as Perth. In 1831 Albany was incorporated into this colony, the convicts were returned to Sydney, and a boundary for Western Australia was set. However the colony had poor growth. In 1850, in order to boost its current white population of 5000 (and get more financial support from Britain) they ended up agreeing to becoming a penal colony until 1868. Self-government, with an upper and lower house, finally came to them in 1890.
  3. South Australia
    was created by a special act of Parliament in London in 1834 with its boundaries broken away from New South Wales, and sponsored free passage from England for four years, a free province, no convicts ever. Growth was rapid. Self-government came in 1855.
  4. Victoria and the push for Federation (ACT and Canberra)
    Melbourne (Victoria) was next. Boundaries and independence from Sydney in 1851, followed by self-government in 1855.

    By 1865, Melbourne had overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city. In 1885, it became a member of the Federal Council of Australasia (1885-1899) with Fiji, though awkwardly without NSW or NZ as fellow members. The Council first met in Hobart in 1886, but without NSW in attendance, its decisions had limited impact.

    Federation and the Federal Capitals (Melbourne, then Canberra)
    With its official opening of Commonwealth Parliament on May 9th 1901 by the Duke and Duchess of York i.e. the future King George V and Queen Mary, Melbourne became the defacto capital of Australia until 1927.
    On May 9th 1927, Canberra's first Parliament House was finally opened by King George V's second son and his wife, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

    Canberra, midway between Sydney and Melbourne, is a planned and somewhat "artificial" city with a population in 2022 of 450,000. In 1963, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra's artificial lake was completed with the damming of the Molonglo River. Click here for some brief notes on this river's travels.

  5. Back to the Colonies. Lastly, but not leastly Brisbane (Queensland).
    In November 1856, a border with NSW was fixed at Point Danger in the east, using the place specified by naval captain Henry Rous (rhymes with "house") on his voyage to Moreton Bay with Governor Darling in the "Rainbow" in June 1827. In 1828 it became a (temporary) military outpost for convict runaways.

    Click here for a Google mapped snapshot of Point Danger and Shark Bay renamed as Rainbow Bay in 1925, Coolangatta Beach and Boundary Street.
    Griffith Street driving west into Coolangatta. Creative Hair on left, and Dominos Pizza on right. Picture: Dan Peled at The Australian

    Note that as a modern day bynote, with the COVID closure of the NSW border until 15th January 2022, the main checkpoint to Coolangatta driving north on Wharf Street was at Griffith Street with Boundary, Clarke, and Stuart Street access closed on the Queensland side of the border.
    Two roads leading to Dixon Street i.e. Bay Street and Florence Street were closed with concrete and plastic barriers stretching the length of Dixon Street on the Queensland side of the border. Road barriers were erected further west at Leeward Terrace, Kent Street and Miles Street.

    Going back to the 1800s, with its border established in 1856, independence from Sydney and self-government in Queensland followed in 1859.

Policing and Current Populations

Unlike the United States in 1789, where George Washington instituted a system of Federal "Marshals" to keep the overall peace, and communities elected their own local "Sheriff" to arrest wrongdoers and bring them to trial, Australian colonies followed the English model that had been adopted by Robert Peel at Scotland Yard in London in 1829.

There was no standing army. Defence of the Australian colonies was mostly provided by British Army regular forces. After convict transportation ceased, each colony became responsible for the appointment of Police officers under a Commissioner of Police. South Australia was first to do so in 1840, Victoria and Western Australia followed in 1853, NSW in 1862, Queensland in 1864, Northern Territory in 1870, and Tasmania in 1899. British military support now ended with the departure of the last British Army regiment in 1870. Colonial military forces formed in each colony, by 1885 they numbered 21,000 men. Not a lot has changed in those numbers between then and now, in 2019 the Australian Army reported 29,511 regulars (i.e. full-time) and 18,738 active reserve (part-time). Britain's Royal Navy continued to provide protection for the waters around the continent, until the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy following Federation in 1901.

Population Australia 2024 27 million
1. NSW 8.40 million 2. Victoria 6.87 million 3. Queensland 5.50 million 4. Western Australia 2.90 million 5. South Australia 1.86 million 6. Tasmania 573 thousand
7. Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) 469 thousand 8. Northern Territory 252 thousand.

PNG 9 million   NZ 5 million.

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Ok. Now for Brisbane and Queensland, initially the Moreton Bay settlement.


From: Stephen Williamson
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2012 7:44 PM
To: Amy Williamson
Subject: indigenous, aboriginal, and indigent

Hi sweetie

Let's see if I can summarize those etymologies with appropriate hyperlinks

Aboriginal - From the beginning - the original family/tribe/community/nation race

Ethnic - Band of people living together - the current family/community/nation race - not an outsider or foreigner

Ethics/Ethical and Mores/Morals - Customs or character of a person or people. Ethical is from the Greek Ethos, Moral is from the Latin Mos/Moris, but basically the same word. Interestingly, according to this Greek Dictionary of New Testament words, the word ethnic is probably also derived from this word: click here Ethos/Etho.

Indigenous - Born in the country - not a foreigner. However, because nearly 98% of us here in Australia are such recent arrivals the Australian Government defines indigenous Australian as either Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander (or a mixture of the two). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics - click here - the number in June 2016 that traced their ancestry back to one of those groups was 798,365.

Apparently the number increased to 983,000 in the 2021 census, with perhaps 100,000 of those names in the south-east of Australia self-identifying for the first time.

And the word Indigent - Needy - very different word. Latin word indigens related to Greek word ενδεης (en-deh-ace).

love dad


Brisbane's Table of Contents

Intro by Sir George Bowen

First Arrivals (a) Pamphlett, Parsons and Finnegan

First Arrivals (b) The Convict Settlement

First Arrivals (c) Maps and Buildings in 1844, First Cemeteries, the Great Brisbane Fire in 1864, and the Brisbane Markets

First Courier Mail in 1846

First Ekka

First Electric Telegraph

First Electric Tram Lines

First Electric Lighting (and Gas Lighting)

First Football

First Gaol

First Govt Primary Schools

First Govt Technical College, High School — Brisbane State High School, and the University of Queensland

First Hospital

First Mayor and Premier

First Railways

First Water Supply and Sewerage

Fortitude Valley Pool

National Retailers Woolworths and Coles, David Jones and Myers

Population Growth with History of Town and City Halls, plus Today's city streets showing one-way directions, and a Google map link


Sir George Bowen, the first governor of Queensland, in a letter to a friend in England in 1859 /eserv/UQ:212643 /s00855804 1962 1963 7 1 72.pdf

"Brisbane, my present capital, must resemble what Boston and the other Puritan towns of New England were at the close of the last century. In a population of 7,000 we have fourteen churches, thirteen hotels and twelve policemen. The leading inhabitants are a hard-headed set of English and Scottish merchants and manufacturers." Writing to the Secretary of State for the Colonies he also described himself as impressed by the air of prosperity. "Distress and pauperism, those comprehensive terms so frequently used in European politics, are unknown here."

Despite this favourable view, it is recorded that one other visitor at another time was not so impressed. When he saw the hotels, he rubbed his hands with glee, saying this was the place for him to start in business. But then he counted the churches — and returned at once to Sydney.

Return to Table of Contents

Brisbane's First Explorers, Pamphlett, Parsons and Finnegan /nla.obj-62201287 /view?partId=nla.obj-62214594#page/n0/mode/1up

Prior to 1823
In 1770 James Cook named Moreton Bay (spelling it as "Morton"). A misprint, however, introduced the "e". In 1799 Flinders also explored the area, more closely. In 1822 John Bingle and William Edwardson explored in the area. But all these navigators missed any indication of a large river entering Moreton Bay.

Lost and Shipwrecked

Thomas Pamphlett and fellow "ticket of leave" convicts Richard Parsons and John Thompson, along with full convict John Finnegan, were hired by settler William Cox to fetch cedar from the Illawarra District, the Five Islands, now known as Wollongong, south of Sydney. They set sail on their maiden voyage on 21 March 1823 in an open boat 29 feet in length and 10 feet in beam. On board were large quantities of pork and flour and five gallons of rum to buy cedar from the timber cutters, plus four gallons of water.

They got to within sight of Illawarra when a strong breeze blew them away from the coast. The wind became stronger, heavy rain fell and it got dark. They were blown further out to sea. It was five days before they could use any sail, and they drank the water and the rum. Prevailing winds and currents may have taken them most of the way across the Tasman Sea toward New Zealand. They were hopelessly lost. In error, they thought they had drifted south to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) so they headed northwest to try to get back to Illawarra and Sydney. On their twenty-second day at sea, having survived on just rum and salty rainwater, Pamphlett spotted land. Before they could land, Thompson succumbed to the lack of fresh water and the elements, and collapsed and died. But scared of the natives they saw in their weakened condition, worried about wrecking the boat, arguing, they sailed north with his body for three days until, delirious with thirst, Thompson was dropped overboard, and the others landed, wrecking the boat.

Pamphlett, Finnegan and Parsons had landed on Moreton Island, just north of the Brisbane River. Thinking Sydney was well to the north, they set off along the beach in this direction with two sacks of flour and a few other items. They spent the next seven and a half months walking around Moreton Bay, island hopping, and following river and creek banks until they could find a way of crossing them. They lived for periods with several Aboriginal tribes who fed them fish and fernroot and thought they were the ghosts of dead kinsmen due to their pale colour.

The natives first took them south by boat to Stradbroke Island. Here the castaways made their own canoe and got to the mainland, where they landed near what is now Cleveland. They continued their journey northwards along the waterfront in hope of reaching civilisation. It wasn't long before the trio stumbled across a large river which they were unable to cross, the Brisbane River. They trekked upstream for almost a month, weakened due to lack of good food. With only one reasonable swimmer (Pamphlett), they had to follow the banks of many of the creeks they encountered en route. Upon reaching Oxley Creek near Tennyson, they found a canoe. The canoe was on the western bank of the north-south running creek, and was procured by Pamphlett swimming across the creek and bringing it back, though it could not support more than two of them. So they used the canoe, and another they saw on the north side of the large river, to finally cross it, return to its mouth, and continue north, reaching Bribie Island at the start of July 1823 where they stayed with a tribe for about a month. Then they set out again, north.

At the Mooloolah River, Pamphlett was encouraged to return to live at Bribie Island with an Aboriginal friend whom he had helped, after he had extracted part of a spear that had been broken off inside his leg a month earlier. Parsons and Finnegan headed further north. The pair quarrelled, Parsons threatening to murder him with his knife, and Finnegan returned to Bribie Island to Pamphlett and the tribe. Parsons continued northwards.

On 29 November 1823, Pamphlett and some Aborigines were on the beach at Bribie Island cooking the day's catch when he saw a cutter in the bay. It was explorer John Oxley who was returning down the coast, from two weeks at Port Curtis near Gladstone, looking for a new convict settlement. Oxley was amazed to see and hear a "lighter-skinned" man waving and hailing him in English with the natives, Pamphlett himself could hardly speak that evening, such was his emotion. But only then did Pamphlett learn that Sydney was over 500 miles (800 km) to the south rather than to the north. He told part of his story to crew member John Uniacke. Next day they picked up Finnegan who was returning from a tribal fight. Finnegan showed Oxley the Brisbane River hiding behind the mangroves and Fisherman's Island , while Pamphlett assisted Uniacke and others with aspects of Aboriginal culture. After Parsons returned to Moreton Bay, having as Parsons said later, walked for "hundreds of miles", he was picked up by John Oxley on his second trip with Alan Cunningham on their trip in Sep-Oct 1824 — the trip when John Oxley had breakfast at Breakfast Creek.

Oxley, having sailed up the Brisbane River as far as Goodna in 1823, was adamant the bay and the river, was the place to start the settlement.

Return to Table of Contents

First Settlement /convict_buildings.html /ebooks14/1400241h.html

Sep 1824: First convict settlement in Humpy Bong, Redcliffe with 29 convicts. But land found unsuitable for grain, also too much disease and mosquitoes. On November 23, Governor Brisbane arrived. In December preparations began for the shift into Brisbane with a storehouse built in present day William Street near the Queen's Wharf Rd, back then the King's Jetty, and slab huts for prisoners. Transfer made in May 1825. At the end of 1825, the population including the soldiers was 45 males and 2 females. Convict numbers increased rapidly, reaching 1,241 by 1831. Over the length of the convict period, 2400 convicts arrived, including 144 females. As a place for hardened criminals and repeat offenders the principal object of the authorities was the isolation of the settlement, approach to which within fifty miles was strictly prohibited to Europeans.

So naturally there were no shops or banks. Fresh water came from a creek which rose near the present Brisbane Grammar School on Gregory Terrace and flowed down the site of Roma Street Parkland to the site of the present City Hall. A small reservoir dammed this creek and conveyed water through hollow hardwood logs. Corn, the first successful staple crop, was grown at South Brisbane, directly opposite the main settlement. New Farm followed in 1827, Eagle Farm in 1829.

1827: Limestone Station (later renamed as Ipswich) provided the source of Brisbane's mortar for its convict hospital built in 1827, the male and female convict barracks in 1828-29, the Windmill to grind corn on Wickham Terrace in 1829, and the completion of the Commissariat Store which had begun in 1824.

The convicts' hours of work were sunrise to sunset with two long breaks, one at 8am for breakfast and one at midday. On Sundays, they were mustered for a church service. Hundreds of convicts fled the stern conditions (of public lashings and at times executions) and escaped into the bush. The convict settlement was gradually reduced during the 1830s as the authorities prepared to open the Moreton Bay region for free settlement.

1834: With numerous stone structures now built, the Moreton Bay settlement was declared to be a town having the name of Brisbane being on the Brisbane River — that name had been given to the river by John Oxley when he explored it in Nov 1823, Sir Thomas Brisbane being the governor of NSW at that time.

1839: Penal settlement closed with convicts returning to Sydney. A number of convicts with guards remained to do maintenance and to assist surveyors. Click here for further details of this time.

1842: Brisbane was officially proclaimed a free settlement on 4 May 1842 with Brisbane now laid out in dusty, unsealed streets and blocks. A homeopathic surgeon, Dr Stephen Simpson was appointed commissioner of crown lands for the area and became acting administrator until the arrival of police magistrate John Wickham the next year. On 7 December the first Brisbane land sales (by auction) were held in Sydney. The same month saw the inauguration of the first steamship service by the Hunter River Steam Navigation Co. with the steamer "Shamrock", a three day journey between Brisbane and Sydney.

Return to Table of Contents

Brisbane First Maps and Early Buildings and the Great Brisbane Fire Early_Streets_of_Brisbane

Below is a map of Queen Street (though not to scale) with all its buildings and landmarks in 1844. Note that the map is facing towards the south west, with the Botanic Gardens (then known as the Government Gardens) on the left and the Windmill (on modern day Wickham Terrace) on the right.

Four Numbers not clearly shown are
1 Andrew Petrie's large house at the bottom of the map to the right of Queen Street
4 Two houses belonging to Bensteads the sawyers just above 3
45 Saw Pits on the river's edge at the bottom of the map to the left of Queen Street
48 First Tombstone (two graves) at the top right (left of 17) was very likely the burial place of the 3 or 4 children who died during the colony's early years. They were reinterred with their memorial stones in the Toowong Cemetery about 1881.

  1. Andrew Petrie
  2. Handel, cattle drover
  3. Savory (the only baker)
  4. Bensteads, sawyers
  5. T. Richardtson (the only general store)
  6. Convict Barracks
  7. W. Kent (druggist shop)
  8. Fitzpatrick (the first Chief Constable)
  9. The Lock-up
  10. The Constable's place (only two in all)
  11. Slate's Post Office (old)
  12. Slate's Pineapple Garden
  13. Church of England
  14. The Hospital
  15. Mort, milkman
  16. Wright's Hotel
  17. General Cemetery
  18. Tread and Windmill
  19. Edmonston.s Paddock
  20. Old R. Jones
  21. Dr. Simpson (the first Commissioner)
  22. Old Major Prior
  23. The Gaol
  24. Skyring's Beehives (soft goods shop)
  1. Hayes, milkman
  2. Brothers Fraser (first houses)
  3. Catholic Church
  4. McLean's Blacksmith's Shop
  5. Edmonston's butcher
  6. Bow's Hotel
  7. Taylor Shappart
  8. Montifeur (a financier)
  9. W. Pickering
  10. Sergeant Jones
  11. Soldiers' Barracks
  12. Officer de Winton
  13. Commission Stores
  14. Queen's Wharf
  15. Captain Wickham's office
  16. Commissioner T. Kent
  17. Commissioner's Garden
  18. Captain Coley
  19. Government Gardens
  20. Father Hanley (the only priest)
  21. Saw Pits
  22. Queen Street
  23. The Boat House and Boatman's House
  24. The First Tombstone (two graves)

Andrew Petrie was an early builder and architect who became the Clerk of Works in the new settlement. His house on the right of Queen St at the bottom of the map (location 1) is today's Aurora Tower on the corner of Wharf and Queen Streets. Opposite came Brisbane's first customs house built at Petrie Bight in 1850. Note, port facilities are now handled by the Port of Brisbane at the mouth of the Brisbane River, and with all customs border policy and taxation now handled in Canberra, this office was closed in 1988.

Andrew Petrie's cousin George Edmonstone (from an early pioneering family, click to see an article in became the first butcher (and later on a mayor) in Brisbane. See Edmonstone's Paddock above (location 19). Andrew's son John followed in his father's footsteps as a builder, and also became mayor, in early Brisbane.

Brisbane's First Cemeteries

  1. The General Cemetery (location 17) in the upper right of the image was Brisbane's burial ground between 1825-1843 during the days of the convict settlement, and shortly after. During this period there were 265 recorded deaths, 220 convicts and 45 others, most of whom were buried here. After its closure in 1843 it rapidly fell into ruin with 90% of its headstones and monuments removed. Between 1864-1875 Skew Street was built over the land, joining Roma Street to North Quay.
  2. The North Brisbane Cemetery also known as Milton Cemetery and Paddington Cemetery operated 1843-1875 in the area now known as Lang Park (Suncorp Stadium), during which time up to 10,000 people may have been buried there. It was not a single cemetery, but rather a collection of cemeteries operated by different religious denominations.

    In 1875 it was replaced by Toowong Cemetery. Similar to the first cemetery, by 1907 the land had become a community eyesore, and in preparation for it becoming Lang Park (initially an athletics field) a number of families in 1913 paid for the removal and reinterring of their family members. About 500 headstones were removed to a memorial area by the Church of England.

First Courier Mail (Newspaper)

Back to 1846: Brisbane declared a Port of Entry and Clearance. A cottage beside Andrew Petrie's house was set aside for William Duncan, first customs officer and his family.
Estimated population is 4000 Aborigines and 2257 migrants. Brisbane now consisted of three villages, at North Brisbane, South Brisbane, and Kangaroo Point.

Moreton Bay Courier, forerunner of the Courier Mail, commenced this year (1846) making frequent mention of local indigenous people who were working and living in the district.
In December, Brisbane's first solicitor Robert Little arrived and set up an office in George Street, opposite the old hospital. Click here for a detailed record of the early years of his practice. In 1925 his firm became Feez Ruthning and Co and since 1996 part of Allens Operations Pty Ltd.

1850: The first bank, the Bank of NSW opened a branch for general (trading) bank business. During the 1850s the Commissariat Store, soon to be called the Colonial Store, had its first floor turned into an immigration barracks, and in the 1860s a police barracks.

Below is Slater's pocket map of the city of Brisbane in 1865 as stored in the National Library of Australia. Click here to see its reference, with an option to download a much larger TIF file.

Great Fire of Brisbane

Slater's map was printed just after the Great Brisbane Fire in the evening of 1st December 1864, with entire blocks destroyed with their timber buildings, mainly in Queen, Albert, George, and Elizabeth Streets. Most fortunately there was no loss of life, and only four people were taken to hospital with injuries. Subsequently, the rebuilding of Brisbane City used more stone and brick.

Brisbane Markets

Next to Customs House in Slater's map can be seen Raff's Wharf, USN United Steam Navigation Company Wharf providing a mail service to Gladstone & Townsville and Market Wharf. Brisbane Markets opened in 1866 at Market Street as a major venue for where farmers could bring their merchandise to sell to cityfolk. Activity waned however, and after 1881 only the street name survived.

In 1885 Brisbane Markets opened at a more central location on Roma Street, that triangle of ground where Roma Street meets Albert Street at the corner of Turbot Street. Click images on right for a larger image. A separate, competitive marketplace later opened on Turbot Street.

In 1964 the Brisbane Markets shifted to Rocklea and the Roma Street Markets became Roma Street Forum, and since 2001, Roma Street Parklands. Click here for a larger image.

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First Hospital /brisbane_hospitals.html

1827: As mentioned previously, in 1827 a Convict Hospital was built on North Quay facing George Street between Adelaide and Ann Streets in this tiny convict town. In 1832 its accommodation was extended, a cottage was built for the Medical Officer, and a Military Hospital was built adjacent to it. It subsequently became the Survey Office.

1849: After free settlement, the first Public Hospital in Brisbane, the Moreton Bay Hospital, was established on 12 January, 1849. It was this old Convict Hospital on North Quay and was grossly overcrowded trying to cater to the growing population of post convict era Brisbane and surrounding areas. The hospital operated on subscriptions from those in the community who could afford to give. In turn these subscribers were issued with tickets which would entitle the bearer to medical treatment at the hospital. Those who could not afford the subscriptions and needing treatment went in search of tickets from benevolent subscribers. Another source of funds was the fines levied in the Police Courts.

1856: Brisbane's non-indigenous population approached 6,000. The name of Moreton Bay Hospital was changed to the Brisbane Hospital as other hospitals in various towns opened. The opening of other hospitals meant that the subscriptions base dwindled and a call went out for more local subscribers. Epidemics of diseases brought in from the tropics swept through Brisbane such as malaria, dengue fever, typhus, typhoid, amoebic dysentery and smallpox. Gunshot wounds and knife injuries from numerous bar and street brawls requiring surgery, were on the rise. In the 1860s tropical diseases were introduced by the 60,000 or so South Sea Islanders or Kanakas, many of whom were 'Blackbirded' and brought to Brisbane and northern Queensland where they worked on cotton plantations and cane fields. The practice was outlawed by the Queensland Government in the 1890s and most Islanders were sent home.

But it was a wild time all right. Click here re Patrick Mayne, the "mad" Irish butcher of Queen Street, at his death possibly one of the richest men in Brisbane.

1867: More than 35,000 flocked to Brisbane between 1860-1865, following separation from NSW in 1859 combined with the development of a proper immigration scheme, but with no support from the previous New South Wales government, the building of a larger hospital was delayed until the Queensland Government accumulated sufficient funds of its own. The new hospital was completed in 1867. Standing on land at Herston, the facility contained Fever Wards, long low blocks located just behind the main building. The patients were moved from the hospital in George Street to the new Brisbane Hospital on 8th January, 1867. There were complaints that the new hospital was located too far out of the town and would have been better sited at Spring Hill or Petrie Terrace. The first nurses graduated from the hospital in 1888.

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First Gaol

Prior to the building of Brisbane's first gaol, after 1839 prisoners were housed in the military barracks in Queen Street.

  1. Brisbane Gaol 1850-1860 was built in Queen Street by the NSW Government on what is now the site of the GPO Post Office. Previously it had been the Female Factory, where women convicts worked during the day.
  2. Petrie Terrace Gaol 1860-1883 was built by the newly formed Queensland Government, becoming the Police Barracks after Boggo Road Gaol was built.
  3. St Helena Island Prison 1867-1933 a few kilometres from the mouth of the Brisbane River became a notorious "hellhole" for prisoners.
  4. Boggo Road Gaol 1883-1989 on Annerley Road at Dutton Park became Brisbane's main gaol for over 100 years.
  5. Brisbane Correctional Centre 1988-today. Based at Wacol with a capacity of 558.
  6. Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre 1999-today. Based at Wacol with a capacity of 270.
  7. Wolston Correctional Centre 1999-today. Based at Wacol with a capacity of 600 as a "protection" prison for sex offenders and high-profile prisoners.

Click here for Wikipedia's list of prisons and remand (detention) centres throughout Queensland.

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First Mayor(s) of Brisbane and Premier(s) of Queensland /about-council/council-information-and-rates/council-history/index.htm of mayors and lord mayors of Brisbane of Queensland

1859: The Municipality of Brisbane was gazetted on 25 May 1859 and proclaimed by the Governor of New South Wales on 7 September 1859. The first local government area in Queensland, Brisbane was the only one incorporated prior to the establishment of Queensland as a separate colony. Its boundaries covered the Brisbane City area, and Fortitude Valley. The first election for this municipal council was held on 13 October 1859. There were 37 candidates for the nine positions on council. John Petrie, notable builder and stonemason, was unanimously elected first mayor. The first aldermen were men who had helped to establish Brisbane as an important settlement in the north.

At the same time, Sir George Ferguson Bowen was appointed the first Queensland governor. He arrived at Brisbane from England on 10 December 1859 and brought Robert Herbert with him as his private secretary. On the day of the governor's arrival, Herbert was gazetted as colonial secretary with Ratcliffe Pring as attorney-general. These with the governor formed an executive council to which additions were made afterwards. At the election held early in 1860 Herbert was returned unopposed for one of the Leichhardt seats in the Queensland Legislative Assembly and became the first premier of Queensland. He showed himself to be a good leader, holding office from December 1859 to February 1866.

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First Water Supply and Sewerage /jol/2014/05/13/water-for-a-thirsty-city/ /wiki/Outhouse#Australia and New Zealand

https://www.engineersaustralia /wiki/Water supply and sanitation in Australia#Brisbane and Gold Coast /wiki/Queensland_Urban_Utilities /wiki/Seqwater

Click here for background and photos of Brisbane's early water supply, in the days when people without rain tanks purchased their drinking water in casks.

Click here for an up to date status on dam levels, with twelve dams servicing Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast's drinking water, having a combined total capacity of over 2 trillion litres.

The dams (largest to smallest) are

  1. Wivenhoe Opened 1984 1,165,000ML
  2. Somerset Opened 1959 380,000ML
  3. Hinze (stage 3) Opened 2011 310,000ML with stage 1 in 1976 having had just 42,400ML
  4. North Pine Opened 1976 214,000ML
  5. Baroon Pocket Opened 1989 61,000ML
  6. Ewen Maddock Opened 1976 16,590ML
  7. Sideling Creek Opened 1957 14,200ML
  8. Leslie Harrison Opened 1968 13,200ML
  9. Cooloolabin Opened 1979 8,183ML
  10. Lake Macdonald Opened 1965 8,018ML
  11. Little Nerang Opened 1961 6,705ML and
  12. Wappa Opened 1963 4,694ML

1863: The Qld Government commissioned the Brisbane Council, via a loan of £50,000 to construct waterworks and lay down pipes from the water supply at Enoggera Creek.

1866: Just as the work was nearing completion, the Qld Government took control away from the Municipal Council and appointed the Brisbane Board of Waterworks to run the service.

1902: Brisbane had an outbreak of bubonic plague which encouraged agitation for sewerage.

1909: Brisbane Board of Waterworks replaced by a newly constituted Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board (MW&SB), to commence sewerage implementation.

1912: Brisbane's first water filtration plant installed at Enoggera dam.

1923: Finally, first sewerage connection in Brisbane — to the MW&SB office.

1925: The Qld Government now formed the Brisbane City Council amalgamating the two cities Brisbane and South Brisbane, six towns — Toowong Ithaca (i.e.Paddington and Red Hill) Windsor Hamilton Sandgate and Wynnum, nine shires — Moggill Taringa Enoggera Kedron Toombul north of the river, Balmoral Belmont Coorparoo Stephens (i.e.Annerley) south of the river as well as part of the shires of Yeerongpilly and Tingalpa.
It reduced the number of aldermen over this area from more than 200 down to 20.

1928: Brisbane City Council formally took over responsibility for MW&SB assets.

1935: Qld Govt starts construction on building Lake Somerset on the Stanley River 37 kms west of Caboolture, a flood mitigation reservoir (60% of its capacity), and having the other 40% provide for 380 billion litres of drinking water. Due to WW2, it wasn't until 1959 that all work related to the dam, including its hydroelectric power station was complete. Two further dams followed, North Pine by 1976 and Wivenhoe by 1985.

1961: But in this year, Brisbane was still a city with no town planning, many unpaved streets, limited water supply, few areas with sewers — with most residents having to rely on having an outhouse or a septic tank. Through the 1960s Lord Mayor Clem Jones successfully led the council to develop a town plan, seal roads, improve drainage and connect sewers to most of the city.

1979: Brisbane's sewerage scheme essentially completed.

2010: The Qld Government resumes control of Brisbane Water, commissioning Qld Urban Utilities on behalf of SEQ Water to deliver retail water supply and wastewater services to Brisbane and South East Queensland.

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First Electric Telegraph Australian telegraphic history#Queensland

1861: Queensland's separation from New South Wales created a position for Superintendent of Telegraphs which was filled by W.J Cracknell, the brother of the New South Wales Superintendent. Tenders were called for a line from Brisbane to the NSW border via Ipswich and Warwick. It was completed to Ipswich in April 1861 and working to the border by November 1861. This connected to a recently completed line from Sydney. Now four colonies were connected: Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Lines were pushed out from Brisbane north to Bowen, Rockhampton, reached Port Denison in 1866, and Cardwell in June 1869. Perth was connected the same year.

1872: Connected to England click here via Adelaide / Darwin. Before the telegraph, news and mail could take three months to reach England, the telegraph reduced this to around seven hours. As the telegraph spread provincial and city newspapers published sections by-lined 'by Electric Telegraph'.

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First Railways transport in South East Queensland

 First, Ipswich-Warwick
1865:Ipswich-Grandchester (narrow gauge 106.7cm) first railway line opened with a railway bridge over the Bremer River
1871:Ipswich-Warwick (via Toowoomba)
1881:Ipswich-Stanthorpe (via Toowoomba)
1888:Ipswich-Wallangarra (Qld border) then change trains to wider gauge (143.5cm) and so on to Sydney
1988:One hundred years later, Wallangarra became a terminus when Tenterfield-Wallangarra line stops running
 Second, Brisbane-Ipswich
Note, there was to be no railway bridge joining Brisbane and South Brisbane for nearly 100 years.
1875:Roma Street linked up with Ipswich via Indooroopilly Railway Bridge
1882:Roma Street-Sandgate
1888:Roma Street-Petrie
1891:Roma Street-Gympie (and thus to Maryborough) and so on into the north
 Third, South Brisbane-Ipswich and South Brisbane-Beenleigh.
1884:Woolloongabba-Corinda rail freight link via Dutton Park and so on to Ipswich
Same Year Woolloongabba-Beenleigh
Click here for more info on South Brisbane's rapid development at this time 1880-1890 as Brisbane and South Brisbane's population grew from 37,000 to 100,000. In 1888 South Brisbane became an independent sub-division, the Borough of South Brisbane, having its own town hall. In 1903, their accelerating populations caused both Brisbane and South Brisbane to be reclassified as cities (no longer as towns).
1903:Woolloongabba-Tweed Heads
1964:Beenleigh became a terminus when Southport and Tweed Heads lines stop running
 Fourth, South Brisbane-Sydney
1891:New station built in South Brisbane having a second wider gauge for NSW
1905:Railway line to Sydney started closer to the coastline instead of travelling via Warwick
Ran as a dual gauge alongside parts of the Beenleigh line to Acacia Ridge, changing to a standard (wider) gauge towards Grafton
1930:South Brisbane-Kyogle
1932:South Brisbane-Sydney
1978:New Terminus in Roma Street when Merivale Bridge is finally built with a dual-gauge line
 Lastly, Electric Train Service Brisbane-Gold Coast
2009:Brisbane-Varsity Lakes

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First Bridges /wiki/ Victoria Bridge, Brisbane /wiki/Bridges over the Brisbane River

1865:First was a temporary wooden bridge built between Brisbane and South Brisbane (that used tolls) while Victoria Bridge was being built.
Awkwardly in 1866, the Bank of Queensland which was financing the loan to the town council for the bridge, failed, and work stopped for a time. See section 5.2 on page 18 for more info on this bank. This wooden bridge, weakened by marine borers, then collapsed when a heavy load was crossing it at high tide and it closed in 1867.
1874:Then, Victoria Bridge built (privately financed, with tolls to 1877).
1875:Albert Bridge built as part of the Ipswich Railway Line between Indooroopilly (northside) and Chelmer. Rebuilt in 1895 after it was destroyed in 1893 floods.
1876:Victoria Bridge taken over by Qld Govt in 1876.
1885:Leased by the government to private company who provided a horse-drawn tram service. Eighteen tramcars imported from America. In the words of the "Brisbane Courier" of the day they "are constructed of cedar and mahogany, highly polished, and are fitted with all the latest improvements. They are mounted on steel springs, making the motion almost imperceptible." Drawn by two horses, the single deck cars seat 16 passengers and the double deckers 40. Six and a half miles of double track constructed from Woolloongabba to Breakfast Creek with branches to the Exhibition Building and to New Farm.

Photo of Victoria Bridge 1890
with these Horse-Drawn Trams

Click here for a larger picture

1893:Bridge demolished in 1893 floods. Temporary bridge rebuilt. Swept away again in 1896 after another deluge.
1897:Second, more permanent Bridge built. Included in the rebuilding, an electric tram service.

Photo of Victoria Bridge (circa 1906)

Click here for a larger picture

1932:William Jolly (Grey Street) Bridge built.
1936:Walter Taylor (Indooroopilly) Bridge. Tolls until 1960s.
1940:Story Bridge built linking Kangaroo Point southside with Fortitude Valley.
1955:Indooroopilly Railway Bridge built between Indooroopilly and Chelmer, upstream of Albert Bridge, as a quadruplication of the Ipswich line 1955-1957.
1964:Centenary Bridge built between Kenmore (northside) and Jindalee. One of its two lanes was closed for two years in 1974 after the bridge was damaged by a barge during the 1974 floods, with traffic lights necessary to co-ordinate single-lane traffic. In 1987 the bridge was duplicated, providing two lanes going north and two lanes going south.
1969:Victoria Bridge rebuilt (yet again).
1972:Captain Cook Bridge built as part of the Pacific Motorway (M3) linking Woolloongabba southside to Gardens Point.
1978:Merivale Railway Bridge built slightly west of the Grey Street Bridge.
1986:Gateway Bridge built (with tolls) linking Murarrie (southside) with Eagle Farm and the airport.
1998:Jack Pesch Bridge built for pedestrians and cyclists linking Chelmer southside to Indooroopilly. Adjacent to Albert Bridge (for trains) and Walter Taylor Bridge (for cars).
2001:Goodwill Bridge built for pedestrians and cyclists linking the South Bank southside to Gardens Point.
2006:Eleanor Schonell Bridge (Green Bridge) built for buses, pedestrians and cyclists linking Dutton Park busway station southside to UQ Lakes busway station.
2009:Kurilpa Bridge built for pedestrians and cyclists linking Kurilpa Park and Gallery of Modern Art on Montague Road southside to Tank Street. Click here for map.
2010:Go Between Bridge built (with tolls) to honour Brisbane band the Go-Betweens, linking West End (southside) with Hale Street Milton and the Inner City Bypass.

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First Ekka

The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) was established in 1875 with Governor Sir William Cairns as its President. Bowen Park was chosen in January 1876 as the site for the first Show. The 'Intercolonial Exhibition of 1876', held from August 22-26 proved a great success. A public holiday was declared and an estimated 15,000-17,000 people attended the opening day - a great feat at a time when the total population of Brisbane was just 20,600.

The RNA Showgrounds now become the centre of the city's social activities-musical and drama groups, football, cricket, lacrosse, athletics and cycling all had headquarters on grounds. In 1887, the Main Pavilion (corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Gregory Terrace) was destroyed by fire. In 1891, it was replaced with a new brick building, containing 1,300,000 bricks and completed in 23 weeks. 300 men were constantly at work during its construction. This building was equipped with a huge pipe organ by Wallis and Co of London, though it was later moved to the Brisbane City Hall after its completion in 1930.

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First Football

Football in England, Australia (Melbourne in 1859 and Sydney in 1864) and USA

Brisbane Football Club

Brisbane Broncos captains

National Football Teams
Since 1980 Lang Park (Suncorp Stadium) has become Brisbane's home ground for State of Origin (rugby league), Brisbane Broncos (rugby league), Queensland Reds (rugby union), and **Brisbane Roar (soccer), national playing teams that represent three of Australia's four football codes with the exception of Aussie Rules (run by Victoria AFL).

For that the Brisbane Lions home ground is "the Gabba", built as the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1896.

** For 3 seasons 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 Brisbane Roar moved to Moreton Stadium in Redcliffe, in 2023 known as Kayo Stadium/Dolphin Stadium, with the soccer team sharing the park with the Dolphins NRL club and coach Wayne Bennett (founding coach at the Broncos).

Local Football Teams

  1. Aussie Rules run by Queensland AFL (QAFL) since 1903.
  2. Federation Soccer run by Football Brisbane (within Football Queensland), latest incarnation of AQFA, first set up in 1884.
  3. Church Soccer run by Queensland Christian Soccer Association Inc since 1969.
  4. Queensland Premier Rugby (QPR) run by Queensland Rugby Union, latest incarnation of NRU, first set up in 1883.
  5. Brisbane A-Grade Rugby League and Queensland Cup run by Queensland Rugby League, first set up in 1908.

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First Electric Lighting (and Gas Lighting) and Power /pes/early-electricity-usage-brisbane

http://www.qldenergy /History of electricity supply in Queensland

Prior to 1882 in Australia, the telegraph and even the new telephone were in use, powered by an electric battery. A battery could also be used to power a carbon arc lamp, but these were a difficult sell to customers because the batteries were not reliable, very expensive, and had a short life.

Gas street lamps (a by-product of burning coal) were first introduced to Brisbane in November 1865 using gas towers at Petrie Bight. Due to arrears of payment it was switched off shortly after until 1870, when the new colony's financial situation had recovered sufficiently. By 1880, 250 gas street lamps in the CBD were being lit every night.

Then, early in 1882, electric lighting (using a DC steam-engine powered dynamo) was installed in Sutton's Foundry on the corner of Adelaide Street and Foundry Lane (later renamed as Isles Lane — Post Office Square).
In December that year a large crowd gathered near Victoria Bridge to witness the first demonstration of public street lighting. Eight arc lamps were positioned between Eagle Street and Victoria Bridge. The lights were powered by a 10 hp (7½ kW) dynamo situated in Sutton's Foundry. Several Queen Street shop windows were also lit by electric light as part of their Christmas decorations. Note, the only cities in the world that had similar installations in that year were New York and London. In 1883, lighting was installed at the Govt Printing Office, and in 1884 at The Brisbane Courier.

In 1886, the laying of underground cable between Parliament House and the Govt Printing Office was complete, with Toorak-born Mr E.C. Barton, as Queensland Government's electrical engineer, supervising the laying of the cable. Prior to his return to the Southern Hemisphere this man had apparently superintended the first commercial electric-lighting system in Britain at Godalming Surrey in 1882. Now, in 1888, forming a company with Mr C.F. White, he built a power house in Edison Lane behind the Post Office with a 30 kW generating capacity. Barton and White then became the first electricity supply company in Australia, with the Brisbane Post Office their first customer. Adjoining shops were supplied by overhead wires, the first non-government customers. Unfortunately his firm shortly went bankrupt. Succeeded in 1894 by his Brisbane Electric Supply Co Ltd, then in 1904 by City Electric Light Co Ltd (CEL).

In 1897, Brisbane Tramway built Queensland's first significant power station at Countess Street in Brisbane, initially at 900 kW, boosting it to 4.05MW by 1915. Some places in Red Hill and Ithaca also receive supply from this private company. Click here to read more about the Tramways below.

In 1914 CEL converted from DC to AC, extending supply outside centre of Brisbane. Gas lighting was replaced with electric street lighting from 1917 onwards. Over time, as new buildings were erected in the CBD, the remaining gas lampposts were removed. The gas lampposts in William and George Streets are possibly the only examples of this early form of street lighting remaining in Brisbane.

After World War One, electricity supplies proliferated statewide and nationwide.

In 1928, the New Farm Powerhouse was built by the Brisbane City Council, who had acquired the Brisbane Tramway. The Countess Street power station was decommissioned. The New Farm Powerhouse, in addition to supplying Brisbane Tramway, now allowed for the construction of an 11 kV network to supply power for electric light to greater Brisbane. Previously CEL had supplied power to residences under 10 year orders, but with Council having this new powerhouse, they slowly inherited these new areas of supply as each order expired. By 1935, only the old City of Brisbane and City of South Brisbane were being supplied by CEL, with the rest of greater Brisbane, as well as the Tram Lines, supplied by the BCC Electricity Supply Department.

In 1938, the State Electricity Commission Qld (SECQ) was established to coordinate electricity distribution state wide. It quickly strengthened CEL by actively ensuring that all the other electricity undertakings in South East Queensland were absorbed into the one entity. By 1940, CEL had acquired the generating and distribution assets at Ipswich, Southport, Nambour, Coolangatta, Gympie, Redcliffe, Boonah, Beaudesert and Highfields, and the Tweed Shire in northern New South Wales. This created a situation where the two electricity providers in South East Queensland were the BCC and CEL. These two systems were connected in 1940 as a wartime contingency. In 1945, seven state boards were established: 1.SEQEB, 2.SWQEB, 3.Wide Bay-Burnett, 4.Capricornia, 5.Mackay, 6.North Queensland (NQEB), and 7.Far North Queensland Electricity Board.

In 1953, the SECQ formed the Southern Electricity Authority (SEA) which then acquired CEL. It also acquired the Tennyson Power Station, under construction by the Brisbane City Council. The New Farm Powerhouse remained under the ownership of the Brisbane City Council until it was sold in 1963 to the SEA. It was then decommissioned in 1971, with BCC's closing of Brisbane's Tram Lines.

1977 SEQEB becomes electricity supplier for all of South East Queensland (including Brisbane). Now the state board, not the city council, is in charge of meter reading and supply.

1997 saw the formation of the National Electricity Market and a number of
Qld Government Owned Corporations (GOCs) — as SEQEB became Energex.

  1. CS Energy and Stanwell Corporation to oversee all generator sites in Queensland

  2. Powerlink Queensland to oversee all high-voltage transmission infrastructure

  3. Energex and Ergon Energy to oversee all end-user emergency issues (including fallen powerlines) reporting

Retailing of electricity supply Australia-wide is now managed by private corporations, the two largest retailers becoming Sydney-based companies Origin Energy (previously known as Boral) and AGL Energy.

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Electric Tram Lines

http://www.brisbanetramway /documents/morwoodtrams.pdf /eserv/UQ:207895/s18378366 1944 3 3 209.pdf in Brisbane Brisbane Transport Brisbane general strike

1895:On 30 September, a company newly formed in London, called the Brisbane Tramways Company Limited, purchased Brisbane's horse car tramway system for £105,200 with the intention of converting it to electric operation and extending it. The electrical equipment for the tramcars was ordered from the General Electric Company of America who sent Mr J. S. Badger to install it. He remained in Brisbane for 27 years, most of the time as General Manager and Managing Director of the Company.
1897:The first electric tram runs along Stanley Street South Brisbane on June 21 with service to Queen Street coming 12 days later. All in all there were 20 tramcars running on 15 miles of track, electricity being supplied from a power station in Countess Street. Over the next 25 years tram lines extended to Toowong and Kedron north of the river, Dutton Park and Greenslopes south of the river, with Mr Badger inaugurating band concerts and picture show outings on summer evenings.
1912:General Strike called in Brisbane on 30th January after Mr Badger had refused tram workers the right to wear their union badges to work and dismissed the workers who refused to comply. Escalated rapidly with 25,000 workers marching through Brisbane on 31st January in protest. Within a few days the Strike Committee became an alternative government, with State Government departments and private employers needing the Strike Committee's permission to carry out any work. Lasted five weeks. The conservative Denham State Government immediately won an ensuing election on a "Law and Order" platform and passed the Industrial Peace Act of 1912 that ushered in compulsory arbitration specifically to deter strikes in essential services. Employees of the tramway company who struck were sacked with the tramway company refusing to ever re-hire the workers. Yes, a standoff with everyone pretty cranky.
1922Qld State Government oversees purchasing of the company with its infrastructure for just over £1,000,000, and then reinstates these sacked workers.
1925:As mentioned previously, the Qld Government now formed the Brisbane City Council amalgamating the two cities Brisbane and South Brisbane, six towns — Toowong Ithaca (i.e.Paddington and Red Hill) Windsor Hamilton Sandgate and Wynnum, nine shires — Moggill Taringa Enoggera Kedron Toombul north of the river, Balmoral Belmont Coorparoo Stephens (i.e.Annerley) south of the river as well as part of the shires of Yeerongpilly and Tingalpa.
Citywide electric Tram services greatly expanded. Interestingly, badges on tram and then bus uniforms — the cause of the strike — were forbidden and were to remain forbidden until 1980.
1926:Extended to Holland Park.
1951:To Mt Gravatt.

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Govt Primary Schools - Brisbane Normal School /docs/edhistory/stateedu.pdf

It was NSW Governor Fitzroy who set up the National Education Board in Sydney in 1848. Apparently a lot of what he did was based on the multi-denominational National Schools in Ireland (set up in 1831), and he brought out a large number of Irish readers (there not being any Australian reading books printed at the time) .

Click here, re our first Queensland readers.

In 1850, a primary school following this NSW system opened in Warwick East and a second school in 1851 in Drayton Toowoomba.

In early 1860, the National Board, later that year to become the Qld Board of General Education opened the Brisbane National School in Adelaide Street in a new building close to what is now Anzac Square. The first Headmaster was John Rendall and on the opening day the attendance was 50 boys and 8 girls. It was conducted as a mixed school until 14 August 1860 when the girl pupils were (temporarily) moved to an old wooden chapel at the corner of Ann and Creek Streets, forming the Brisbane Central Girls' School for girls and infants under its Headmistress Margaret Berry. In December 1862 the school moved back to that building in Adelaide Street, with the Boys School — now also known as Brisbane Normal School with a training school for teachers — moving next door to a new building on the corner of Adelaide and Edward Streets.

Normal schools — derived from the French "Ecole Normale" provided a model curriculum that the government expected of all its public schools, with teachers trained accordingly to follow the model, the "norm" when providing education.

Within five years many public (and a few church) primary schools had opened in Brisbane and Ipswich. Schools also opened in Dalby and Gladstone in 1861, Rockhampton Central Boys (now closed), Maryborough and Leyburn (SW of Toowoomba) in 1862, Gayndah and Condamine in 1863, Laidley South (now closed) and Goondiwindi in 1864, Toowoomba South and Bowen in 1865.

Boys Grammar schools, that majored on the classical subjects such as Latin and which also provided accommodation for boarders, opened starting with Ipswich Grammar in 1863, Brisbane Grammar in 1868, and Toowoomba Grammar in 1877.

Girls Grammar schools, somewhat of a novelty at the time which also provided accommodation for boarders, opened starting with Brisbane Girls Grammar in 1875. One of its headmistresses formed the private Brisbane High School for Girls in 1899 — later to be known as Somerville House after 1918 under a newly formed Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA).

Back to Brisbane Normal School. In 1870, fees to the school were abolished. While there seems to have been little regularity in the amount (or collection) of these fees, their collection (as high as one shilling per week per child) seems to have also encouraged irregularity of attendance.

In 1875, the same year as England, primary education for children was made compulsory from ages 6 to 12. The year in which you turned 6 then generally became Grade 1, and the year you turned 13 generally became Grade 8, though children could be one year older. Note too, this compulsory provision was not fully implemented until 1900. In 1912 the minimum school leaving age became 14 years.

First Govt Technical College and High School

If you were academically bright, you might win a scholarship to further your secondary education, but until the 1950s and 1960s building "free" high schools in Brisbane just wasn't a priority for the State Government. Free state schools generally included teaching up to Grade 8, but that was it. A handful of country seats got looked after, having proper free high schools, but in Brisbane there was only the Tech College/Brisbane State High School, with Wynnum State High not being built until 1942.

The early beginnings to the Tech College started in 1849 with the Brisbane School of Arts, built on the corner of Queen and Creek Streets. Formed as a Mechanics' Institute local community group, similar to many others in Britain and Australia, it provided a library for members, conducted public lectures, and organised classes in a wide variety of subjects. In May 1878 it shifted to a redeveloped building (having verandahs) on Ann Street.

Brisbane Technical College 1882 was founded when the Brisbane School of Arts gained Queensland Government funding to establish a technical college, with a hall added to the rear of the building in 1884. Enrolments were initially 80 students but soon rose to be over 1000 students in 1897. The South Brisbane Technical College opened in 1893 taking over the Mechanics Institute, specializing in mechanical drawing.

Central Technical College 1908
The Queensland Government merged the South Brisbane and West End Technical Colleges back with the Brisbane Technical College to form the Central Technical College. Buildings for the college had already been commenced at lower George Street near the Botanical Gardens (today known as QUT).

University of Queensland 1911
Lower George Street also became the site for the University of Queensland, initially created by an act of the State Government in 1909. In 1910 the first University teaching faculties were ready. These included engineering, classics, mathematics and chemistry. In 1911 the first students were enrolled, using the Old Government House for the lectures, with the Governor of Queensland shifting his residence and offices across to Fernberg in Bardon. The Old Government House continued to be used by the university for various means until the late 1960s.

1913 Back to the Tech College (now also a High School). New high school classes were commenced in 1913 when headmasters in various metropolitan state schools were asked to nominate 76 boys and girls for free admission to the College, along with a further 70 paying students who thus made up its first year's enrolment. Marianne Bryden, an educationist with many years experience, became supervisor for three years. There was insufficient room in 1913 in the George Street buildings, so classrooms were provided at the School of Arts in Ann Street for one year, then the expanding College moved into the buildings (finally finished).

1914 Also started in 1914 in those buildings was the Queensland Teachers' Training College, the fore-runner of Kelvin Grove Teachers College.

Greater Public Schools (GPS) Association 1918
The Central Technical College formed the association together with the three Grammar schools Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba and with five Church schools Gregory Terrace (Catholic), Nudgee College (Catholic), Southport School (Anglican), "Churchie" Grammar (Anglican) and BBC (PMSA). It provided an environment for "healthy competition" in their sporting and cultural activities.

A similar association for girls was the Queensland Girls' Secondary Schools Sports Association.

Brisbane Junior State High School 1920
In January 1920, the Brisbane Central Secondary School was established at the Brisbane Normal School with Isaac Waddle as headmaster, combining the secondary departments of the Boys School and the Girls school while establishing a state curriculum model. The scope of its instruction that year was limited to studies necessary for the Junior Public Examination. During the year, the name was changed to Brisbane Junior State High School.

Brisbane State High School 1921
In 1921 it took over responsibility for all the High School classes at the Central Technical College, also amalgamating the High School Department at Wynnum State School. It now reconstituted as Brisbane State High School or BSHS, having its curriculum extended to include Senior Public Examination and Matriculation subjects. In 1925, with its new buildings now finished, it shifted to its current site in Musgrave Street, South Brisbane and in 1930 replaced Central Technical College's name inside the GPS Association.

In 1927 the Brisbane Normal School (Adelaide Street) closed for demolition. All of its primary teachers and students were now at Leichhardt Street State School, built back in 1875. The Leichhardt Street school also took over the Normal School's role of training teachers, becoming unofficially known as the Central Practising School. In 1954, the school was officially renamed as Brisbane Central State School.

University of Queensland's move to St Lucia: Also in 1927, Dr James Mayne and Miss Mary Emelia Mayne provided a grant of approximately £50,000 to the Brisbane City Council to acquire 274 acres (111 ha) of land in St Lucia and provided it to the University of Queensland as its permanent home.
Click here to read about this family.

However, construction was delayed while enrolments steadily increased at both the campus on George Street, and the Brisbane Central Technical College. In 1935 in George Street a building was constructed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the University's foundation, and was shared by both institutions. It accommodated the Library of the University, and various facilities for the Technical College — classes for architecture and building construction, and from 1938 part of the Commercial High School 1926-1963.

Construction at St Lucia finally began in 1937. But before the first building (the Forgan Smith Building) could be occupied in 1939, the needs of World War 2 intervened, and the St Lucia campus served as Advanced Headquarters for the Allied Land Forces in the South West Pacific. When the war ended, the university's doors at St Lucia finally opened in 1949, with new Residential Colleges built on the St Lucia campus in the 1950s and 1960s. The University's move from George Street was finally completed in 1972.

QIT 1965 and QUT 1987
In 1965 Central Tech College became Queensland Institute of Technology, then in 1987 Queensland University of Technology. Its annexe on Ernest Street South Brisbane, first opened in 1945, was renamed as South Brisbane Institute of Technology. In 2014 it was renamed as South Bank TAFE (Technical and Further Education).

Mt Gravatt Tertiary Developments
In 1969 Mt Gravatt Teachers College opened as a College of Advanced Education.

In 1975 Griffith University opened its doors, having just the one campus at Nathan, with 451 students.

In 1979 Mt Gravatt College of TAFE opened on Cavendish Road.

In 1990 Mt Gravatt Teachers College merged with Griffith University becoming its Mt Gravatt campus. Kelvin Grove College merged with QUT.

School Leaving Age recent changes
Since 1950 with a steadily growing local population, many more free High Schools have been built in Brisbane's suburbs and in Queensland country cities and towns. In 1964 the minimum leaving age in Queensland became 15 years. That same year, Queensland primary schools lost their Grade 8 year, it became part of regular high school.

In 2006 the leaving age became 16 years, or to have completed Grade 10. In 2009 it became 17 years or to have completed Grade 12, though 16 years is still acceptable if you have a minimum 25 hours employment / education weekly. In 2015, Queensland primary schools lost their Grade 7 year, it is now part of regular high school.

Click here for a fully merged list of all current Queensland Schools as at 7 Jan 2023 sortable by name and by date opened. If sorting, wait a few seconds for the result, as it is a large list.

Click here for the Wikipedia lists on which it is based, having numerous subdivisions by geographical area.

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Swimming - Brisbane's Fortitude Valley Pool

The Valley Pool is the home of the powerhouse Commercial Swimming Club (founded 1903) that spawned Kieren Perkins, Libby Trickett, Susie O'Neill, Hayley Lewis, Samantha Riley and many other Olympians.

Click here for an interview with two of its recent members: Bronte and Cate Campbell — world record holders in the 100m freestyle, and the 50m freestyle.

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National Retailers

Extract below from "The Way we Were" with Jayne Keogh in conversation with John Berry in Sunday Mail 1st Oct 2023.

Click here for the full article.

The first free settlers to Brisbane were fed by the sympathy of the Government Commissariat Store on the Wharf in George Street that had been set up in 1824. As the town grew, entrepreneurial types set up general stores selling basic dry goods, people grew vegetables, kept chickens and cows.

The wealthier had their food basics delivered by boys in a horse and cart to the "tradesmen's entrance" for the cook from individual traders. By the 20th Century these shops had expanded from town centres to surrounding suburbs, but the shopping list still needed delivery to most households.

Due to lack of refrigeration, meat and dairy had to be purchased daily due to our hot summers and few people owned cars. This system of delivery continued in the new suburbs, built to accommodate returning veterans (from WW1), using their War Service Loans. The local baker would arrive with large open baskets filled with flour-dusted loaves, finger buns and soft dinner rolls, fresh vegetables and fruit from an open-sided truck, the "milko" with milk and cream and newspapers hurled twice a day by a man driving a car - with the driver's door missing!

However, shopping rapidly changed to supermarkets, pioneered in Brisbane, the first in Australia. The self-service grocery store Piggly Wiggly was invented in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916. Canny Scottish immigrant Claude Fraser heard about this and in 1921 opened Brisbane Cash and Carry (BCC) in Fortitude Valley. His second store opened next in 1922 in West End.

The concept was simple: rows of stacked open shelves where the shopper helped themselves, popped the items into their own basket, unloaded on to a counter for the shop assistant to tally up in her head, and paid for in cash.

In 1927 Woolworths arrived, having opened its first Sydney store in 1924. In 1958, it purchased Brisbane Cash and Carry (BCC), 32 grocery stores that formed the basis of its entry into the grocery market in Queensland. In the 1970s the company opened discount department stores under the brand Big W, converting the last centre into either a supermarket, or a Big W in 1989. It became a public traded company in 1993. Click here to see some early photos.

Woolworths was followed in Brisbane in 1932 by its close rival, Coles, which had opened in Melbourne in 1914. In 1969 it started K-Mart, working with the US until 1978, when it acquired full ownership of the operation. From 1985 - 2006 it merged with Myer (and Target) and formed Officeworks in 1994. In 2007 Coles was purchased by Wesfarmers until 2018, when Coles was spun-off as a separate public company. Click here for a biography of Arthur William Coles 1892-1982.

In 1955 two other national rivals arrived

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Population Growth Brisbane and its surrounding Metropolitan area

1859:   6,000
Brisbane's first Town Hall on Queen Street, with its foundation stone laid in 1864, was completed in 1867.

1881:  37,000

1891: 100,000
With huge growth during this decade, in 1888 South Brisbane became a separate municipality. In 1892 its Town Hall was completed. By this year though, the municipality was being referred to in the Brisbane Courier newspaper not as a town but as a "city". In 1903, the Queensland State Government officially named the separate Brisbane municipality as a "city".

1921: 200,000
In 1925, the Queensland State Government amalgamated these two separate cities, plus surrounding towns and shires, into the greater City of Brisbane. Brisbane's City Hall on King George Square, started in 1920, was then opened in 1930.

1933: 300,000

1947: 400,000

1954: 500,000

1961: 620,000

1971: 870,000

1981: 1 million
In 1982, the Queen Street Mall was built for the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Road traffic through Queen Street became no longer possible as Queen Street was closed between Albert and Edward Streets. In 1988 and World Expo, the Queen Street Mall was extended from Albert Street to George Street, plus an entrance and exit at Victoria Bridge to the Queen Street Bus Station at the time the largest underground diesel bus station in the world.

1994: 1½ million

2008: 2 million
In 2008 the Queen Street Mall was extended again along Albert Street between Queen Street and Adelaide Street.

2020: 2½ million with Queensland at 5 million (estimate).

Since 1971, Greater Brisbane has steadily stretched to a distance of 200 kms that now includes Brisbane north to Caboolture and Kilcoy, west to Laidley and Esk, south to Boonah, Beaudesert and Beenleigh, but excluding the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

Local Govt Areas are: Brisbane City (from Eight Mile Plains in the south to Aspley in the north) 1.23 million, Moreton Bay Region (Strathpine, Redcliffe and Caboolture in the north) 460 thousand, Redlands in the east 160 thousand, Logan in the south 320 thousand, Ipswich in the west 210 thousand, Somerset (Esk) in the west north-west 25 thousand, Lockyer Valley (Gatton, Laidley) in the west south-west 40 thousand, and Scenic Rim (Beaudesert) in the south-west 40 thousand.

Todays's City Streets and one-way directions

Countess Street (far west) one-way (towards south)

Ann, Charlotte and Alice Streets all one-way (towards south-west)

Tank Street, Turbot Street that becomes Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley, Elizabeth Street and Margaret Street all one-way (towards north-east) noting that Margaret becomes Felix Street before it becomes Mary Street.

North Quay-William, Edward, Market Streets, and Clark Lane one-way (towards south-east)
with William Street officially closing in January 2017 for the Queens Wharf development.

George, Albert and Creek Streets one-way (towards north-west) with George and Albert streets currently two-way between Charlotte and Alice Streets.

Click here for a Google Map to the City

Further Background /brisbane-and-greater-brisbane

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