Yungaba Immigration Centre

If the walls of the Yungaba Immigration Centre (Digital Image ID 1588) could talk, there would be many stories to tell; stories of happiness, hope, and new beginnings; but also some of sadness, suffering, and loss. Since its erection in 1887, alongside the Brisbane River in Main Street, Kangaroo Point, Yungaba has fulfilled a number […]


Beerburrum Soldier Settlement

Written by Paul Sutton, Researcher The Beerburrum Soldier Settlement was an Australian Government funded, and Queensland Government administered effort, to provide land to repatriated servicemen who had served in the Australian and Imperial armed forces during World War One. The settlement was established in 1916 and ran until terminated during the late 1920s, though many […]

The Australian, Burke and Wills at the Dig Tree

The Burke and Wills Expedition: Tragedy and Triumph

The Burke and Wills Expedition, the first to cross the Australian continent from south to north, ended in tragedy, yet it resulted in opening up of vast tracts of Queensland to pastoral settlement. The expedition and the various ‘relief’ parties dispatched in its wake have left not only a trail of archival records but also […]

Parliament House, Brisbane, 1894

The state of the State of Queensland in 1916

1916 and the First World War was into its third year with both home and abroad suffering under the conflict. On the 22 August 1916 Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams, the Governor of Queensland, gave a speech at the opening of the 20th Parliament, summarising the order of business for the State of Queensland. A speech that […]


A War Mother’s Plea

While searching for First World War records to display in our latest exhibition ‘On the Home Front’, we found this striking image of Second Lieutenant Sister Rosa O’Kane. This beautiful portrait of Sister Rosa in her nurse’s uniform had been painstakingly attached to a cardboard backing. On the reverse was an obituary poem clipped from […]


Yankee Ned – An Island Legend

During a tour of the Torres Strait region in 1911, the Governor of Queensland, Sir William MacGregor, had the above photo of an elderly man and two Islander boys (Digital Image ID 5847) taken on Yorke Island. It was titled only ‘Yankee Ned and his grandchildren’. In his dispatch, which later became part of the […]

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The Noblest Profession: Nursing in Queensland

Nursing was derived from religious orders and the military. Early nursing uniforms reflected this beginning with veils like nun’s coifs and the militaristic use of epaulettes and stripes on uniforms to demark hierarchy. Uniforms were often pale blue with white aprons and mob caps typical of English servant attire. White symbolised hygiene, blue symbolised purity. […]