Who was Sir Thomas Bilbe Robinson?

Sir Thomas B Robinson’s endeavours as Queensland’s Agent General held a unique place during the First World War, but we’ll come back to that part of his story later. Robinson was born on the 24 November 1853 in Rotherhithe, England and moved to Australia in 1881 with his wife, Elizabeth. He first managed the firm […]

Flood, Fire and Famine

Core of my heart, my country! Land of the Rainbow Gold, For flood and fire and famine, She pays us back threefold My Country, Dorothea Mackellar In this famous ode to her adopted country written in 1908, Dorothea Mackellar successfully captures the spirit of Australians battling a hostile environment in which flood, fire and famine […]

The Sinking of the S.S. Quetta

Freeman’s Journal Sat 8 March 1890 Wreck of the S.S. Quetta Fearful Loss of Life 123 Souls Perished The R.M.S. Quetta, of the British India Steam Navigation Co.’s Anglo-Australia service, was on Friday night wrecked on the Queensland coast, after striking on a sunken rock not marked on the chart. The Quetta was well known […]

The Story of Charles O’Brien

Records from Queensland State Archives’ collection Photo of Kerry O’Brien courtesy of Artemis Films and Serendipity Production The fourth series of Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) is screening on SBS ONE in 2012. Episode two, air date 3 April 2012 at 7.30 pm, follows the story of Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most revered television journalists. WDYTYA is a co-production by Artemis International […]

What’s in a name? Mostyn Hanger

Our recent What’s in a Name blog covered some of the many unusual and intriguing names we find in the Archives, and looked at how a name can lead us on a merry trail to discover the stories hiding in the records. Stories that shed light not only on the individual but also Queensland’s past. […]

Abandoned: The incredible tale of a French castaway

Sit back now and let us tell you a tale. An amazing tale of French cabin boy Narcisse Pelletier who was shipwrecked, left to die, rescued and adopted by an Aboriginal clan and then ‘rescued’ again 17 years later. “His name is Narcisse Peltier [sic] […] one of the survivors of the French vessel St […]

Referendum Blues

Four days before Australians voted in the 1916 referendum about compulsory military service, a teacher at Richmond Hill State School decided to explore this process of voting when teaching the combined  Fourth and Fifth classes. On Tuesday 24 October Mr William John Williams discussed the concept of a referendum -“what it is, when it is […]