Brisbane’s Air Raid Shelters

Brisbane City Architect Frank Gibson Costello designed the City Council’s air-raid shelters to provide a post-war utility as well as short-term safety. After the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 and the presence of Japanese submarines off the Queensland coast, Brisbane prepared for the possibility of attack, building more than 200 air-raid shelters throughout […]

Escape from St Helena Island

Sitting isolated, surrounded by the dangers of Moreton Bay, St Helena Island Penal Establishment was a fortified prison. Despite this, numerous prisoners still attempted to escape.    One of the greatest escape attempts lasted 11 days and was carried out by two prisoners: Henry Craig and David McIntyre. The response to their escape was unprecedented, […]

Living With Wet Feet

For the legion of fishing enthusiasts around the world, if you don’t know Ern Grant, chances are you’ll know his seminal work; Grant’s Guide to Fishes. Known affectionately  as the “Fisherman’s Bible”, Grant’s work has grown from a 280 page manual to a tome nearly three times the size and is considered to be the […]

HRH The Duchess of Kent with a koala at Expo 88, Brisbane. Queensland State Archives Item ID 1460293

How the koala became Queensland’s faunal emblem

HRH The Duchess of Kent with a koala at Expo 88, Brisbane. Queensland State Archives Item ID 1460293. The koala is an Australian icon. So, when Australian states came to choose their animal emblems in the late 1960s, the fight was on. Two states in particular were prepared to take it to the final round. […]

The precedent of the pandemic

The quarantine camp at Wallangarra, c. 1919. From QSA Item ID18186. For the second time restrictions have been placed on Queenslanders to curtail the spread of a virus. The first time was just after the First World War, when the influenza pandemic, or Spanish flu, spread to Queensland. The influenza pandemic killed more than 12,000 […]

100 years of Ubobo: remembering a soldier settlement

Original Soldier Settlement House, painted by Anne Huth Nestled in the heart of the Boyne Valley, just an hour’s drive south from the Central Queensland city of Gladstone, sits the township of Ubobo. Sustained by its farming, sawmilling and tourism industries, the area offers an insight into an interesting chapter of Australian history – the […]

Walter Russell Hall and William Knox D'Arcy (image sourced from Wikimedia Commons]

How BP nearly never existed

Walter Russell Hall and William Knox D’Arcy (image sourced from Wikimedia Commons) BP is the world’s fifth-largest oil company, turning over $303.7B in 2018 and producing 4.1 million barrels of oil per day. One of the petrochemical industry’s ‘supermajors’, BP was once perilously close to never existing at all. The story has its beginnings in […]