The Burke and Wills Expedition: Tragedy and Triumph

This article, by Dr Judith McKay, was originally published on the Queensland State Archives website, March 2011. 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 […]

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 […]

Test alt

The Noblest Profession: Nursing in Queensland

This article, by Margaret Cook, was originally published on the Queensland State Archives website, March 2013. 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 […]

The Double Execution

“Shortly after eight o’clock […] the two prisoners, Ellen Thompson and John Harrison, who were convicted […] of the murder of William Thompson (husband of the female prisoner) near Port Douglas on the 22 October last, and who were sentenced to death by His Honour Mr. Justice Cooper, suffered the extreme penalty of the law.” […]

The historical significance of Queensland Day

This article, by Dr Murray Johnson, was originally published on the Queensland State Archives website, May 2010. On 6 June 1859 an Order-in-Council was passed by the Privy Council in London and signed by the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, which effectively created the new Australasian colony of ‘Queen’s Land’, a name modestly proposed by the […]

The Birth of Modern Queensland

In 2009, Queensland celebrated its 150th anniversary. In acknowledgement of Queensland’s official declaration as a separate colony in 1859, Queensland State Archives commissioned noted academic and historian Dr Murray Johnson to detail an interesting story of our State’s formative years. European settlement of Queensland began in 1824 when Lieutenant Henry Miller, commanding a detachment of […]

Australian South Sea Islanders in Queensland

This article by Prof. Clive Moore was originally published on the Queensland State Archives website, November 2013. Over a period of 40 years from the early 1860s, tens of thousands of Pacific Islanders worked on Queensland plantations. They were often underpaid, treated harshly and many died, yet they contributed greatly to the growing state and […]

What’s in a name – Teutoberg or Teutoburg? NO … it’s Witta!

On 17 October 1887 an enterprising group of ex-German nationals selected land portions in the Blackall Range and formed the kernel of the new town of Teutoburg. Situated about four miles north-west of Maleny, difficulties regarding the spelling of the town name rose early in the area’s history. Correspondence from the residents of the area […]

The AHS Centaur Attack

This article, by Dr Julie Ustinoff, was originally published on the Queensland State Archives website, April 2009. At approximately 4 a.m. on the morning of Friday 14th May 1943, the Australian Hospital Ship, Centaur was attacked by a Japanese submarine, killing 268 of the 332 people on board. In addition to the ship’s crew of […]