Brisbane is today ranked as Australia’s third largest city occupying over 1140 square kilometer, and it’s also the capital of Queensland. It’s also home to over 2 million people and forms part of what I described as Australia’s fastest growing metropolitan. Population experts predict that the population will have doubled by 2056.
The name of the city can be traced back to the colonial period. In 1823, the Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane was pressured by settlers in Sydney to send convicts somewhere elsewhere. He chose the area between The area Brisbane chose was named after him.
Before the British colonized the area, the city of Brisbane was occupied by the Turrbal and Yuggera clans of the aboriginal tribes. They depended on the rivers and its tributaries for food as they were rich in fish, crab, shrimp and shellfish. The richness in natural resources in the area also contributed to attracting the settlers later after colonization period.
The first European explorers to the region were in 1799 when Matthew Flinders and his team on an expedition from Port Jackson to Hervey Bay explored the Moreton Bay. He spent 15 days in the region, but somehow he could not find the Brisbane River.
Brisbane was first occupied by Europeans who were sent there as convicts from Sydney. In late 1823, a Land Surveyor by the name, General John Oxley explored the area and discovered the river. And in honor of the Governor he called it Brisbane River. The Governor decide to establish a Penal Settlement to house the convicts. The site was at today’s North Query due to its proximity to a water source. In 1828 the convicts turned out to be a source of labor for the British when construction works began in the area.
Settlers began occupying Brisbane in 1838, and a few years later the local Australians were running short of food as their way of life was nomadic. In 1841, three areas were established, and they were Kangaroo Point, North Brisbane, and South Brisbane.
In 1859, in honor of the ruling Queen of England, Queensland was named, and it was declared a separate colony from New South Wales. Brisbane was found suitable to be the capital. Development continued, and the colonial government built Old Government House (1862), Parliament House (1862) and Queensland Old Museum (1862). In 1876, the first railway station was opened and named Roma Street Station.
Brisbane had its first university in 1909 though admission started 1911 at the University of Queensland. In 1971, Griffith University was founded and the first admissions done in 1975. The University was named after the Australasian politician and premier of Australia, Sir Samuel Walker Griffith.
Transport was developing at a high rate at that time and in 1926, Brisbane opened its first airport.
Brisbane hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1982 as well as the Commonwealth Expo in 1988. Brisbane in 2001 hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Today, Brisbane and its history represent a city which has stood the test of age and it has undoubtedly proven itself to be a dynamic city. The cultural, economic achievements of Brisbane can’t be underestimated when considering the success of various Australian cities.