Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, Australia, has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. Throughout its history, Brisbane has undergone significant changes and growth, but it continues to maintain its unique identity and character. The city’s Indigenous heritage and history, as well as its diverse population, continue to shape and influence its culture and development.

Brisbane timeline of the city’s history:

Before European colonization, the area that is now Brisbane was home to the Turrbal and Jagera Indigenous peoples. The Turrbal people called the area “Mian-jin,” meaning “place shaped as a spike.” The Jagera people called it “Yuggera,” meaning “from this place.”

  • 1770: European explorer Captain James Cook sailed up the east coast of Australia, but did not land in the Brisbane area.
  • 1823: Explorer John Oxley, on behalf of the New South Wales government, explored the Brisbane River and named it after the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane.
  • 1824: The Moreton Bay penal colony was established by the British government, with the first convicts arriving in 1825. The colony was initially located at Redcliffe, but was moved to the present location of the city in 1825.
  • 1842: The Moreton Bay penal colony was closed and the area opened to free settlement.
  • 1859: Queensland became a separate colony from New South Wales, with Brisbane as its capital.
  • 1864: The first bridge over the Brisbane River, the Victoria Bridge, was opened.
  • 1875: The University of Queensland was established.
  • 1901: Queensland became a state of the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • 1925: The Story Bridge was opened, connecting Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point.
  • 1940s-1950s: Post-war immigration and economic development saw the population of Brisbane grow rapidly.
  • 1974: The iconic Brisbane City Hall was opened.
  • 1986: The World Expo was held in Brisbane, bringing international attention to the city.
  • 1990s: The city underwent a period of urban renewal and revitalization, with the development of the South Bank precinct and the construction of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
  • 2000s: The city continued to expand and grow, with new infrastructure and development projects, including the construction of the Queensland Cultural Centre and the Gallery of Modern Art.
  • 2010s: The city continued to grow, with new developments and infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Queens Wharf development and the Cross River Rail project.
  • 2020s: The city’s development continues to grow, with new projects such as the Brisbane Live entertainment precinct, which will feature a new arena and hotel, and the Howard Smith Wharves development, which includes a new hotel, restaurants, and public spaces.

Today, Brisbane continues to grow and develop, with a diverse population and a thriving cultural and economic scene. Despite the city’s modern development, the Indigenous history and culture of the Turrbal and Jagera peoples still hold a significant place in the city’s history and identity.