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Why Was Brisbane Founded?

For centuries several countries have sent their prisoners to exile in convict colonies. There are a few colonies that have started in Australia. First, let’s talk about Brisbane and the reason why it was founded.

Brisbane was originally a penal colony for convicts who had committed new offenses on Australian soil while they were already being exiled. It was initially known as Moreton Bay Penal Settlement.

What is a Penal Colony?

A penal colony is an overseas settlement made for criminals forced into isolation from society. England initially shipped off their criminals to America. Then, when the American Revolution happened, they started sending them off to Australia. (Source: Britannica)

What is the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement?

The Moreton Bay Penal Settlement was established in 1825 to be a place of exile for re-offending convicts. Europeans first discovered the Brisbane River and started the settlement with three ex-convicts.

By 1826, there were already 200 convicts in the settlement. But Brisbane was more than just an encampment at this point. Captain Patrick Logan started a program of public works to replace temporary structures with better buildings.

A windmill at Spring Hill was built in 1828. The windmill was used to grind corn and wheat into flour. The windmill was powered by the wind sails and a treadmill which convicts ran as a form of punishment. Captain Logan used this punishment with exceptional brutality.

Reports say that the Moreton Bay convicts suffered a great deal under the watch of Captain Logan. They were required to work from dawn until the sun had set. Those who misbehaved were punished even further by being fettered with leg irons, working extensively on the treadmill, or receiving 150 laches. (Source: NMA)

How Did Brisbane Get Its Name?

When the colony was established, the law did not permit the erection of any private settlements near the area. As the years passed, the number of new convicts started to decrease, and there was a significant decline in the population.

The British government started questioning the sustainability of the settlement. By 1838, the area was opened for free settlers. Lutheran missionaries were the first to have settled during this time.

By September 6, 1859, the city of Brisbane was proclaimed. It got its name from Sir Thomas Brisbane. He was a British soldier born in Scotland appointed as the Governor of New South Wales at the time. John Petrie was the first elected mayor. (Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography)

How is Brisbane Doing in the Modern World?

Today the City of Brisbane is known to be the most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, with a population of 2.6 million. However, it is a diverse city, with about 32% of its population being foreign-born.

Brisbane is classified as a global city rating at the top of livable cities in the world. They are known for their distinct architecture and diverse culture. Because of this, the city became quite a popular tourist attraction. (Source: The World According to GaWC)

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