Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, is named for Sir Thomas Brisbane (1773–1860), British soldier and colonial administrator born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Sir Thomas Brisbane was Governor of New South Wales at the time that Brisbane was named.
Brisbane’s recorded history dates from 1799, when Matthew Flinders explored Moreton Bay on an expedition from Port Jackson, although the region had long been occupied by the Jagera and Turrbal aboriginal tribes. The town was conceived initially as a penal colony for British convicts sent from Sydney. Its suitability for fishing, farming, timbering, and other occupations, however, caused it to be opened to free settlement in 1838. The town became a municipality in 1859 and a consolidated metropolitan area in 1924
Brisbane became a city in 1902.
The first section of the Gothic Revival-style St John’s Anglican Cathedral was consecrated in 1910, nine years after the foundation stone was laid. The Cathedral has been built in three stages with the second stage finished in 1968 and the final west end of the church due for completion in 2006.
The sandstone-faced Brisbane City Hall, with its 91 metre high clock tower, was built between 1920 and 1930. The landmark Story Bridge opened in 1940.
During WWII Brisbane became the headquarters for United States General Douglas MacArthur’s South-West Pacific Campaign and thousands of American troops were stationed in the city.
Brisbane’s development in the last half of the 20th century included hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the World Expo in 1988.
The subtropical city of Brisbane today has a population in excess of 1.6 million residents and is Australia’s third largest city. Despite its development during the 20th century it still retains numerous public buildings constructed during the Victorian era as well as thousands of ‘Queenslander’ houses on stilts.