Execution and Incarceration Site

Stage Number: MBNH.09.01.11

Group: Old Town & River

Local Study Area: Brisbane City (CBD)

Epoch: Early 19th Century

Street Address: GPO, Queens Street, City

Latitude & Longitude: -27.46802778,153.02811111

Time Link: 1855

Map Link: 1864

Image Time Point: 1864

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Former prison and court site, where some 40 Aboriginal persons were sentenced and – in some cases – incarcerated and executed. Here in 1855, Dundalli, the Aboriginal resistance leader, was kept during his final months. He was hanged just outside on 6th January 1855. The event was heavily guarded by police and armed civilians on account of the pronounced protestations of Aboriginal groups. The event was pivotal in Brisbane history, marking a transition in the treatment of Aboriginal people and the growing power of the squatters in determining that treatment. A decade later, this same area served as the site for annual distributing blankets to Aborigines on the Queen’s Birthday.


Ray Kerkhove, 2015, Aboriginal Campsites of Greater Brisbane (Salisbury: Boolarong), 102-106.

Image Citations

Map References

QSA. QSA Series ID 2043 City of Brisbane and Suburbs Maps – A1A Series. 8 chains to the inch. City & environs of Brisbane County of Stanley shewing the electoral districts of North Brisbane South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley. 8 chains to 1 inch. Negative photostat. 634487