Musgrave Park Aboriginal Meeting Place

Stage Number: MBSH.03.01.98

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: West End-South Brisbane-North Woolloongabba

Epoch: Late 20th Century

Street Address: Musgrave Park, South Brisbane

Latitude & Longitude: -27.47866667,153.01638889

Time Link: 1982

Map Link: 1981

Image Time Point: 1981

Suggest An Edit
View Your Faviourties


Musgrave Park is central to contemporary Brisbane Aboriginal communities, and politically, the city’s most significant Aboriginal site. The Park has been the focus of several significant Aboriginal protests, land claims and tent cities (tent embassies) since 1982. It hosts the largest attended NAIDOC Week celebrations in Australia. The area is a remnant of a former Camp that extended along the Sommerville House area and onto the ridge that is now the Brisbane High School. This Camp was involved in the water-carrying for early South Brisbane (from a Waterhole at the bottom end of Musgrave Park) but Aboriginal use of the area for occasional meetings seems to have started during the 1890s on account of its proximity between the West End Aboriginal Girls Home, the house of Aboriginal Protector Archibald Meston, and former Camps. This use as a meeting place intensified in the 1940s-1960s, when the park began to develop a crucial role in networking Aboriginal people who were moving off reserves or arriving in Brisbane from other regions. During the 1960s-1980s, many Aboriginal services and political movements developed close to or on account of the park. Since the 1990s, it has seen regular use for Aboriginal cultural events.


Ray Kerkhove, 2015, Aboriginal Campsites of Greater Brisbane (Salisbury: Boolarong), 122-4.

Image Citations

Map References

QSA. QSA Series ID 2043 City of Brisbane and Suburbs Maps – A1A Series. 1:25,000. Brisbane and Suburbs. 1:25,000. Brisbane, Department of Mapping and Surveying. (2 parts: Northern and Southern) (coloured). 634740