‘Disposal-of-Queens’ Land

BNW Queen1

Land, before Queensland
Disposal of Land
Queens, before Queensland
Disposal of Queens
Anne, before Queensland
Disposal of Anne

Before ‘Queensland’, British colonialists spoke of the ‘disposal of land’.

A few streets were marked onto maps and scratched out on the land we know as Mianjin.  These streets were given names from European Royal families.

I have blended these two ideas of ‘disposal of land’, and street names extracted from European royalty.  The aim is to see the narratives we (i.e. those of us who live in Brisbane) have encoded into our daily language.

The Progress of Kings

In the ‘Disposal of Queens’ Land


Land, before Queensland

Disposal of Land

Queens, before Queensland

Disposal of Queens

Anne, before Queensland

Disposal of Anne


Queen before country

Queens before Land

Marie, before Adelaide

Brother, before sister

Mary before Elizabeth

Elizabeth before Mary before Edward

Disposal of mother

Disposal of blood

Charlotte maternal

Disposal of son.

Charlotte and son

Disposal of daughter.

Disposal of pains

Disposal of James, of Henry, of Charles

The progress of Kings

And the Disposal of Queens


William before George


George before William

Disposal of penalties


Slander before Queen


Queen before Slander


Queen before Slander

Before Charles

Before William

Before Charlotte

Before George

Before Queens before Land

Before Queen before Slanders

SNC (Sovereignty Never Ceded)

BNW Elizabeth2

Before Queens before Land
Before Queen before Slanders
(Sovereignty Never Ceded)





old burleigh


The detailing of today’s arrests at Broadbeach is in the hands of the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy.  In response to the call for presence at Camp Freedom, and support on all media platforms, here is my little  story for the corner of CHARLES Ave and OLD BURLEIGH Rd, Broadbeach, Queensland.

Robina Burleigh

According to historian Robert Longhurst, Burleigh Heads is named after Scott’s fictional character, John Balfour of Burley.

#TooManyCoppasNotEnoughJustice brings the Sir Walter Scott novel, ‘Old Mortality’ into the 21st century. In this novel, Scott created the character John Balfour of Burley.


The name, Burley, was placed on the map by the surveyor, Robert Dixon.

‘Old Mortality’ traverses the conflict between John Balfour of Burley and the soldiers of Charles (King of England).

Burley is introduced to the narrative when he faces the intimidation of one of the King’s Guards.

“Is it not a strange thing to see a set of bumpkins sit carousing here this whole evening without having drank the king’s health?”

The intimidation led to a scuffle in the short term, and a bitter fight to the death as the story unfolds.


The novel develops a complicated relationship between Burley and Henry Morton.

The relationship begins when Morton stands up for Burley against the intimidation of the royal law enforcers.  As the story unfolds, Scott explores their divergent, and often conflicting strategies in the pursuit of their common cause.

Today’s arrests at Broadbeach consolidate the intersection of CHARLES Ave and OLD BURLEIGH Rd as a memorial to the hashtag,


Illusion of Permanence

helensvale stationHelensvale trams were stopped today at ‘Australia Fair’, in part, to draw attention to the rapacious history of the British Empire, which could be represented by so many of the visiting Commonwealth Games teams. Here is my attempt to see, simultaneously, experiences of Australia and India during the 19th century in relation to a relevant place name, Helensvale.


Helensvale is named after Helena White, who married an officer who fought in India in 1857.


Just a couple of years after the public execution of Aboriginal resistance leader, Dundalli, the British Empire crushed a well-armed resistance movement in India.  Some call it India’s First War of Independence.  Others call it the Mutiny, or the rebellion.

The great rebellion of 1857 created what historian Francis Hutchins described as ‘an illusion of permanence’, an idea that British power in India could withstand a challenge on any scale.  For many Indians, it killed off the idea that this strange, aloof regime was a temporary anomaly.  It forced serious thinking about how practically to cooperate, accommodate or resist it.  But one of its most important effects was on the psychology of the British practitioners of empire in IndiaEighteen fifty-seven was followed by new efforts to justify the exercise of British power in the Indian sub-continent, by the first serious efforts to seek legitimacy through ‘improvement’.  …   for the cadre of imperial bureaucrats themselves, many of whom came from families whose Indian careers stretched back three or four generations, 1857 removed the need for any kind of justification at all.  For official families, the ‘mutiny’ was simply the most extreme moments in the continual cycle of resistance and conquest, of humiliation and then vindication, which governed Britain’s empire in India.

(From John Wilson, ‘India Conquered’ p. 265)


Helena White married Graham Douglas Mylne in 1861. 

 According to his son, Graham Ernest Mylne:

My father, who was very young, after he had fought in the Indian Mutiny, been wounded, and had sunstroke, and had also been to the Crimea, came out to Australia to investigate.  He decided to sell his commission and carry on Eatonswill. 


He married my mother, when she was about 17 or 18 – only daughter of William Duckett White of Beaudesert Station, on the Logan, and at Lota.

  My father bought Amby Downs sheep station in partnership with Sir John Bramston, and I was born there in 1866.  He worked Amby for about 6 years with Kanaka and Chinese shepherds, during which time he represented Maranoa as its first member of Parliament.  He then went to live at Eatonswill which had been managed in his absence by a man who sold his best racing stud without his permission, to his great discontent.

(by MWD White, ‘An Early Settler:the Duckett White Family in Australia’, p.213)

White green1

Many of us live with the ‘illusion of permanence’ in Australia.  The people who blocked the trams today want us to re-think that.  Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.



Reflective Surface Paradise

Reflective Surface Paradise is not a tour of biographies.  It is a tour of relationships – but not necessarily friendships or even acquaintances.  These relationships are collaborations and contests.

The same names in different places and the same names in different combinations produce new layers and new facets of meaning and insight.

photo 2(2)

Bowen vs Lang

(At Warner St, Fortitude Valley)

Bowen and Lang might agree on cotton, but not on who would do the hard work.  In the mean time, Warner and Lavelle surveyed the cotton fields.

photo 4(1)

Duncan vs Wickham 

(At the Chinatown Mall, Ann St)

Duncan and Wickham agreed that they should govern, but did not agree on the ‘government’ of the Traditional Owners.  Meanwhile, Warner was witness to the stealing of timber as well as of women.

photo 1

Cleveland vs Mitchell

(At the corner of Pratten St and Petrie Tce)

The Duke of Cleveland and Thomas Mitchell agreed on map-making, but did not agree on whose names should be on it.  Meanwhile, Dixon took the money.

photo 3(3)

Invasion vs settlement

(Windmill over Albert St)

Albert and Stapylton agreed on invasion.  Although both died before ‘settlement’ in Kombumerri Country, it was Stapylton’s death that was used as a ‘lesson’ to the opponents of ‘settlement’ on Turrabul Country.

photo 4(2)

Discovery vs Treaty

(from the corner of Musgrave Rd and Hale St, and the corner of Glenelg and Cordelia)

Although Musgrave was local, he was a ‘global’.  Today’s match-ups of Canada vs Trinidad and Tobago and Australia vs St Kitts and Nevis involved people from all over the world who would feel that Musgrave was a local to them.

photo 2(1)

Water vs Land at Boundary St, Spring Hill

The great swamp is now Mermaid Waters and Burleigh Waters, Queensland.  Peters was one of the early pioneers in the separation of the water from the land (saying it was good).   In ‘Old Mortality’ (by Sir Walter Scott), Burley came to mobilise, but Morton would not join. (Victoria was reading Sir Walter Scott to Albert as he drew his last breath.)  Oxley first came without a regiment in the Mermaid, but he came back with one in the Amity.


This is a map of street signs.

It is a map of where place names are presented to motorists.

In this map, Brisbane is south of Logan, and Sydney is north of Burleigh because this is how the signs are organized.

In 1785, Sir Joseph Banks outlined roughly 17 themes through which the ideas of ‘common wealth’ and ‘stolen wealth’ could be assessed.  He did this during an interview with the Committee of Enquiry into Transportation.

Banks was asked a series of questions about his visit to ‘Botany Bay’.  He answered those questions.

There can be little doubt that Banks’ answers to the questions about timber, fish, birds, animals, water, women, and land informed the British Government whether it was worth their investing in taking the timber, the fish, the birds, the animals, the women and the land.  The questions about population, warriors, weapons, sea-going vessels indicate that the option of taking the wealth of the land by force was on the table from the start.

I have used the street signs located on this map to re-visit the questions posed to Sir Joseph Banks.  I have annotated the map with those questions.

My map poses those same questions to the names appearing before motorists between Logan and the southern border of Queensland.

There is plenty of substance in the charge ‘Stolen wealth’.

The responsibility of stolen wealth does not simply reside with just a couple of the historical actors such as Cook, George, Victoria, Philip, Sydney, Brisbane, etc.

Potato. Palace.. Alice…

The Royal Couple will be visiting the Botanic Gardens tomorrow.

The public are advised to enter the gardens ‘through the main gate on Albert St’.

photo 1

The main gate to the gardens is at the corner of Albert St and Alice St.


Albert appeared on Wade’s ‘Survey of Brisbane’ of 1842

Edward Alice BNW

Alice and Edward were not marked on Wade’s ‘Survey of Brisbane 1842’.

The names Alice, Edward and Albert did not appear on the Brisbane map all at once.

Edward appeared on Wade’s ‘Plan of the Environs of Brisbane 1844’.


Edward  was born in November 1841.

I can’t see Alice on the 1844 map.


Princess Alice (Victoria and Albert’s third child) was born in 1843.

Prevailing popular opinion says the streets of Brisbane CBD are named after kings and queens.  But Albert was not a king.  Alice was never a queen.  Edward did not become king until nearly 60 years after his name appeared on this street map.

To me, the appearance of Edward as an infant on Brisbane’s map casts this little stretch of Alice Street between Edward and Albert as a memorial to a young family.

The street signs joining the members of this young family of the mid- 1840s point to the story of their family home – Osborne House.  Osborne House was purchased upon the sale of the Brighton Pavilion, the pleasure palace of George IV.  Osborne House was re-built during the Irish Potato blight.

This little corridor locates us in a moment of royal excess during mass starvation and displacement in Ireland.

It takes us to the catastrophic culmination of a great political debate between free trade and protectionism.

For more thoughts on Albert’s positioning in our language at this time, see