Musgrave Park, Brisbane

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Musgrave Park
Musgrave Park, Brisbane.jpg
Musgrave Park in South Brisbane
Location Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Area 6.3 hectares (16 acres)[1]
Created 1856

Musgrave Park is a park in South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The park is bordered by Edmonstone, Russell, and Cordelia Streets, and Brisbane State High School, and has an area of 63,225 m2.[1] The park is of cultural significance to indigenous Australians.


Musgrave Park is a remnant of the former Kurilpa (South Brisbane) Aboriginal camping ground that stretched from "Highgate Hill and on (to) the slanting slopes of Cumboomeya (Somerville House)" and additionally "sometimes they made a camp in the little scrub then situated on the river bank near the recent entrance to the Dry Dock".[2] From here and Woolloongabba, Aborigines in the 1840s and 1850s would go into South Brisbane to work chopping wood, carrying water, and selling fish.[3] The South Brisbane Recreation Reserve (as it was originally known) was created in 1856.[4] In 1867, it was proposed to build a public grammar school (Brisbane State High School) adjacent to the reserve.[5] In 1884, it was renamed Musgrave Park after the then Governor of Queensland, Sir Anthony Musgrave.[6]

An effort to collect documents related to the aboriginal historical links to the park was spearheaded by Bob Weatherall in 1983.[7] In 1985, the Musgrave Park Report was released, identifying indigenous links to the area.[7] In 1998, the Brisbane City Council allocated part of the park for the establishment of an indigenous cultural centre.[8] The council has described the park as a place for holding feasts, ceremonies and dispute resolution.[9]

Current use[edit]

Jagera Arts Centre, 2011

Musgrave Park is home to the Jagera Arts Centre and is one of the few remaining green spaces left in Brisbane's inner city. On 24 August 1998, after twenty years of legal struggles with the Queensland state government, the Musgrave Park Aboriginal Corporation (MPAC) secured a lease to build a cultural centre on portions of the park.[10] The park holds special significance to the local indigenous population due to a past restriction barring Aborigines from crossing the park and entering the city of Brisbane[citation needed]. Notably, being the site of a buried bora ring,[11] it has historically been a sacred site to the native Murri people.

Each year, the park hosts the Paniyiri Greek Festival, the National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration (NAIDOC) Park Day, and the Lesbian and Gay Brisbane Pride Festival Fair Day.


Safety sign in Musgrave Park

In 2008, a man was beaten to death at Musgrave Park.[12] This incident has added to the perception that Musgrave Park is dangerous. However statistics from 2007–10 show that incidents of assault are concentrated around the foreshore and train stations of South Bank, and the main venues on Boundary street in West End, with relatively few incidents occurring in Musgrave Park.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Conservation Management Study" (PDF). Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ (Chas Melton, "When Wolloongabba was Wattle-scented", 20 March 1915, pp.58-59 of Melton Cuttings Book, RQHS).
  3. ^ CLARK W. A JUBILEE RETROSPECT.—THE CITY OF SOUTH BRISBANE. The Queenslander (Brisbane) Saturday 7 August 1909 Page 21).
  4. ^ "South Brisbane". Queensland Places. University of Queensland. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "PUBLIC GRAMMAR SCHOOL—A SUGGESTION". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 28 October 1867. p. 3. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Musgrave Park, South Brisbane: Conservation Report" (PDF). Streetwalkers Guide to West End. June 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Kerkhove, Ray (2016). Aboriginal Camp Sites Of Greater Brisbane: A Historical Guide. Brisbane, Australia: Boomerang Press. p. 14. ISBN 1925236528. Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Tony Moore (16 May 2012). "Lord Mayor to meet with Aboriginal elders over park future". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Musgrave Park Cultural Centre". Brisbane's Living Heritage Network. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  10. ^ FAIRA: Historic handover at Musgrave Park
  11. ^ de Vries, Susanna; Jake de Vries (2003). Historic Brisbane: Convict Settlement to River City. Brisbane, Australia: Pandanus Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-9585408-4-5. 
  12. ^ Amelia Bentley (22 October 2010). "Teen given life sentence for Musgrave Park murder". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Brisbane Central crime hot spots". News Queensland. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Musgrave Park, Brisbane at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 27°28′44″S 153°01′00″E / 27.4790°S 153.0166°E / -27.4790; 153.0166