Kangaroo Point history (Adapted from Wikipedia)
A brief but thorough account of the history of Kangaroo Point can be found in the publication Kangaroo Point Heritage Walk, published by the Kangaroo Point Neighbourhood Watch. In addition, the ‘Local attractions and landmarks’ (link to the Local attractions and landmarks’ section) section of this website contains the history of some of the landmarks in the suburb.
Before British settlement, Kangaroo Point was occupied by the Turrbal people. It is one of Brisbane’s oldest suburbs. During the time of the convict settlement (1825–41), Kangaroo Point was cleared and used for cultivation of crops. Subsequently, the area was opened up for free settlement, the first land sales taking place on 13 December 1843. Among the early purchasers was Captain J.C.Wickham, the Police Magistrate. Surveyor James Warner built the first house at Kangaroo Point in 1844.
Kangaroo Point’s first school was opened in 1861 by the Church of England. It came under the control of the Board of Education in 1867 and consisted of a boys department and a girls department. A separate girls school and the Kangaroo Point Infants School both opened in1890. In 1950 the three schools amalgamated to become the Kangaroo Point State School on the site of the current Kangaroo Point Parkland. The school closed in 1965, after which it became Kangaroo Point TAFE. In January 2010, this site was redeveloped into parkland.
In 1887, the Yungaba Immigration Centre was built on Main Street at Kangaroo Point to replace the poor facilities at the existing centre in William Street. The first residents in 1887 were passengers on the migrant ship Duke of Buccleuch. Throughout its history, when immigration levels have been low, the building has been used for a variety of purposes such as being used as a hospital and to house the teams working on the design and construction of the Story Bridge. The use of Yungaba for immigration ceased in 1995 and in 2008, the Queensland Government sold Yungaba to developers, Australand. Australand restored the building and converted it into apartments and constructed three other apartment buildings alongside the original building.
Until the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901, the Queensland Navy’s main storage facility was located in Kangaroo Point. The first ship-based radio transmission in Australia was made between HMAS Gayundah and the buildings in 1903. The naval stores buildings were occupied by the Royal Australian Navy until 1959, and then by the Australian Army until 1984. The heritage-listed buildings are now used by an adventure company focussing on river activities and rock climbing.
For many years the suburb was dominated by the factories of heavy engineering businesses, particularly those involved in the maritime industry. Evans Deakin built the largest ship ever constructed on the Brisbane River, the 66,000 tonne oil tanker Robert Miller. Until the 1930s, Evans Anderson & Phelan built steam locomotives at their Kangaroo Point works for Queensland Railways. The last vessel to be built by Evans Deakin was an oilrig called Southern Cross. The company vacated the site in 1976, with it later being redeveloped for high-rise accommodation. The Dry Dock Marina, situated between the Dockside Hotel and St Helena Apartments is all that remains of the Evans Deakin Shipyard.
The opening of the Story Bridge in July 1940 was the most significant development of the suburb.
History of the Dockside site
Moreton View Tower and Villas is located on Brisbane’s historic shipbuilding dockyard. Moar’s Slip, adjacent to Cairns Street, Kangaroo Point, opened for business in the 1890s, accommodating vessels up to 400 tons. The small steamer Fanny was the first customer. The slipway closed in 1923 when Hughie Moar passed away.
In 1939 and with the advent of World War II and the nation needing ships, Evans Deakin launched into the shipbuilding industry. The site chosen was Moar’s Slip, adjacent to Cairns Street, Kangaroo Point. The keel of the company’s first vessel was laid in July 1940. In its 36-year history they built 83 vessels, the largest being the oil tanker Robert Miller, launched in November 1973. The Robert Miller was a cause of great alarm during the 1974 Australia day flood when she was torn from the fitting-out berth and threatened to dam the river. Following a world-wide slump in ship building the company suffered heavy financial loss from this area and it ceased its shipbuilding activity.
The dockyards lay derelict for some years until the development of firstly, Dockside Hotel and then Moreton View Tower and Villas. After many set backs in the building of MVTV, first ‘off-the-plan’ contracts were signed in the early part of 1989 and the first residents took up occupancy in December 1989.