Perspectives on place, people and their interaction on Kangaroo Point 1842-1920

Murtagh, Therese Alice Mary. (2002). Perspectives on place, people and their interaction on Kangaroo Point 1842-1920 MPhil Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Murtagh, Therese Alice Mary.
Thesis Title Perspectives on place, people and their interaction on Kangaroo Point 1842-1920
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Total pages 213
Language eng
Subjects 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
160403 Social and Cultural Geography
Formatted abstract
Kangaroo Point is a peninsula formed by a meander of the Brisbane River. Its geography and topography ensured that it became a productive adjunct to the struggling Moreton Bay convict settlement. There was fertile river-flat land, access to water, stone and timber for building and access to the settlement at North Brisbane and the New Farm via the river. Once Moreton Bay was opened to free settlement, Kangaroo Point's location at the hub of traffic to the eastern and western areas of the colony, its potential as a maritime centre and suitability for settlement made it a rival for supremacy with North and South Brisbane and Cleveland. While the network of ambitious squatting and entrepreneurial interests failed to achieve its goal of making Kangaroo Point the capital, the peninsula's value as a residential and industrial suburb was undiminished, as the success of the 1853 sale of the Point's final parcel of Crown land demonstrated.

The factors contributing to the suburb's development indicate that its character evolved over a lengthy period as a consequence of its physical attributes and the rate and pattern of land sales. These in turn determined settlement and thus the growth of networks linking settlers to each other and to their families elsewhere in Australia and abroad. Development of the Point as a suburb may be traced through a number of phases related to its uses. Initially it was residential district for upper echelon civil ser\'ants from the colony's administrative centre in North Brisbane who lived on whole allotments, and for labourers, on small subdivisions, who worked in the industries which sprang up at the northern end of the peninsula where there was deep-water anchorage. These developments were consistent with others taking place both in Australia and America at a time when land was seen as a resource for exploitation, walking was the normal mode of travel and access to the river facilitated both personal and industrial transport.

To establish the social and national mix of settlers, immigration, electoral, land transfer and school admission data was located, collated and analysed. A previous contention that Kangaroo Point was 'green' was found to be an overstatement, while the contribution of Germanic and Scandinavian migrants had been largely overlooked. Socially the settlers, as was expected, maintained the class and status symbols and behaviours brought by the British majority. The classes involved in governing, professional life and conducting the colony's major commercial enterprises formally 'called' on each other as they would have done in the British Isles. Their percentage of the population decreased as allotment sales and subdivision brought working-class settlers to fill the boarding establishments and cottages, whether owner-occupied or rented.

In seeking to establish the nature and importance of networks which formed the suburb's social fabric, case studies were used. These investigated the wide variety of networks which developed in the compartmentalised pattern of streets which were the consequence of sporadic subdivision . This plethora of family, community, social and commercial networks were interwoven to build the suburb's cohesive character. The extent of social cohesion was questioned, resulting in links between landlords and their tenants being established. Their undoubtedly good relations tied to the availability of employment in close proximity contributed to stability and the development of a strong sense of identity characteristic of Kangaroo Point.
Keyword Kangaroo Point (Qld.) -- Social life and customs
Kangaroo Point (Qld.) -- History
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*Variant title: Social interaction on Kangaroo Point 1842-1920.

Document type: Thesis
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Created: Mon, 22 Feb 2010, 08:59:17 EST by Ms Natalie Hull on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service