History of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands

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There is a great deal of evidence of Aboriginal people living on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands of Russell, Lamb, Karragarra and Macleay.
 On Macleay Island, Corroboree Point is believed to be a ceremonial ground and dreaming site. There is also a midden (a collection of shells, tools and bones formed after hundreds of years of gathering at that spot by Aboriginal people). Thompson’s Point was also an Aboriginal campsite and was possibly used for spotting turtles.
 On Lamb Island, Harry Brook Reserve has a midden.
 On Russell Island, there is an Aboriginal crossing point from the northeast tip across Canaipa Passage to Stradbroke Island.
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Where did the names come from?

Russell Island was originally called Canaipa. It was named Russell Island in the 1840s after Lord John Russell, Secretary of State for the colonies in the 1840s.
 Macleay Island was called Jencoomercha and in the 1840s was named after Alexander Macleay, the Colonial Secretary of NSW. At the time Queensland did not exist. All of Queensland was part of New South Wales.
 Karragarra Island has retained its indigenous name.
 Lamb Island was originally called Ngudooroo. The origins of Lamb are not clear but it is possible that it was named after British peer William Lamb, also known as Lord Melbourne.

Russell, Lamb, Macleay and Karragara Islands Settlement to 2000

The timeline to 1950 was compiled by Redland Shire Council’s Local Historian from primary and secondary sources. The post-1950 section was compiled mainly from local newspapers unless otherwise indicated.

Click here to download full version of timeline [PDF 117KB]

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