There are plenty of sculptures and plaques in Post Office Square in Brisbane. The most famous one is of Major-General Glasgow which is the last sculpture made by Daphne Mayo, a well-known Brisbane sculptor. Mayo was responsible for the controversial sculpture on the front of Brisbane City Hall where, on one interpretation, she depicts an aboriginal man prostrate on the ground vanquished by settlers under the watchful eye of the the state.
In Post Office Square there are sculptures dedicated to Banks, Generals, a former Premier, and the fallen dead of world wars and even two nudes.
But there is nothing to commemorate Dundalli who was hung here on 5th January 1855 for leading Aboriginal resistance against British colonisation. Queensland was made a separate colony by Queen Victoria.
However every year local Aboriginal people conduct a smoking ceremony in memory of warrior Dundalli.
On the 5th Feb 2012 I was standing near then Lord Mayor of Queensland, Campbell Newman, when he declared he would erect a plaque or memorial to Dundalli in Post Office Square but he never delivered on hid promise. Soon after on being proclaimed Premier of Qld Campbell Newman ordered the eviction of aboriginal people from Musgrave Park to make way for the Paniyiri Greek Festival in West End.
The modern Post Office square was constructed in 1984 funded by public monies together with contributions from the Westpac Bank which borders the square. It was the site of Occupy Brisbane for two weeks in September 2011. The Lord Mayor had people from Occupy arrested and evicted soon after, no doubt at the behest of the neighbouring Banks neighbouring. More recently it is a place where Brisbane homeless people come and hang out while City office workers eat their lunches.
For those interested in the history, Libby Connors has written an excellent book about Dundalli.
26th of June 2019