Musgrave Park in Brisbane

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More than a Park,  Culturally Significant Public Space

Musgrave Park holds layers of cultural meaning and history in Brisbane. The area was originally home to an Aboriginal encampment named Kurilpa along the river in what is now South Brisbane. For Indigenous Australians, this site hosted important gatherings for feasts, ceremonies, and dispute resolutions.

In 1856, the South Brisbane Recreation Reserve was established on this land for public recreational use. A few decades later in 1884, the park was formally renamed Musgrave Park in honor of the Queensland Governor at the time, Sir Anthony Musgrave.

Efforts to preserve the Aboriginal cultural links to Musgrave Park were spearheaded in 1983 by Bob Weatherall’s report, which provided critical evidence. This led to Brisbane City Council allocating part of the park in 1998 for creating an Indigenous cultural centre.

Throughout various name changes and developments, Musgrave Park has retained its value as a gathering place with both Aboriginal and public significance for the Brisbane community. The park continues to be a popular venue hosting cultural events and ceremonies today. Access our central site by clicking this.

Current Use and Events

Musgrave Park is home to the Jagera Arts Centre and is one of the few remaining green spaces left in Brisbane’s inner city. The park holds special significance to the local indigenous population due to a past restriction barring Aborigines from entering the city of Brisbane. 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. In 2020, a candlelight vigil was held in Musgrave Park to mark the last day of National Reconciliation Week, with candles lit for each of the Aboriginal deaths in custody since the end of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Historical Events

The famous Australian poet Kath Walker’s son, Dennis was shot at during an Aboriginal protest in 1982. About 500 Aboriginals were set up in tents at Musgrave Park to organize their land-rights protest during the Commonwealth Games. Musgrave Park was the site of a buried bora ring and has historically been a sacred site to the native Murri people. The park was a location for a historic handover ceremony in 1998 and has been the subject of legal struggles with the Queensland state government.

Other Information

  • Musgrave Park and what used to be the bowl’s clubhouse (now used as a community centre) are listed on the Brisbane Heritage Register.
  • The park has an area of 63,225 square meters (680,550 sqft).
  • Hosts a number of events and outdoor gatherings of different sizes each year

Amenities and Features

  • Wheelchair accessible entrance
  • Wheelchair accessible parking lot
  • Dogs allowed
  • Picnic tables
  • Public restroom
  • Swings
  • Good for kids
  • Playground
  • Well-maintained

In summary, Musgrave Park is an excellent place to visit and connect with others from the local area. It’s easy to walk to from the West End. Some say that parking can be a challenge at times or certain weekends, but there is lots of open areas to roam and throw a frisbee, play ball, enjoy the playground with the kids, break out a BBQ picnic, or hang out under a tree with a book and connect with a friendly part of our great Brisbane community. Check this important place too.

Getting from S&J Plumbing & Gasfitting Plumber Brisbane Southside to Musgrave Park

Getting from Musgrave Park to Whites Hill Reserve

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