155 years ago today, 6 June, Queen Victoria signed Letters Patent separating the colony from Queensland from New South Wales. Since separation from those to the South of us, Queensland has been leading the way in the development of Australia economically, socially and in sport.
Consider these, both positive and negative, “firsts” for Australia that happened in Queensland:
- In May 1860, Queensland became the first Australian State or Colony to establish its own parliament.
- In 1899, the world’s first Labor Party Government was elected in Queensland, albeit it only lasted a week.
- In 1921, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (Qantas) was established in Winton. It is considered to be the worlds oldest continuously operating airline. In 1979 Qantas was the first airline to introduce business class.
- In 1922, Queensland abolished its Upper House of parliament and continues to be the only State to have only one legislative house.
- In 1928 the Royal Flying Doctors Services took its first flight from Cloncurry and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith landed in Brisbane to complete the first trans-Pacific flight.
- In 1935 the cane toad was first introduced into Australia in Queensland from Hawaii.
- During the Second World War, General Douglas MacArthur established the headquarters of the South West Pacific Area Command of the Allies in Brisbane.
- In 1962 the first commercial production of oil in Australia occurred in Queensland.
- in 1969 the first natural gas pipeline in Australia, between Roma and Brisbane, became operational.
- In 1988, Rick Mayne invented the split-cycle internal combustion engine in Queensland.
- In 1992 the world’s first multi-focal contact lens was invented by Stephen Newman in Queensland.
- Also in 1992, the Queensland Reds became the first Australian rugby team to win a Super Rugby championship having won the inaugural Super 6 competition then.
- Between 2010 and 2012 Brisbane Roar FC set an Australian record by going 36 games without being beaten in the A League.
Add to all of the stuff the fact that Queensland is not New South Wales and it is clear that Queensland is a great place to be whilst there can be no higher honour than being a Queenslander.
So I say Happy Queensland Day to all of my fellow Queenslanders. For those you reading this blog not from the greatest place on earth that is Queensland then:
- I am sorry that you are not from here; and
- I invite you to visit the best place on earth so that you can return to your homes or places of business and report to your family and friends that you have been to this place.