people have lived in South-east Queensland for at least twenty thousand
years. They lived in extended family groups sometimes referred to as "clans"
which were part of a larger community where the people all spoke the same
language. Each family group lived in its own territory and a number of
permanent camps were established with the family group moving from camp to
camp throughout the year depending on the food available and the weather.
This movement was well planned and logical depending on the environment.
When the first convict settlement was begun in 1824, clans of the Turrbal,
Jagera and possibly Jukambe tribes lived in the Brisbane area, and several
of these lived in parts of the Bulimba Creek catchment. Part of Bulimba
Creek forms the boundary of Rochedale along the Gateway Motorway area.
The Gnaloongpin clan of the Turrbal tribe is thought to have occupied the northern area, and the Chepara clan of the Jukambe tribe is thought to have lived in the area from Holland Park south to the Logan River, while their eastern neighbours were the Koobenpul group which extended from Lytton to the Redlands. The Logan region was originally inhabited by Aboriginals from two major language groups; the Yugambeh and the Jaggera.
Aboriginal locality names for portions of the catchment include: 'boolimbah' (means 'place of the magpie lark'); 'tinggalpa' ('place of the fat kangaroo'); 'kuwirmandado' ('place of the curlew', referring to the Hemmant area); and 'kaggar-mabul' ('where echidnas live', referring to Mt Gravatt). 'Mudherrilmaurira' and Kuraby are believed to be aboriginal references to the many lagoons adjacent to the creek near its mouth, or feeding into the main creek near its headwaters.
There is little evidence of Aboriginal use of the Rochedale region for hunting – the river and bay provided much better hunting grounds. However, there was a bora ring on Mt Cotton, and the present day Mt Gravatt-Capalaba Road was probably based on a track made by the aborigines, along which they used to travel from Logan to Moreton Bay.
There seems to have been a good relationship between the early settlers and the Aboriginal people. Settlers were always glad to see the Aborigines as they were able to exchange flour, sugar and tobacco for fish, kangaroo tails, crabs and honey. Kate Roche told stories of aborigines living in the area and helping the young family. Kate was often left alone with only her mother for company when her husband William went shearing for 6 months of the year, so she was fortunate the Aborigines were friendly.
Early settlers also told how the Aborigines came into the area to gather the bunya pine nuts. Settlers in other areas like Captain Lois Hope who lived at Ormiston House in the Redlands area, actually planted these trees to encourage the Aborigines to come. Middens containing discarded shell and bunya nuts have been found at Kuraby.
Pages by Glenda Crew, March, 2002 Colour Photos © copyright Glenda Crew, 2002