To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Last November, Brisbane hosted a meeting of G20 leaders in the midst of a spring heatwave. The CBD and the high-density residential area around the venue — largely occupied by professionals and students, with a sprinkling of bohemians — was in ‘lockdown’. Residents accustomed to walking and cycling on the riverside were denied access, and movement in and out of the zone was restricted. Security arrangements for Barack Obama were the subject of fascination for the media and locals, while pictures of Chancellor Angela Merkel mingling with drinkers at a popular bar in Caxton Street on the city fringe went viral. In their account of the way government enacted legislation to meet anticipated security threats and of the strategies police used on the ground, Tim Legrand and Simon Bronitt recall an earlier Queensland history. Although the G20 Safety and Security Act 2013 conjured the spectre of the Bjelke-Petersen regime's ban on public assembly, and set aside the Goss legacy of the Peaceful Assembly Act 1991, this time the story was different. Despite the massive police presence, officers’ interactions with protesters were civil and the protests peaceful, as our cover image shows.
In the months leading up to November's G20 summit in 2014, Brisbane's residents would have been forgiven for anticipating the outbreak of a local civil war. Media outlets were leading with headlines stating, among other sensational claims, that ‘G20 anarchists vow chaos and mayhem for Brisbane's streets’, ‘Black Bloc tactics aim for Brisbane G20 shock and awe’ and ‘Destructive protest plan for G20’. Meanwhile, some of the most severe restrictions on civil liberties seen in Australia in recent years were legislated by the Queensland parliament. The G20 Safety and Security Act 2013 (Qld) (the G20 Act) was passed with little demur by a chamber that was only divided over the question of whether the laws were severe enough, with Queensland opposition police spokesman Bill Byrne MP declaring himself ‘surprised’ at the leniency of some of the sentencing provisions and the ‘minimalist’ approach to restricted areas. Of course, in the event the much-anticipated violence did not occur, and the media's pre-summit hyperbole was exposed as just that. Rather more prosaically — and accurately — the post-event headlines dutifully reported ‘Passionate, but mostly peaceful protests’ and ‘G20 protest day wraps up peacefully’. Given that previous G20 summits in London and Toronto saw outbreaks of considerable disorder, we might succumb to the temptation of declaring the peaceful protests in Brisbane to be a vindication of the heavy powers granted by the Queensland parliament. But we believe that to do so would be egregious. Here we reflect on the historical and political motivations underpinning the G20 Act, and draw attention to the rather more measured policing strategy employed by the Queensland Police Service (QPS). We argue that the safety and security of G20 participants and protesters owed little to the restrictive powers granted by the G20 Act, but resulted from a policing strategy that successfully married traditional and modern precepts of policing large events.
When considering the question of reading provision in remote regions, Australian historians have tended to focus on the challenge of distributing books and other reading matter affordably across vast and sparsely populated areas. In the back-blocks of Western Queensland between the wars, however, the problem of distribution had been addressed with some success: by mail orders to metropolitan book retailers, subsidised postal rates, local Schools of Arts libraries, the Workers’ Educational Association and, above all, the efficient operations of the Queensland Bush Book Club, which performed extraordinary feats of remote distribution throughout the interwar period. Isolated booklovers could almost take for granted a steady — if somewhat limited and belated — supply of books to read. Two things they could not take for granted, however, were reliable, disinterested and informed advice about what books to choose (where choice was available) and — even more important — the opportunity to share their reading experiences with others. Walter Murdoch once said, ‘It is a basic fact that when you have read a book you want to talk about it.’ That may overstate the case a little, but there is no doubt that the desire to communicate the pleasures, occasional disappointments and sense of discovery in reading books — no matter how solitary the reading experience itself may have been — was and is very strong and widespread, and that single families or households did not then (and do not now) necessarily provide congenial environments for such ‘book talk’.
During the inter-war period, parts of Queensland were subjected to continued deforestation as successive state governments encouraged more intensive use of the state's vast land reserves. Yet running parallel to this process was the deliberate planting of mainly exotic tree species — although it was on a small scale and located mostly throughout the streets of the state's urban centres. This activity can be considered part of the earliest town planning efforts to improve the quality of the urban landscape in Queensland's settlements, through the provision of shade and attractive surroundings. However, the public demands for street trees can also be seen as part of a wider community movement that was concerned about the type of environment being created in Queensland, particularly as so much of the state's native forests were being destroyed and parts of the state during the 1910s and 1920s were overrun with prickly pear.
Henry George Lamond is no longer a household name, but he was once popular and widely known in Australia and overseas. An extremely prolific writer, he published fifteen books of fiction and non-fiction, and more than 900 essays and magazine articles in his lifetime. His essays and articles include writing in a wide range of subjects and genres, from romantic fiction to practical agricultural advice. He was perhaps best known for his animal-based books, including Horns and Hooves (1931), An Aviary on the Plains (1934a), Dingo (1945), Brindle Royalist (1946) and Big Red (1953a). These titles were popular in the United States, England and Australia. Some were translated into other languages, including German and French, and they even formed part of school curricula. His tales are set in the Australian landscape and are ‘littered with bush colloquialisms’ (Bonnin 2000).
In just one of the many extraordinary moments during the spectacular Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, thirty Mary Poppinses floated into the stadium on their umbrellas to battle a 40 foot-long inflatable Lord Voldemort. This multi-million pound extravaganza was telecast to a global audience of over one billion people, highlighting in an extremely effective manner the grandeur and eccentricities of the host nation, and featuring uniquely British icons such as Mr Bean, James Bond, The Beatles and Harry Potter, as well as those quintessential icons of Englishness, the Royal Family, double-decker red buses and the National Health Service.
Cultural narratives also function as lifelines in the work of another Queensland Indigenous woman writer, Vivienne Cleven. Cleven's novel, Bitin’ Back (2001), begins when Mavis Dooley's son, Nevil, announces that he is no longer Nevil, but the writer Jean Rhys. Although Nevil eventually reveals that he has simply been acting as a woman in order to understand the protagonist of the novel he is writing, his choice of Rhys in particular is significant. Nevil selected Jean Rhys as a signifier of his female role because, he explains:
She's my favourite author; she wrote Wide Sargasso Sea . She was ahead of her time; she wrote about society's underdogs; about rejection and the madness of isolation. I know it sounds all crazy to you, Ma, but this is about who I am . . . [A] lot of people would never understand me and they wouldn't want to. (2001: 184)
By the time poet David Malouf wrote Johnno (1976), his first work of prose fiction, he was in his late thirties and living in the Renaissance city of Florence. Both European Florence and antipodean Brisbane mirror and enfold the novel's eponymous hero, Johnno, and his narrator-creator, Dante. The Florentine poet, and by extension his medieval trappings, resonate throughout a tale about growing up in a frontier town far removed from the cosmopolitan centres of the Northern Hemisphere. This Italian connection can be explored further by considering Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (1997) alongside Johnno. The depiction of Venice in Calvino's novel can operate as a point of contrast and comparison to the river city of Brisbane, conjured by Malouf's Dante.
The University of Queensland's Fryer Library is home to many fine literary vintages. Established in 1927 as the J.D. Fryer Memorial Library of Australian Literature in honour of a former Arts student and soldier in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), John Denis Fryer, the collection includes the papers of significant Australian journalists, novelists and poets, including Ernestine Hill, John Forbes, David Malouf, Bruce Dawe, Thomas Shapcott, Peter Carey and Oodgeroo Noonuccal among others.