Scottish Place Names
- Brisbane, Australia

For comparability with other cities around the world, Greater Brisbane has been defined as the metropolitan area extending from Elimbah and Bribie Island in the north to the Pimpama River and Maclean in the south, and the Brisbane Forest Park in the west. This built-up area takes in the Cities of Brisbane, Logan, Redland and Redcliffe, the urban and semi-urban parts of the City of Ipswich, most of the former Shire of Pine Rivers, the north-western parts of the City of Gold Coast and parts of the Shire of Beaudesert and the former Shire of Caboolture.

Graphic of Story Bridge and Brisbane skyline via Wikimedia

Of the names of the 447 suburbs and neighbourhoods in the Brisbane-Redcliffe-Ipswich-Logan Metropolitan area, 110 (24.6%) are based wholly or in part on place names that can be found in Scotland, on Scottish family names or on Scottish words. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 51 (11.4%) of these appear to have a direct or indirect connection with Scotland. The name Brisbane itself is Scottish and was chosen in 1823 by John Oxley, Surveyor-General and explorer, in honour of Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane ((1773-1860), Governor-General of New South Wales.

Official suburbs and other localities with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely or most probably of Scottish origin are:

Some of the following suburbs and neighbourhoods may also prove on further investigation to have a direct or indirect Scottish connection, but these names are associated with other parts of the British Isles as well.

A final category of suburban names comprises places that can be found in Scotland, but which, in Brisbane's case, definitely or most probably have no Scottish connection.

Further evidence of the role that was played by Scots pioneers and their descendants in the development of Australia's third largest city can be seen in the names of parks, reserves and sports grounds throughout the metropolitan area. There is a long list of such names, though not all of them necessarily have a direct Scottish connection:

The Story Bridge (see graphic below), one of Brisbane's most famous landmarks, also has a Scottish connection. The bridge commemorates John Douglas Story who was born in Edinburgh and came to Queensland as a child. He served as Under-Secretary for the Queensland Department of Education between 1906 and 1920 and Public Service Commissioner from1920 to 1939. He was also a foundation member of the senate of the University of Queensland. (Place Names of South East Queensland website)


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, September 2004
Revised, November 2009

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

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