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The Brisbane Arcade, Queen Street (photo courtesy Laserforce)

The Brisbane Arcade, Queen Street (photo courtesy Laserforce)

The Cameron Family has a long history in Australia, beginning with the arrival of Samson Cameron in Tasmania in the early 1800s. One of their children, John, moved to Brisbane in March 1861. In October 1864 John Cameron began the firm of Cameron Brothers, which would become a Brisbane icon. He introduced the concept into Queensland of subdividing large blocks of land into smaller allotments. Their first land subdivision in the Redlands was at Redland Bay.

 John’s association with Brisbane butcher, Patrick Mayne, began early in his career and the firm negotiated many property deals for the Mayne family. The Brisbane Arcade is still owned by the Mayne Estate and was managed by the Cameron Brothers for 60 years.

The Cameron family has also been involved in the Redlands for many generations. In 1884 John Cameron built the iconic ‘Doobawah’ on a ten acre block of land at Ormiston on the corner of Wellington and Eckersley Streets, with water frontage to Moreton Bay and Raby Bay. (Doobawah is the Aboriginal name for Raby Bay). The house had two wings, and in 1902, the family sold these two wings: one becoming the Holyrood Hospital on Gregory Terrace (later the Country Women’s Hostel) and the other part of St John’s College in Kangaroo Point.

Doobawah residence at Ormiston ca. 1900 (State Library of Queensland)

Doobawah residence at Ormiston ca. 1900 (State Library of Queensland)