Before Architecture Comes Place, Before Place Come People: Contemporary Indigenous Places in Urban Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  • Kelly Greenop


This chapter examines the importance of place, within a contemporary urban Indigenous community, where in-depth ethnographic research was conducted between 2006 and 2009. Place is used as a concept to explore and examine Indigenous people’s connections to the physical environment and how these have developed through personal, family, social, and cultural means to become contemporary traditions within an Australian suburban setting that of Inala in the Queensland’s capital city Brisbane. The research argues that for Indigenous architecture to be meaningful, Indigenous people’s understandings and connections to place must be better understood and valued by the broader Australian community. The Inala case study is used to demonstrate how then place constructs of meaning, attachment, identity and sovereignty are enacted in everyday settings that will have relevance across cultural groups.



This research would not have been possible without the generous assistance of the Inala Indigenous community. Families participating became research partners, and their generous assistance is much appreciated. In particular, the families who have participated in in-depth interviews and opened their homes and lives to me and became vital research assistants are greatly appreciated. This research is dedicated to the Inala Mob, especially those who passed away during the research. Many thanks also to Ms Marguerite Pollard who assisted with the mapping of the Biota Street area and to then Research Assistant Ms Diana Romano.

This research was proudly supported by the Queensland Government’s Growing the Smart State PhD Funding Program and may be used to assist public policy development. However, the opinions and information contained in the research do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Queensland Government or carry any endorsement by the Queensland Government. The Queensland Government accepts no responsibility for decisions or actions resulting from any opinions or information supplied.

This research was also been funded by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies through a research grant. The School of Architecture, The University of Queensland, and the Ceredwin Greenfield Indigenous Scholarship also provided financial support for the research.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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