Tag Archives: brisbane

Bloody Brisbane

Brisbane seems like a quaint unsuspecting town but we have a few gruesome stories and a quite bloody history up our sleeves.

Brisbane’s Doctor Street
Former German national Karl Kast blasted his way into Brisbane’s history by killing two doctors and injuring a third before blowing himself up in Wickham Terrace in 1955. Kast was upset as he had injured his back during work and doctors had dismissed his claim for workers’ compensation after they failed to find evidence of a back injury Kast complained of. Kast was seen by a number of doctors along Wickham Terrace and on 1 December 1955, he returned to the terrace bearing a .38 calibre revolver and a satchel containing 12 pipe bombs he had made in his bedroom. The first stop was Dr Michael Gallagher’s practice on the second floor of Wickham House and Kast fired bullets into the doctor’s right forearm, the right side of his chest and his leg — but miraculously Gallagher lived. Kast killed a further two doctors that day before detonating a series of bombs in one of the doctor’s office and finally taking his own life with a revolver.

The Female Vampire
On 20 October 1989 Edward Baldock was walking home from a night of drinking with his friends when he approached by a car carrying Tracey Wigginton, her lover Lisa Ptaschinski and two of their friends. The women lured him into the car and drove him to a park near West End where they gruesomely attacked Baldock to the point of decapitation. Wigginton then drank his blood and his body was found the next morning. In the victims shoes was a cash card of Tracey Wiggington and all four women were soon arrested. During the trial Tracey Wigginton stated that she lived on a diet of animal’s blood and the murder of Baldock was a means to satisfy her hunger for human blood. Wigginton and Ptaschinkski received life-long sentences.

Killer’s Ghost Haunts Brisbane Jail
Ernest Austin was the last of 42 inmates hung at Queensland’s notorious Boggo Rd jail and it is his supernatural presence, rather than his murder of a young Brisbane girl, that people talk about. The 23-year-old was dropped through gallow trap-doors in September 1913 and the inmates of A Wing, the place of Austin’s execution, claimed they were tormented by supernatural experiences as Austin’s ghost would appear through concrete walls and throttle prisoners in their cells. The hauntings have been felt more than 100 years later.


Spooky Brisbane Stories

Brisbane may not been high on the list when you think about cities with supernatural sides, but there are still plenty of great ghosts stories about our city.

The City Hall ghost
There plenty of rumours about ghosts in Brisbane’s City Hall, but one in particular takes the cake. Since the 1950s council workers have heard strange footsteps and felt a sinister atmosphere in a series of small rooms known as Room 302. The rooms are close to a spot where a caretaker is believed to have committed suicide in the 1940s. In 1982 carpenters demolished the interior walls and the area was added to a kindergarten centre. Thankfully the ghost has not been heard of since and there are no reports of little kiddies feeling the haunting.

Goodna Cemetery’s ghost hands
For a period of Brisbane’s history the Goodna Cemetery was used by the Woogaroo Asylum. The combination of the criminally insane and ghosts has produced a smorgasbord of horrifying stories. The most terrifying aspect is the physical effects of the hauntings with visitors known to have left with bruises and scratches on their bodies.

Spook Hill’s satanic antigravity
There are many, many ghost stories haunting Toowong Cemetery, but one legend sticks out more than most. Twelfth Avenue, more commonly called ‘Spook Hill’, is a sloping road in the cemetery with a spooky element. Many people have reported that if you park your car in the middle of the road, facing uphill, and let it roll, the car will actually roll uphill rather than downhill. The ghost hunter’s explanation? A tombstone near the top of the hill marks the grave of a child who died in a car accident. His spirit draws all cars towards it, with such a powerful attraction that it overcomes even gravity. The scientific explanation? There’s a natural magnetic lodestone at the top of the hill, strong enough to drag even large metal objects (like cars).

Have you ever seen a ghost in Brisbane?


INTERNal Dialogue: Thinking with words

Today marks the end of my first week as an intern with The Edge (I’ve been told my official title is negotiable, though business cards will not be provided. Check this space later for any further development.)

The first thing I noticed about The Edge was how fantastic the space is; nestled between State Library and the Queensland Art Gallery, you’d not be blamed for missing it. Although I’d moseyed along the boardwalk, right past the office windows countless times, I’d never had the foggiest as to what lay beyond the glass. Inside on the first level are are a bunch of wondrous spaces, filled with couches, beanbags and projector screens that appear out of the ceiling! Combine this with an awesome view of the city and you’ve got a recipe for collaboration and inspiration (or maybe just distraction). But the coolest area, I think, is the basement, where the offices and other dark and mysterious corners can be found.

At one end of the basement is Lab 4, where, amongst other things, you can find a batch of Kombucha Tea (see photo), which the team have used to manufacture a unique fashion line (I’m still trying to get my head around it). At the other end you can find a Nerf Gun surplus, left overs from the last Zombie Climate Apocalypse that the building suffered (I tried to hide my devastation when hearing it was unlikely there would be another during my time here. I may have failed). The Edge is full of the weird and wonderful and has me anxious to start next week.

kombucha tea sustainable clothing

More wonderful and slightly less weird, are the inhabitants of the basement: the staff. The first task I’ve been given is to begin re-drafting staff profiles for the new website. This meant I first needed to spend some time getting to know everyone. Although I could give you a spiel about the particularities of each of the staff I’ve spoken with thus far, it’s suffice to say that they’re about as clever and diverse a bunch of people as you’re likely to find in any basement. Aside from an excellent opportunity to introduce myself and get to know the team, my first task gives me an opportunity to use some of my skills (no one has challenged me to a staring competition yet) in a professional context. It’s very rewarding to be able to begin making connections between your university education and how you might be able to apply it in the real world (thank you QUT).

It’s Friday and 5pm is quickly approaching so you’ll have to wait to hear more about this creative-wonder-factory. Otherwise I’d suggest coming down and having a look for yourself.

Intern out.


Fete De La Musique 2011 – Q&A with Grap Soda

Grape Soda is a three-piece, [Psychedelic] Rock/Alternative/Acoustic band from Brisbane, Australia. The band – consisting of 16 year olds Rohan Kindt, Ryan de Weijer, and Tom Beh – are in the midst of recording their first EP of original songs, and will be released mid-2011. The Edge caught up with Grape Soda to fire off a quick Q and A.

How did Grape Soda meet?

We all met at school, when we started jamming at lunchtimes, and it wasn’t until about half a year after our drummer moved schools when we started a band.

Is this your first Fete De La Musique?

This is the first Fete De La Musique for this band, but Rohan (Bass/Vocals) has played in 2008 in another band, and solo in 2010. So he is basically a Fete De La Musique veteran.

Where did you hear about Fete?

Several years ago we saw a very colourful ad in the paper, and we/I/Rohan was like, “Wow let’s do this!!”. Rohan’s parents also heard about it when they were in a holiday in France, and the festival was on.

What’s it like as an emerging band in the current music landscape?

It’s really quite exciting. It’s quite easy these days with social networks and the interwebs. We spend hours and hours just spamming our website links all over facebook and watching the number of likes go up on our facebook page. Thrilling! What’s the facebook page you ask? ‘www.facebook.com/grapesodatheband’. LIKE US!! There’s also lots of youth music events and venues that support us, such as Emerge (QACI) and The Hive (MIC). So that’s pretty cool.

What do you want out of life?

We want to basically just play in bands forever. We don’t really want to do anything else. But we realise that we’re going to have to go to UNI eventually and make a proper living… Kind of depressing.

What pisses you off about Australian politics?

The fact that none of the politicians are very good. We may as well sack all of the politicians we have now, and hire a couple of juggling seals to do the job… I’m not sure if seals can juggle, but it would be cool if they could.

What do you think society can do better?

hmm…Society is too controlling of what people do. People are continuously being told what and what not to do. IT’S YUCK!!!

Grape Soda play at 12pm on The Edge Plaza, Tuesday June 21. Check out the full line up here.


Survivor: South Brisbane. + Zombies.

While the rest of the world breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday that the Rapture never arrived, a small band of survivors faced their own apocalypse in Brisbane.

As part of the 2011 Fringe Ideas Festival we recruited six Survivalists to role play in Future City: Zombie Climate Apocalypse. That’s right. Not only did The Muscle, The Geek, The Medic, The Scientist, The Eye Candy and The Hunter-Gatherer have to source shelter, water and food in a landscape ravaged by climate change. They also had to fend off attacks by zombies.

Luckily, the merry band of Survivors recruited through a Facebook campaign had no shortage of skills, smarts and familiarity with zombie lore…

The game began with the six survivors setting up camp on The Edge plaza. The team faced challenges like setting up water collection/filtration system, securing their camp and collecting weapons. Meanwhile a gang of Marauders terrorised the Survivors, forcing them to choose between short-term survival and protecting the camp from sabotage for longer-term benefit.

In an epic turn of events the Survivors killed a non-player character after a large scale battle with a horde of zombies. There were more surprises when Eye Candy and Hunter-Gatherer double crossed the Survivors and joined the Marauders. But the Survivors were vindicated as the game drew to a close, regrouping to overrun the Marauders’ camp, steal back their water filtration system and buckets, and even steal some seeds to plant for future crops and survival.

Amid the twists and turns worthy of the most melodramatic daytime soap opera (if soaps featured more camping and zombies, which they obviously should) the Survivors even found time to join with zombies, Marauders and curious bystanders to learn a Thriller dance. A funky armistice, if you will.

What was it all about? A new way to get people thinking about sustainability, survival and climate change. It’s all very well to talk about these things, but if you’re actually camping out, worrying where your next meal is coming from and forced to band together to protect your fellow survivors you’re bound to consider sustainability in new ways. Future City asked people what they would have to offer – skills, knowledge, personal qualities – in the event that they were all that was left of their city. With Future City we hoped to develop a format that people can use anywhere to act out these questions about survival and environment.

So what did we learn from the Future City experience? That you never know who will step up to the challenge under difficult circumstances. That humans are utterly unpredictable and loyalty to the group is no match for the instinct to survive. And that even the gravest betrayals can be overcome, if only momentarily, by the power of dance.

Discussion still continues on the Future City Facebook page, where you can see photos from the game and watch video of the Thriller dance. We also hope to bring you some dramatic accounts of the game straight from a Survivor – watch this space.


Fête de la Musique

On 21 June every year, amateur and professional musicians across the world take to the streets and fill their cities with music.

Held in 450 cities across the globe on the very same day each year – from Paris to Prague, Barcelona to Brisbane – Fête de la Musique is about making and celebrating music together.

Developed by the French government in 1982 and governed by an international charter, the aim of the event is to make music everywhere, to celebrate music and to expose as many people to music as possible.

For the second year in a row The Edge will play host to an array of bands and artists offering two stages packed with music.

On the plaza stage experience the constant risk and continual discovery of live improvisation with {Array} Ensemble, the youthful sound of indie-pop-rock with wheeleR and the infectious melodies of local six piece Lion Island.

Inside the venue there will be acoustic performances by artists such as Sugar Cane Slim and Gina Horswood while Screamfeeder front man Tim Steward teams up with Ruby Roberts opting to scream less and take the harmoniously intimate road less travelled.

Stay tuned for the full line up!


Immerse yourself in Flood Of Ideas

More than 80 ideas for flood-proofing Brisbane’s future have been submitted to the Flood Of Ideas website since it went online in March. The site is a place for the community to suggest and comment on flood response ideas for better preparing the Queensland community for future flood events.

At its peak the site has received up to 1000 visitors a day, to look at suggestions from professional architects’ sketches to punters’ back-of-the-beer-coaster ideas. Ideas have come from design firms, design students at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology, and the general public.

But the Flood Of Ideas has really only just begun. You’ll have more opportunities to share your memories, experiences and suggestions for flood response in May as part of the 2011 Ideas Festival.

You can view a public exhibition showcasing the ideas submitted to the project to date, at the State Library of Queensland between 19-22 May.

And you’ll be able to submit your own suggestions in person at the Ideas Festival, via workshops and an “ideas interpreter” on hand during the exhibition.

The voices of those most affected by the 2011 floods are essential to the reconstruction process – and through Flood Of Ideas those voices can have a tangible impact on future policy and flood planning.

You can continue to upload ideas at www.floodofideas.org.au until August 2011. After that, the key ideas and messages will be distilled into a series of recommendations to be presented to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority in conjunction with their preliminary submission to the Queensland State Government in September.

So – what can you add to the Flood Of Ideas?


Will YOU survive the zombie climate apocalypse?

It’s the not-too-distant future and we’re in trouble. Climate change has escalated rapidly, and after some severe climatic events (bushfires, rising seas, floods, cyclones), it only took months for the world’s great cities to fall. Meanwhile, a superbug has decimated human populations. There’s no power, no trade, no medical supplies; food and fresh water are almost impossible to find. Only a few pockets of humanity still exist. And now, not only do we have to worry about starvation, dehydration and daily violence – climate zombies are marauding through our deserted cities.

That’s the scenario that will be posed by Future City as part of the Ideas Festival. Six survivalists will have to survive in the cultural precinct over two days, fending off zombie attacks. Go and LIKE Future City on Facebook right now so you can keep up with the zombie cliamte apocalypse as it unfolds.

Everyone who’s ever seen a zombie movie knows, when faced with the zombie apocalypse, you can’t survive on your own. In Future City, recruiting a crack team of survivalists could change the game. People with skills like: bush medicine knowledge, physical strength, intelligence, business sense, communication skills, leadership qualities, practical know-how, ruthlessness, ability to think and learn quickly, scientific knowledge, fire-making ability.

Who do you want on your team come the zombie apocalypse? Remember, having a single individual with mad skills isn’t enough to make a team successful. It will take a balanced team in order to survive in climate-changed future. Do you want Bear Grylls, the man who can make a (disgusting) meal out of anything? An indigenous elder who knows the area?

Personally, I’m going to pass on Bear Grylls for the original and the best, Bush Tucker Man. That takes care of the food-gathering and silly-hat-wearing roles. For brute strength, fighting abilities and red-headed awesomeness, I choose Chuck Norris (circa Delta Force). For zombie knowledge and research skills I choose John Birmingham. For local knowledge and leadership qualities, Anna Bligh.

Who’s in your zombie-smiting dream team? What skills and qualities are you looking for? Head over to the Future City Facebook page and add your ideas to our poll.


Submit your Brisbane Sounds


It’s that time again – Brisbane Sounds are looking for songs for their annual compilation showcasing Brisbane bands. Brisbane Sounds 2011 will be the next chapter in Queensland’s rich musical history – and you could be part of it.

Brisbane Sounds have been championing the work of local musicians since 2006. This non-profit advocacy group has supported more than 150 Brisbane bands through gigs, publicity and mentoring – and of course the annual compilation CD.

If you think your song can stand alongside the likes of past inclusions like An Horse, Hungry Kids of Hungary, My Fiction, Laneous & The Family Yah, Ball Park Music and The Gin Club, put yourself forward.

It’s open to artists from any genre of music, but you must be from Brisbane.

Your submission will include: a single track (it doesn’t have to be mastered, but if selected for Brisbane Sounds 2011 it’s up to you to have your track mastered), contact details and a photo of you/your band.

Submissions close on Friday April 22, 2011. For full details and selection criteria go to www.brisbanesounds.com or www.mic.org.au.

Curious about who’ll be judging submissions? Brisbane Sounds have announced that the selection committee for 2011 will include Mike Walsh from XFM Radio (UK), Mason Brazelle from WKZQ Radio (USA), Shin Fukiyama from P-Vine (Japan), Jakomi Matthews from The Music Void (UK) as well as students from Music Industry College.


Edge User makes visual artist debut in Mackay

Fghta Fsh is an alter ego who has an alter ego.

It see’s a different reality and opens a window to society challenging our epistemology.

Fghta Fsh is the creation of Theo, a Kiwi born visual artist who utilises The Edge to create amazing photographic works and slam poetry exhibitions.

Debuting last month at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Theo is dazzling audiences with his analytically stoic creation.

The Fghta Fsh takes you on a journey into Theo’s constructed reality, inviting audiences to join him explore a planetary mindscape created from manipulated photographs of cities and buildings.

They are the Fghta Fsh’s world.

Theo describes his creations as “Visual Art that twists and stretches your mind. Slam poetry that builds up pictures in mind frames with tongue twisting urban phrase and multimedia that will scoop you up on fin tips so you flow into the revolution of Fghta Fsh before you know it.”

Look out for Fghta Fsh at the Edge!

Check out the website or facebook

Fghta Fsh in the news ABC Tropical North