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Ipswich history records many firsts for Queensland and Australia

01 January 2015

THE start of another year is the ideal time to reflect on all the firsts achieved in Ipswich.

1843 - The first recorded coal mine in Queensland was started by John Williams on the riverbank at Redbank;

1859 - Queensland's first horse race meeting was held in Ipswich;

1860 - Queensland's first Defence Force was established in Ipswich. These first Army Corps were the Ipswich Troop of the Queensland Mounted Rifles, and the First, or Ipswich, Company of the Queensland Rifle Brigade.;

1860 - The Ipswich Baptist congregation met for the first time after Queensland became a separate State, so the city could claim Queensland's first Baptist Church;

1861 - First known electric telegraph transmission was received in Ipswich from Brisbane on April 13, 1861;

1861 - The first mining strike in Queensland occurred at Campbell and Towns coal mine at Redbank;

1863 - Ipswich Grammar School established as Queensland's first Grammar School;

1864 - The first railway workshops were established at North Ipswich;

1865 - The first railway in Queensland was built from Ipswich to the Darling Downs but contracts were let in several sections. The first of these was from Ipswich to Bigges Camp (Grandchester) in 1865. The first section of railway was officially opened on 31 July 31, 1865;

1878 - First pumped water supply in Queensland occurred in Ipswich when a waterworks was completed at Kholo and officially opened early the following year;

1878 - Queensland's first totalisator was operated on an Ipswich race meeting;

1883 – The only Welsh Church in Queensland the United Welsh Church at Blackstone, was first founded at Newtown on July 19, 1883;

1887 - First Eisteddfod in Queensland held in Ipswich;

1889 - First locally made locomotive made for the Queensland railways by Barbats at the Terrace, North Ipswich in October. 

1892 – The first cotton mill in Australia was built in Ipswich;

1894 - First towels made in Australia -TheseThe first towels made in Australia were two honey-comb unbleached bath towels manufactured at the Queensland Cotton Company's factory at East Ipswich;

1897 - First railway bridge of this type to be constructed in Australia over the Bremer River by the Railway Department;

1902 - First Queensland-born woman to be registered as a medical practitioner. Eleanor Greenham became the first Queensland-born woman to be registered as a medical practitioner. She was the daughter of a successful Ipswich businessman and she was the first student to enrol at Ipswich Girls Grammar School when it opened in 1892;

1902 – Ipswich Railway Workshops become first major industrial site in Queensland to use electricity;

1905 - The first electric coal cutter in Queensland were used at the Box Flat mine;

1915 - The first Queensland Mines Rescue Station was opened in the Ipswich area in this year.

1918 - North Ipswich Railway Workshops produced the first 'Pig Iron' from Queensland ore for Queensland in April 1918. 

1920s - The very first TV transmission in the 1920's era, sending a picture the size of a postage stamp, was sent by Joe Crombie of Ipswich to Tom Biddle of North Ipswich.;

1926 - The old Queensland Times building in Brisbane and Ellenborough Streets, when renovations were made on 1st October, 1926, was the first on which electrical welding was used in structural steelwork in Queensland. 

1928 - The first horse float in Queensland was owned by an Ipswich resident;

1936 - The first and only Walter Burley Griffin designed building in Queensland was constructed in Queens Park (Incinerator). 

1938 - The first Apex Club in Queensland was formed in Ipswich in June 1938 and has functioned continuously since, even during the period of World War II;

1957 - The Blue Nursing Service was founded in Ipswich by Rev Jacob, who was the first director in 1957. A gift of three acres of ground was received towards the construction of Brassall Village Home.

1958 - Ipswich photographic firm of FA Whitehead and Sons, founded in 1883 is the oldest of its type in Queensland. In 1958 they introduced direct colour into Queensland and professional photographers from all over Australia came to be lectured on aspects of the new products;

1959 - Meals on Wheels was first formed in Ipswich;

1961 – The first remote controlled broadcasting station in Australia was in Ipswich when on February 24, 1961 Radio 4IP Ipswich, invited local residents to view its two new transmitters in Briggs Rd, Ipswich;

1971 - Australia's first Aboriginal Senator in Federal Parliament was Ipswich's Neville Bonner;

1973 - The first Primary School Library built in Queensland was opened at Goodna State School by Keith Hooper MLA;

1977 - The first Genealogy Society in Queensland was formed in Ipswich in 1977;

1979 – Ipswich can also lay claim to the first woman recognised as a builder in Queensland. Jeanette Horwath attended her first Moreton Shire Council meeting as a Councillor in April 1979. At the meeting she learnt that she was granted registration as a building contractor;

1982 – Ipswich was the first city to declare itself 'Nuclear Free' in December, 1982;

1984 - Australia's first Medicare Office was opened in Ipswich, by Mr. Bill Hayden, the nation's first national health scheme instigator;

1995 – Ipswich City Council became the first local authority in Australia to provide access to the Internet. Global Info Links was established as part of Information Technology led Economic Development Strategy for the Ipswich region;

1997 – Ipswich became the first local government in Queensland to have a Master Planned Area Structure Plan approved under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA);

2006 – Was named as the first city outside the USA to be part of the Liveable Communities Partnership which promotes quality of life, economic development and social equity;

2007- Ripley Valley became the first area in Queensland to be declared a Master Planned Area under the Integrated Planning Act 2007 (IPA);

2009 - First local government in Queensland to prepare an Enquiry by Design under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA);

2010 – The first successful confirmed pregnancy through Ipswich's first IVF clinic (Ipswich Day Hospital);

2010 - Ipswich was named as one of the world's smartest communities by the International Intelligent Community Forum. Ipswich was the only Australian city listed among the 21 global finalists. 

2010 - First-ever virtual cooking class was held in Ipswich when Jamie Oliver broadcast live to d'Arcy Doyle Place in the Ipswich CBD. The celebrity chef bought his Ministry of Food Australia to the big screen in his first-ever virtual cooking class.

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