OUR AIM: "To actively
participate with other Scottish and Celtic Groups to maintain, promote and
advance the Scots Culture and Heritage in Australia"
Our community has around
150 financial members and consists of both home-grown expatriate Scots and
Australians of Scottish descent. Our membership is also open to anyone
with an interest in the Scottish culture.
We hold monthly meetings
on the 3rd Sunday of every month except December at “The Toowong
Community Rooms” Jocelyn St Toowong from 11AM to 3PM. Socialising first
and meeting begins at 1PM. At these meetings we plan our involvement in
activities within the Scottish Community. We usually run a small raffle
on the day”
At these events we set up a
large tent with tables displaying reference material and books on
Scotland, Scottish history and genealogy, and a set of tartan swatch
books. With the reference material we are able to assist visitors to seek
out the origins of their names no matter how obscure the name may be as
long as it is of Scottish origin. Once the clan or sept is established we
can then use the tartan swatch books to give them a view and feel of their
tartan. It is much better than looking at a photograph. We can then show
our visitors the likely areas on maps that their name is associated with.
While we do not charge for the service there is a donation box which
occasionally has a coin fed into it.
We also sell crafts of a
Scottish nature and clan bookmarks, keyrings and Celtic styled coasters
These items are made by our members to assist with our fund raising. The
proceeds raised from these activities are used to help fund Tartan Day
Seventeen years in 1996 ago
the first Tartan Day was organized. This is the major event on our
calendar. It started out as a very small affair, due to finances and
location. It has grown over the intervening years. In 2000 the Clan
displays and stalls were held indoors at City Hall with some activities
in the square outside. We adhered strictly to holding this event on July
1. 2001 was our first venture into the big league. We held the event
outdoors at the Cultural Forecourt at South Bank Parklands beside the
Brisbane River, an inner city community area that, in 1988, was the
scene of Expo 88. It was a fantastic success and we were overwhelmed by
the crowd. The event ran from 9.00am until 4.30pm with pipe bands,
highland dancing and live music all day. At our debriefing it was
decided that, from then on, a Sunday event was a must to enable the
maximum number of visitors to help celebrate the event. So the Sunday
nearest to July 1 was decided as the date for future Tartan Day events.
In 2010 due to extremely massive increases in the cost of renting and
use of Southbank the Brisbane City Council kindly offered us King George
Square and also helped with some of the financial costs. So 2010 saw us
at King George Square being in the centre of the city and with the
bagpipes playing we had a full house. Due to the proximity of two
churches we were not allowed to party on the Sunday but Saturday was
fine so since then it has been the first Saturday in July and it works.
The year, 2002, 30th of
June was Tartan Day and what a day it was. The numbers appeared to be
double those of last year. Once again the scene was the Cultural
Forecourt of South Bank. Considering that five weeks before there was
doubt whether our event would be able to go ahead due to difficulty in
obtaining Public Liability insurance for community events. One month
before the event, insurance was guaranteed and we moved into action with
advertising to be organised, raffle tickets to be printed, pipe bands to
be confirmed, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society to be contacted and
We were there at 7.30am on
the day setting up our displays and organising all the other stalls and
performers. A local Ceilidh band "Scotch on the Rocks" accompanied by
singers Brian Bisset (presenter of the Scottish program on 4EB) and
Warwick Jacks, who were joint MCs for the day, opened the festivities at
9.00am. From that time it was non-stop. Highland dancers, Royal Scottish
Country Dance Society dancers, Gaelic Dream, ten pipe bands and other
performers entertained the crowds continuously. The massed bands performed
twice during the day led by "Blizzard" a Highland bull from a local
The stalls flanked the
entertainment area in bright blue skies along the bank of the Brisbane
River. "All things Tartan", "Highland House" and "A Touch of Tartan" were
there to sell everything from kilts and scarves to Scottish bumper
stickers. A genealogy stall from The Family History group was set up and
was doing very good business. In one corner of the field was a family of
Vikings with their Viking house and their various implements of daily use,
including working tools and weapons, on display and even their children in
appropriate authentic wear. There were four Imps, which were Scottish
built cars of the sixties and seventies, on display. The cars generated
huge interest, with many people reminiscing their younger days of
ownership and some even announcing that they had worked in the factory in
Paisley, Scotland in the manufacture of these cars.
Keen interest was shown in
the very enthusiastic young dance troupe "Gaelic Dream" who specialise in
Scottish dancing of a style that Highland dancing would have evolved from.
They perform dances choreographed by themselves to suit traditional and
contemporary Scottish music. The troupe gets huge audience support
because they are so vibrantly different. This family group is also a
member of our Australian Scottish Community.
Three of our members are
involved in the presentation of the Scottish program on our local ethnic
community radio station, 4EB 98.1FM, each Thursday from 2.15pm to 4.00pm.
The station is funded by its membership within the various ethnic
community groups and broadcast time is allocated according to the size of
the group's membership. Many of the members of the Australian Scottish
Community Qld (Inc) are also members of the 4EB Scottish group. The
Scottish program is gaining in popularity and membership of the Scottish
group is growing steadily. The program features Scottish music and
Scottish performers, a Burns recitation and a weekly recipe of Scots
origin. Listeners are kept up-to-date with the latest news events from
Scotland and reminded of Scottish upcoming events.
Sadly Gaelic Dream is no longer here. The family has
migrated to Scotland and is the better for it.. We no longer can display
the Scottish cars due to space which is also sad as they were a popular
part of our display. This year the Scottish built Hillman Imp and its
variants celebrate their 50th birthday in 2013 and have just
been declared by Britain’s main classic car magazine “Practical
Classics” as “The best small car ever built in Britain”. We could have
had a great party. There will be a display of photographs instead.
President: Ian Campbell -
Phone: 07 3359 8195
Vice President: Darcy Maddock 07 3855 1072
The Australian Scottish Community (Qld) Inc.
PO Box 3188,
South Brisbane Qld 4101
The Australian Scottish Community (Qld) Inc..