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Meadowbrook was originally part of Loganlea and was gazetted as a place name in October 1991. Much confusion was caused by this name change as the housing estate in the area was marketed as Meadowbank from 1987. The park along the Logan River was initially known as Meadowbank Park, but the name was soon changed to Riverdale, as this was the name of the property of the original settlers, William and Margaret Armstrong.

The Armstrongs came to the area near Slacks Creek in the 1860s and grew cotton, sugar, corn, millet and maize as well as breeding poultry, pigs and dairy cattle. William and Margaret's sons, Thomas and William, later moved to the area now serviced by Armstrong Road, where they established themselves as dairy farmers. In 1884 they formally transferred land for the Slacks Creek New Wesleyan Church on a rise in Armstrong Road, adjacent to where the TAFE College and hospital are now located. A Wesleyan Church was in operation in the district from at least 1873, and was situated in Centenary Road, which was originally part of Daisy Hill Road.

Alf Shailer, nephew of F F R Shailer, owned land to the north of the current university campus site from 1898, where he grew citrus fruit. Farmers in the area used both Slacks Creek and the Logan River as transport routes and wharves were located on an extension of Ellerslie Road and along Murrays Road to the east.

Other early settlers of this region were the Fullers, who lived near to the current university site. Following the tragic deaths of two members of the Fuller family in 1894, the property was sold to John Morrow. He eventually owned three properties in the area and Ellerslie was the name of one of them. When John Morrow died in 1920 the property was sold to the Stimpsons who established a dairy stud farm on the site, known as Eleresley and Ayrshire stud, Loganlea. It was run by F A Stimpson's son-in-law Ernest Evans. The correct spelling of the property name was restored to the Ellerslie Road in the post war era.

During World War II an aircraft landing strip crossed Ellerslie Road and the current Logan Motorway diagonally from Meakin Road to Evans Road. The Ellerslie estate was ultimately sold to Suncorp and in late 1995 the land was sold to the Department of Education as the site for a new campus of Griffith University, to service the rapid growth area of the Brisbane to Gold Coast corridor. The Campus opened in 1998.