Mundoolun

Location

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History

The name of Mundoolun is derived from the Wangerriburra word ‘mundunlgunn’, meaning death adder.

In 1842, William Humphries and Paul and Clem Lawless took up a de-pasturing licence on land on the Albert River. Humphries took up Mundoolun and the brothers took up Nindooinbah. In 1844, Humphries sold part of the property to Anne and John Collins, his second cousin and her husband. By 1847, the Collins family was in full possession of the property.

John and Anne Collins settled at Mundoolun in a slab hut in 1846. The couple had five children. They purchased additional properties in the area, eventually owning TamrookumRathdownie and Nindooinbah. Their sons Robert and William later formed the North Australian Pastoral Company in the Northern Territory. A world tour by the brothers led to their interest in preserving land in national parks. Robert became an independent Member for Albert in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, and was Queensland branch president of the Royal Geographic Society. He lobbied for national parks to be established, but did not live to see the proclamation of Lamington National Park in 1915, which he and Romeo Lahey had worked for.

John Collins died in August 1898 and Anne in January 1901. The family commissioned the design and construction of a church in honour of their parents. It was designed by John Buckeridge, who was the official Diocesan Architect of Brisbane. St Johns was completed in 1901, and is one of a few privately owned chapels in Queensland. Today the church and adjoining cemetery are on the State Heritage Register. Its construction was supervised by Robin Dodds, who later designed another important local church, All Saints at Tamrookum. It was built for John and Anne’s son Robert Martin Collins in 1915.

The remains of Bullum (who died in 1931) are buried in the Mundoolun Cemetery. He is otherwise known as John Allen and is best remembered for the work he undertook in documenting the language of the Wangerriburra tribe.

The Mundoolun property remains in the hands of the Fraser family, who are Collins’ descendants. The original homestead burnt down in 1939, and the resident of the time, Mrs D M Fraser, was able to save only a portrait of her father-in-law Simon Fraser. Simon Fraser had married Ann Bertha, daughter of John and Anne Collins in 1885.

Michael Fraser has been both a councillor and Mayor of Beaudesert Shire Council. During 1986–87, he undertook the construction of a new homestead at Mundoolun, using timber sourced from the property. The timber was milled at the Logan Village sawmill. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is a cousin to the residents.

Throughout the early 1980s, locals lobbied for a new bridge to be built over the Albert River at Mundoolun. Many accidents had occurred here, but progress on rebuilding depended on the construction of the Wolffdene Dam, which had been planned since the 1970s. By 1988, a new demountable bridge was promised by the Main Roads Department, but the floods of March–April 1989 washed the decking away and the project was fast tracked.