About Brisbane

Brisbane is a sub-tropical city located in the south-east corner of the State of Queensland, which is a member of the Commonwealth of Australia.

It is the capital of Queensland, and has a population of approximately 1.6 million persons, making it the third largest city in Australia, after Sydney, and Melbourne. From an area point of view, it is one of the largest cities in the world.

Long regarded as the ‘deep and un-developed north’ by it’s southern and more prosperous state neighbours, after landmark events such as the XIIth Commonwealth Games in 1982 and World Expo ’88 in 1988 – the largest event in Australia’s bi-centennial year – it is today regarded one of the most livable cities in the Asia-Pacific region, and has one of the highest rates of migration to the city from other states.

Life in Brisbane is characterized by it’s iconic stilt houses, lazy summer days where the temperature doesn’t drop below 25 degrees, the beautiful purples of it’s wild bouganvilleas and jacaranda trees, as well as quick ‘get-aways’ to the beach meccas of the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, to the north and south of the city respectively.

Brisbane’s official internet portal is http://www.ourbrisbane.com.
Visit Brisbane today!

Population Statistics Courtesy of
Australian Bureau of Statistics Brisbane Page (2001)
Portal Entrance Page http://www.abs.gov.au


The World Expo 88 Heritage Trail



The World Expo ’88 Heritage Trail and the Brisbane World Expo ’88 Network Guide Pamphlet are two initiatives of Foundation Expo ’88 that celebrate our rich World Expositions heritage.

Do a ‘virtual visit’ of the Trail’s path and hyperlinks today – and download the Network Guide Pamphlet – you’ll get the chance to whet your appetite for your visit to Brisbane City to follow the Trail/Guide in person – and you’ll also get to view and visit some of the City’s excellent cultural infrastructure – many of which are also for free!
Walk Part 1 – Works 1,2,3,4

1. Gidon Graetz “Mirage”
Inside Brisbane Arcade, Queen Street Mall
* Enjoy this beautifully restored Art Deco arcade

2. Arnaldo Pomodoro “Forme del Mito”
Brisbane City Hall King George Square
* Also pay a visit to the new Museum of Brisbane, inside City Hall. Admission is Free.

3. Baile Oakes “Gestation”
Roma Street Forum
* This space is popular for social justice rallies and marches.

Walk through Roma Street Railway Station to the new Roma Street Parklands and the next work, at the northern most tip of the Park. At the platforms entrance to Roma Street Station, pick up automatic station platform ticket (free) – and continue to walk through the Station until you reach the last Exit – on the left. Exit the Station, cross Taxi Rank, and walk towards Park escalators, at top turn 180 deg and you will soon see the Parkland Cafe ‘melangè’. If you are doing the Full Day Walk, this is the time to have a meal-stop and break! Continue walking straight ahead till the end of the Park, and you will soon see the Park Exit and Carpark. You are nearly there.

4. Greg Johns “Continuous Division”
Roma Street Parklands Visitors Carpark

Option [End Walk 1]: End walk here, return to the Park Entrance and have a bite to eat and drink at the popular ‘melangè’ cafe. Their raisun fruit bread and coffee is highly recommended! This will then return you to the centre of the City and work number 1. Start the second part of the walk – from work number 5 – on another day!
Option [Full Day Walk]: Continue from work number 4 and re-enter the Roma Street Parklands – walking up to the upper left end of the park and you will exit on College Road. Turn left noting the Victorian architecture of Brisbane Grammar School up on your right, then continue walking left till you arrive at Countess Street at the next intersection. Turn left again down Countess Street until you arrive at the Grey Street (or William Jolly) Bridge. Cross the Bridge to South Brisbane, passing by the famous Dinosaur Garden (free to enter and browse) entrance to the Queensland Museum.

The Museum is part of the award-winning Queensland Cultural Centre designed by renowned Brisbane architect Robin Gibson featuring the State Library, Museum, Art Gallery and the Queensland Performing Arts Complex (known as QPAC) – containing the 2000-seat Lyric Theatre, 1850-seat Concert Hall, 850-seat Playhouse, and the 312-seat Cremorne Theatre. The site will also soon play host to the new ‘Queensland Gallery of Modern Art’, which is presently under construction and part of the Queensland Government’s ‘Millennium Arts Project’.

With the exception of special exhibitions, entrance to the State Library, Queensland Museum and Art Gallery is free.

Turn right into Melbourne Street – in the distance you should be able to see the next work – the Stefan Skyneedle. Continue walking until you arrive at the corner of Manning Street and Melbourne Street. The base of the Skyneedle can be viewed from the street. There is an Italian Pasta/Coffee/and Cake shop just near across the road from the intersection of Manning and Melbourne Streets – duck in here for some ‘worth enough to travel to Italy’ for – Tiramisu – and freshly brewed coffee.
Walk Part 2 – Works 5,6,7,8

5. Robert Owen/Charles Sutherland “Night Companion” (can be seen from a distance)
Now known as the ‘Stefan Sky Needle’ – the footprint of this work is located in the car park of the Stefan Hairdressing Empire H.Q., at the corners of Melbourne and Manning Street, West End. The car park is closed to the general public – if you wish to observe this work close at hand, an excellent view of the base of the structure is available from the street. The work is slightly raised higher here than it’s height at Expo.

Facing the City, walk to the right along Melbourne Street until you pass by the new Cultural Centre BusWay station. Turn right and walk along the SouthBank Parklands Entrance Forecourt, turn towards the riverside, and continue walking along the riverside Boulevard. Soon on your immediate right you will see the next work – the Nepalese Peace Pagoda.

6. The Nepalese Peace Pagoda (only remaining Pavilion from World Expo ’88 at South Bank)
South Bank Parklands

You are now in the former Exposition precinct. Walk along the new South Bank Boulevard, stopping for a swim at the salt-water artificial beach – it’s fun!

Keep walking along the ‘Energex Arbour Boulevard’ – with it’s wonderful signature mauve bouganvillea vines and steel tendrils – past the entrance to the Goodwill Bridge, and follow the path along the riverside for the next few hundred metres. You will see the next group of primary-coloured artworks, in steel, playfully arching into the river, footpath and stairwells.

7. Peter D. Cole “Man & Matter”
Various works along the Kangaroo Point City Boardwalk

Walk back towards the new Goodwill Bridge from the Maritime Museum to the Botanic Gardens. Walk through the Queensland University of Technology campus to the State Parliament of Queensland (a lovely building in itself – constructed in 1868), enter the Botanic Gardens from the Parliament House entrance – the next work is in front of you on the right.

8. Jon Barlow Hudson “Morning Star II”
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
* Enjoy this last work in the tranquility of the Botanic Gardens. Follow the signs to the Café for a cool drink.
Please Note: Walk 1 (works 1,2,3,4) will take about 3 hours, at a fairly sedentary pace, and also includes some up-hill walking – only persons of reasonable fitness level should attempt it. Walk 2 (works 5, 6, 7, 8) will also take approximately 3 hours. Why not do one walk one weekend – the other another day? And, don’t forget to do the Queensland ‘slip, slop, slap’ – slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat – and BYO water!

Things to Do
Each work has a commemorative plaque stating it’s role in World Expo ’88 – bend over and take a closer look!,

Have a break by visiting some of the cultural venues along the way!

And don’t forget to ask someone for directions if needed!

Admission to the majority of cultural venues noted on this trail is FREE
Please ring in advance if you wish to take part in a tour
Foundation Expo ’88 gives no warranty in relation to the data (including accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability) and accepts no liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for any loss, damage or costs (including consequential damage) relating to any use of the data.



The World Expo ’88 Honorary Ambassadors


The World Expo ’88 Honorary Ambassadors

More than 200 personalities from all walks of life were appointed by the Expo Authority to spread the good word about World Expo ’88 – sharing the excitement of the Expo’s stories and telling and encouraging others to also get excited.

Star Ambassador was Ms Monte Punshon, at age 105, who visited the International Exhibition of Melbourne 1888 at age 5, recalling the splendour of the Melbourne Exhibition, and, at the same time, telling people of the wonders of technology and leisure in store at the 1988 Brisbane World Exposition.

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Honourable Mr Robert J.L. Hawke MP was also appointed an Honorary Ambassador, as well as the entire West End State School Staff and Students, just adjacent to the Expo site, the entire English Cricket Team, sporting personalities Grant and Lisa Curry, Surfing Ironman and Commonwealth Games Swimming Gold Medallist, as well as perennial Australian international entertainer Rolf Harris, local Queensland singer and personality Simon Gallaher, and variety performers ‘Wickety Wak’, TV personalities Jackie MacDonald and ‘Dah..ling, you’re sinking in it’ Ms Jeannie Little, Australian champion golfer Greg Norman, cricketer Greg Chappell, and rugby league legend Wally Lewis.

Author, Actress and Playwright Diane Cilento was also chosen, as well as Miss Australia 1987 Ms Judie Green, and actress Sigrid Thornton.

The Expo Honorary Ambassadors played an important role in the popular press – in Brisbane, throughout Australia, and overseas – as well as at local shopping centres – malls – and civic centres – talking with people in the streets – meeting and greeting persons in the name of the good will of World Expo ’88 – answering questions – signing autographs – being photographed with Expo Chiefs and platypus Mascot Expo Oz – and getting people excited about World Expo ’88.

Some of the Expo Honorary Ambassadors were:

Brock, Peter. Car Racing Personality.
Chappell, Greg. Cricket personality.
Cilento, Diane. Author, Actor, Playwright.
Collins, Bill. TVO Movie Critique / Personality.
The English Cricket Team.
Gallaher, Simon. Singer and Entertainment Star.
Green, Judie. Miss Australia 1987.
Harris, Rolf. Variety Entertainer.
Hawke, Bob (.R.J.L.). Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Hepple, Liz. 1987 Australian Female Cyclist of the Year, Recreation Officer, Queensland University Sports Association.
Ipswich Grammar School First XI Hockey Team.
Johnson, Dick. Car Racing Personality.
Jones, Annie. TVO Personality.
Lewis, Wally. Rugby League.
Little, Jeannie. TV Personality.
Kenny, Grant and Lisa. Sports personalities. Surfing Ironman and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist.
MacDonald, Jackie. TV personality.
Norman, Greg. Golfer.
Radliffe, Ron. Brisbane Bullets.
Rees-Thomas, Tom (Dr.). Minister, St Andrew’s Ann Street Uniting Church, and Member of the University of Queensland Senate.
Scott, Gary. Racing Driver (Third in the James Hardie 1000 1987).
Smith, Billy J. TVO Sports personality.
Thornton, Sigrid. Actress.
Twohill, Kelly. Miss Queensland 1987.
Walters, Rod. Queensland Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Welfare Association President.
West End State School Staff and Students.
Wickety Wak. Queensland Variety Performers.

We hope to engage with the World Expo ’88 Honorary Ambassadors in the lead-up to and during the 20th Anniversary in Brisbane – keep your eye out soon!

The general public were also encouraged themselves to ‘own’ selling the Expo as well – with this popular Expo Authority advertisement featuring an ‘open-invitation’ World Expo ’88 Honorary Ambassador Certificate. What are you doing in sharing the goodwill of World Expo ’88 today?


Sources: The Courier-Mail (1987,1988) [various], and, The Courier-Mail World Expo ’88 Report (1988), pp. 4-5 ‘Ambassadors Tell the World about Expo’

Critical Staff of World Expo ’88


About World Expo ’88

Critical Staff of World Expo ’88

Extract from the World Expo ’88 Official Souvenir Program
With permission and kind thanks to Australian Consolidated Press

(Back Row) Birch, Currie, Phillips, Edwards, Goldston, Pope
(Front) Brumfield, Minnikin, Given, Johns
Photographer Russell Stokes, Format Photographics

The World Expo 88 Authority was the co-ordinating executive for the Exposition.

Operating under the direction of the Chairman and the General Manager, there were eight staff divisions, each headed by a director with extensive experience in the field, overseeing directly some 1,300 Authority staff.

A total of more than 30, 000 persons were accredited for work at the Expo during the Exposition.

CHAIRMAN – The Hon. Sir Llewellyn Edwards, AC
Sir Llewellyn Edwards was appointed Chairman of the authority in February 1984.
Previously he held the Queensland Parliamentary seat of Ipswich for the Liberal Party from 1972 to 1983. He served as State Health Minister, and later as Deputy Premier and Treasurer.

Sir Llewellyn has a wide variety of qualifications, in electrical engineering, and in medicine and surgery. In the 1984 New Year’s Honours List, he was awarded a Knight Bachelor, for services to Queensland as a Minister and MP.

Bob Minnikin was appointed General Manager in March 1984, but his consultancy work began in January 1983.

Minnikin’s engineering background has taken him into varying fields of business, including construction and project management.

For three years he served as Deputy General Manager of the XII Commonwealth Games Foundation and was awarded an MBE in January 1983 for his service to the Commonwealth Games project.

DIRECTOR – COMMUNICATIONS Jane Brumfield (now Lady Jane Edwards)
Jane Brumfield was appointed in June 1987. She first joined the Expo authority in January 1985 as Public Relations Manager, and was appointed Deputy Director of the newly created Communications Division in March 1986.

Brumfield previously worked for both the print and electronic media, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Canberra and Brisbane, and The Australian newspaper in the Canberra Press Gallery.

The division was responsible for creating national and international awareness of Expo through the media, special events and community programs.

Ric Birch was appointed in January 1985 after extensive experience in the production of major celebrations, and a long association with film, television and entertainment.

He was the Production Director of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and at the XII Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982.

Birch’s company, SPECTAK, was formed after the Olympics to provide production expertise for major celebrations. The division created the dazzling and diverse program of daily entertainment at the Expo.

Tony Phillips has brought his broad knowledge of corporate treasury, finance, accounting and planning to Expo. He was appointed in October 1984.

He previously held various treasury and financial planning positions with corporations in New Zealand, Canada and England, including that of chief accountant for Fletcher Challenge Ltd.

He also has a background in computers. His division was responsible for head office administration, financial accounting, land acquisition, financial planning and funding.

Richard John joined the World Expo 88 Authority after a 3 year posting in Athens with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.

Appointed in March 1987, he had served as Deputy Director since June 1986. Before joining Foreign Affairs in Canberra, John worked in tertiary textbook publishing, and as a primary school teacher in England and a secondary school teacher in Australia.

The division was responsible for recruiting, securing and supporting the participation of the international governments in Expo.

Graham Currie and his division attracted and coordinated Expo’s substantial corporate sector investment. He was appointed Director in September 1985 with extensive marketing credentials.

His previous position was as Marketing Consultant and Accounts Director of the advertising firm USP Needham. He has won two marketing awards — the International Sports Marketing Award in 1985, and Advertising Man of the Year in 1983 — and two merchandising awards.

Ross Given was a practising solicitor in Brisbane before his appointment in May 1985.
Given was involved in general practice in his own firm, including property development work.

He oversaw the day-to-day running of Expo and was responsible for security, staffing, visitor and VIP facilities on site.

Peter Goldston, a civil engineer with extensive site management experience, was appointed in July 1985.

Before joining Expo he co­ordinated the construction of the Wivenhoe Dam project in Queensland, and has also worked on major projects in Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Goldston is responsible for the financial and quality control of the development of the Expo site. He also has advised on the use of the site and its buildings after Expo.

Ken Pope’s career in computers has spanned more than 30 years. He joined Expo as a consultant in November 1985.

Pope’s achievements include the direction of the design and installation of the Queensland Computer Centre. Before joining Expo he was Public Service Commissioner for the Northern Territory.

At Expo his role was twofold — advising participants and the authority on ways to use technology to interpret the theme, and on computer use in administration and on site.



* A Day at World Expo ’88 *

About World Expo ’88

* A Day at World Expo ’88 *

World Expo ’88 Official Souvenir Program – Australian Consolidated Press



9.30 am Walkways performers entertain queues at main gates; 30 street performers entertain crowds throughout the site each day.

10.00 am World Expo ’88 opens it’s gates – international and national pavilions, shops, restaurants open. Various international theatre and other cultural performances at pavilions throughout the day and night. Walkways entertainment runs until 10.00pm un-interrupted.

10.30 am Piazza/Amphitheatre – performances from all over the world all through the day and night

11.30 am The Lunchtime Parade led by Marching Band and the Parade Performance Ensemble

12. 00 pm Amphitheatre

12.30 pm Piazza. Riverside – BP Waterski Spectacular

12.55 pm Aquacade Show – a musical on water, featuring comedians, high divers and synchronised swimmers

1.00 pm Amphitheatre

1.30 pm Piazza

2.00 pm Amphitheatre

2.30 pm Piazza

3.00 pm Amphitheatre

3.25 pm Aquacade Show

3.30 pm Piazza. Riverside – BP Waterski Spectacular

4.00 pm Amphitheatre

4.30 pm Piazza

5.10 pm Aquacade Show

5.30 pm Piazza. Amphitheatre. Riverside – BP Waterski Spectacular

6.30 pm QANTAS Light Fantastic Parade

7.00 pm Piazza. Riverside – BP Waterski Spectacular

7.10 pm Aquacade Show

7.15 pm Amphitheatre

7.30 pm International performing arts at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex – Lyric Theatre, Concert Hall and Cremorne Theatre – forms part of the “World Expo On Stage’ program – tickets extra.

8.00 pm Amphitheatre. River Stage.

8.35 pm Aquacade Show

8.45 pm Piazza

9.00 pm Amphitheatre

10.00 pm International and national pavilions, shops, & restaurants shut their doors. Laser & Fireworks Show commences at the River Stage. At it’s end, Expo Gates close. The “Heat Shield” disco opens at World Expo Park.

3.00 am The “Heat Shield” disco closes it’s doors

Chronology of Milestone Events

About World Expo ’88

Chronology of Milestone Events

Excerpt from:
‘Report of the Commissioner General of Expo 88 on the Australian Government’s Involvement in Expo 88’ (1988)
Published by the Commissioner-General, Expo ’88.

The original of this document is available for viewing at the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, or via participating Australian Library Inter-Library Loan Request.

Note: For further information regarding the selection and bid process, please refer to the article in
the Academic Forum by Professor Peter Carroll
“The Origins of World Expo ’88” (PDF)


1974 Registration of Australia’s interest in staging an International Exposition in 1988 first lodged with the Bureau of International Exhibitions (B.I.E.) Paris

1978 The proposal to stage an international exposition in Australia during its bicentennial year was first advanced by a Commonwealth Task Force in 1978.

1979 With the support of the Australian Bicentennial Authority, both New South Wales and Victoria agreed to help investigate the feasibility of hosting an Exposition in Sydney or Melbourne in 1988.

Jan 1981 In a joint announcement the Fraser and Wran Governments reluctantly decide that, with a capital outlay as high as $1 billion, it was impracticable for them to agree to make the necessary funds available for an exposition in 1988.

Dec 1982 The Australian Government, at the request of the Queensland Government, again advised the B.I.E. Paris, that Australia intended to seek registration for a specialised Exposition to take place in Brisbane between 30 April and 30 October 1988.

April 1983 A delegation from the B.I.E. visited Australia to examine the Australian Government’s bid to be host nation and Brisbane’s bid to stage Expo ’88.

June 1983 Formal application to register Expo 88 was lodged by the Australian Government

Dec 1983 The General Assembly of the BIE voted in favour of the Australian Government’s application and Expo 88 was registered as a six-month international specialised exposition with the theme “Leisure in the Age of Technology” in Australia’s Bi-Centennial year. It was the first Exposition to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere this century. The General Regulations and Draft Participation Contracts were adopted by the B.I.E.

Jan 1984 The Expo 88 Ministerial Council was established to oversight arrangements for Expo 88 and the first meeting was held.

Feb 1984 Expressions of Interest called for Project Management

Feb 1984 The Expo 88 Authority was established by an Act of the Queensland Parliament. The Hon Sir Llewellyn Edwards is appointed Chairman.

March 1984 The Australian Government, on the nomination of the Queensland Government, appointed the Hon Sir Edward Williams, KCMG, KBE, Commissioner-General of Expo 88

March 1984 Appointment of General Manager

June 1984 Second meeting of the Expo 88 Ministerial Council

June 1984 Appointment of Master Architect (preliminary work from Dec 1982 for Expo Investigation Committee)

June 1984 Appointment of Project Manager

Sept 1984 The Prime Minister of Australia extended invitations to participate in Expo 88 to the Governments of all countries with which Australia enjoyed normal relations. Britain became the first country to indicate it’s acceptance of the Prime Minister’s invitation.

Nov 1984 Project Manager’s Initial Report

Jan 1985 The Australian Bicentennial Authority formally endorsed Expo 88 as a significant event in the program of Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations.

March 1985 Third meeting of the Expo 88 Ministerial Council

April 1985 Appointment of Project Manager, confirmed

July 1985 Appointment of Site Development Director and creation of Site Development Division

July 1985 Commencement of demolition works on site

Aug 1985 Placement of order for Sunsails

Sept 1985 Commencement of earthworks on site

Dec 1985 The fourth and final meeting of the Expo 88 Ministerial Council

Jan 1986 Commencement of construction of modular pavilions

Feb 1986 Placement of order for monorail

May 1986 Commencement of construction of Sunsails

May 1986 Commencement of construction of monorail track

Aug 1986 Commencement of installation of site services

Nov 1986 Launch of official mascot ‘ Expo Oz’, an Australian platypus

Dec 1986 500 Days to Go celebration

Feb 1987 First meeting of the College of Commissioners-General was convened under the chairmanship of the Commissioner-General of World Expo 88. Mr Hugh Tunnell (Commissioner-General UK section) elected as interim President of the Steering Committee of the College.

March 1987 Commencement of landscaping works

April 1987 Appointment of Creative Director

June 1987 Second meeting of the College of Commissioners-General

June 1987 Monorail system commissioned

Oct 1987 Third meeting of the College of Commissioners-General. Dr Damaso de Lario (Commissioner-General Spain) elected President of the Steering Committee of the College of Commissioners-General

Oct 1987 Completion of Boardwalk construction

Oct 1987 Handover of completed pavilions to participants

Nov 1987 Some sunsails damaged during violent electrical storm

Dec 1987 Commencement of foundations for the 88-metre Sky Needle a.k.a. “Night Companion”

Dec 1987 Sunsail catenary lighting switched on for the first time

Jan 1988 Commencement of construction of Sunsail number 8

Feb 1988 ‘Time Square’ Neon Ceiling construction commenced

March 1988 Entertainment venues completed

March 1988 Sculpture installation commenced

March 1988 Installation of entry gates

April 1988 Completion of installation of landscaping and sitescaping elements

April 1988 Fourth Meeting of the College of Commissioners-General

April 30 1988 Her Majesty the Queen of Australia opens World Expo ’88

Oct 30 1988 Closing of World Expo ’88. Bureau of International Exhibitions Flag is passed to Osaka Garden Expo ’90 and Universal Exposition of Seville ’92

Post-closure Demolition of pavilions, sunsails and monorail.
Removal of Japanese Garden to Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens
Removal of “Night Companion” to South Brisbane ‘Stefan’ HQ
Removal of the Nepalese Pagoda to riverside siting

All assets and liabilities from the Expo Authority rolled-over into the new “South Bank Corporation”

1992 South Bank Parklands opens to the public

Visit the South Bank web-site http://www.south-bank.net.au


Post-Expo Blues – South Bank Corporation – The Future

About World Expo ’88

Post-Expo Blues
South Bank Corporation
The Future


Once the official closing ceremony had passed, crews arrived early for the next stage in the Expo’s development – it’s demolition! Due to duty tax, many of the imported items for the Exposition could not be re-sold – and had to be destroyed or donated. The common pre-fabricated shells of the Expo Pavilions came down as quickly as they came up. The Expo sun-sails were pulled down and rolled up. The monorail and track was sold and re-installed elsewhere. The Expo Night Companion Sky Tower was saved from going to Tokyo Disneyland by local entrepreneur Stefan Ackerie – and moved to his hairdressing empire mecca HQ just a few hundred metres away from the Expo site. The River Stage got packed up and sailed away down the river. Most pavilions were gone in a day – and the destruction was relentless.

Yet, a few powerful memories of the Expo remained – due to some hard work – and much good will.

One of the few Pavilion structures made by the participant – the beautiful handcrafted wood-work of the three-tiered Nepalese Peace Pagoda – was retained. And, the popular tranquil synthesis harmony of the Australian trees, shrubs and flowers and Japanese garden design of the Japanese Pond and Garden of the Japan Pavilion – was moved to another part of the city, to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens – both permanent reminders of the ties that bind country and country together in a World Exposition.

Numerous works of art from the Exposition were also purchased and re-located to other parts of the city. And some, lornfully missing their favourite Pavilion Restaurant or evening at the Munich Festhaus, continued to walk through the City streets in half-a-daze – occupying the best seats in Jimmy’s on the Mall – hoping that by surveying the passing shoppers and pedestrians, World Expo ’88 might come alive one more time…..Brisbane did change, however, and it’s sleepy town image was vigorated into one of a cosmopolitan and sophisticated metropolis – with greater expectations – whereas pre-Expo Brisbane closed it’s doors at 12 Noon Saturday and didn’t open them again until 9.00 a.m. Monday – Brisbane residents – now used to shops, restaurants and cafes open every day of the week from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. came to expect that department stores in the City follow suit – and largely they did – not only for the hours during the Exposition – but also after the Expo as well – resulting in Brisbane City having one of the most liberal retail trading hours systems in all of Australia, where now, Saturday and Sunday trading – by large – also follow weekday trading regulations. A legacy we still enjoy in 2007 Brisbane today.

The six-month party now over, the Brisbane Exposition and South Bank Redevelopment Authority now looked towards the redevelopment of the South Bank expo site, engaging the public at many levels – with an Information Centre on the former site, and also numerous ‘in-the-suburbs’ community consultations, where several proposals were aired – one of which included turning the site into a ‘mirror’ CBD site (a false island in the River, with 50-story international hotel, and World Trade Centre), and another which split the Expo site into several time-themed zones of gardens and facades, where in 30-year segments Bicentennial Australia was celebrated – in a permanent fashion – including two extra zones ‘for the future’.

Both these proposals – despite initial approval of the World Trade Centre proposal – were popularly knocked back – the general consensus being that the South Brisbane side of the river need not be as developed as it’s North Brisbane counterpart – and that as much of the residential charm of South Brisbane and West End’s character be preserved, resulting in the popularly chosen model for a large parkland, with fountains, walkways, a tropical rainforest, an artificial sand salt-water beach and pool, numerous rockpools, restaurants, cafes and waterways, and tiered low-medium impact residential and office space towards the rear of the site.

Thus, South Bank Mark I – to much fanfare – was opened in 1992, just four years after the exposition last shut it’s gates.

This was not the beginning of the end, however, for South Bank’s development – but just the start. A few years into the public operation of the parklands, a review was made of the South Bank re-development, and, amongst other prominent features, the waterway boat canal that ran from one end of the site to the other, was replaced with a mauve bouganvillea-covered arbour walkway, the ‘Energex Arbour Boulevard’, with it’s imaginative steel tendril-shaped clasps several metres high for support; and the short-lived ‘Gondwana Land’ Australian Fauna Zoo was dismantled, along with the prettily designed but low patronage Butterfly House. Other changes included re-development of the former World Expo Park site into the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre; converting the IMAX theatre venue (constructed after Expo) into a standard cinema complex; and connecting the southern end of the site with the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Queensland University of Technology across the Brisbane River with a ‘high-tech’ pedestrian/footbridge called the ‘Goodwill Bridge’ after Brisbane’s successful hosting of the 2001 Goodwill Games – all of which have been a great success.

The rest of the Parklands – approximately a quarter of the site – and in particular the low-medium rise component at the rear is still:

(i) partly constructed and operational
(ii) partly under construction, and,
(iii) partly vacant.

So, the never-ceasing work at the former Expo site still continues – in a way – still a present reminder that there is life in change and that the Expo is still with us….and, in the lead-up to the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of World Expo ’88 in 2008, South Bank Corporation has appointed a ‘World Expo ’88 20th Anniversary Advisory Group’, led by Expo Chair and CEO Sir Llew Edwards, and former Lord Mayor during Expo – Ms Sally-anne Atkinson. So, once more, World Expo ’88 will take centre stage at the southern banks of the Brisbane River, where the ‘celebration of a lifetime’, is celebrated one more time.

Further information about South Bank Parklands can be found at the South Bank Corporation web-site, http://www.south-bank.net.au. Information on the Advisory Group – and the Foundation Expo ’88 program for the 20th Anniversary can be viewed at the Advisory Group page at http://www.visitsouthbank.com/whats_on/expo_20th_anniversary, and, at Foundation Expo ’88, http://www.celebrate88.com/20th/.

In summary, the South Bank Re-Development, has been – and is – a complex beast – and whilst having it’s early critics, it has re-born itself into one of the most popular and most visited parks in all of Queensland, with record numbers of nearly 500,000 visitors per month in the summer months.

The parkland has successfully re-created itself when necessary, and is still under development as new office space, upmarket residential apartment and boutique apartment hotel space, are added to the site, making it a central inner-city urban and park destination for locals and visitors alike.

As a development so far – it has been a most successful re-development – and one that continues to attract observers from other past and future Expo cities as they themselves decide how to best utilise the heritage given to them by hosting a World Exposition.

Discussions are under way to create a permanent commemorative centre to celebrate World Expo ’88’s lasting legacy of goodwill and cheer, on or nearby the South Bank Parklands, as a project of the 20th Anniversary of World Expo ’88. Contact Foundation Expo ’88 for further information.

I encourage you to view a collage of photos of South Bank today…. next posting


About World Expo ’88


In the early planning days of the Exposition – as the first free-enterprise funded World Expo – it was a considered, yet calculated risk. 7.8 million persons needed to have visited the Expo over the six months for it to have been a successful exercise – in other words, an average of 42,000 visits per day over the 184 days of the Exposition. For an Exposition far away from the major population centres of the World of Europe, the Americas and Asia – where predominantly the local population feed the Exposition’s daily tally – hosting the Expo in Australia – and in Brisbane – with a local population of just over 1 million persons – and getting a six-month figure more than seven times that number was by no means a fait accompli. It was, a calculated risk.

With a time-line chart of each day’s optimal cumulative attendance figures, the Expo Authority charted a course for success – and – romped home magnificently.

Already on the first day of the Expo – Saturday 30 April 1988 – the day the Exposition was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Honourable R.J.L. Hawke MP, AC; Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Mike Ahern MP; and Lord Mayor of Brisbane the Right Honourable Sally-Anne Atkinson and other distinguished guests at the perennially popular River Stage, the Expo site received a modest 77, 260 visitors.

(The River Stage was also venue for the nightly state-of-the-art laser and fireworks show, and concert by Julio Iglesias, amongst other numerous other international and national performances, and also was the venue for the Official Closing Ceremony where some 20, 000 staff regaled to inspirational music as they watched fireworks explode from city building tops across the river (this had never before happened in Brisbane and was a complete surprise) – and playfully tossed massive inflatable plastic globes across the crowd. Also not to be forgotten, here was also the official ‘hand-over ceremony’ of the Bureau of International Expositions flag from Secretary-General Madame Marie Helene Defrene to representatives from the next two World Expositions – Osaka Garden Expo ’90 – and Seville Expo ’92. As part of this final show at the River Stage traditional Japanese dance and also Sevillian flamenco featured – as well as a special Seville Expo ’92 fireworks display which, added to the Closing Ceremony fireworks made the Closing Ceremony fireworks the longest fireworks display in Australian history.)

The following next days the daily attendance rose higher still – and in just over 13 days into the Exposition – the first Millionth visitor entered the Expo site – two weeks ahead of schedule.

It became plain to see that the 7.8 million target would not only be easily reached – but that it would probably be more than doubled. Brisbane had embraced it’s new international cosmopolitan addition like a long-lost friend and the World Expo was averaging close to 100,000 visits a day.

Then, on the second last day of the Expo – Saturday 29 October 1988 – a staggering 182,762 persons visited the Expo site – nearly a fifth of the population of Brisbane – with the final day of the exposition, Sunday 30 October 1988, seeing 91,137 visitors.

Tabulating the data – a joint-Tourism Queensland and James Cook University Research paper showed that:

Of non-staff visits to World Expo ’88 (a total of 16, 465, 000 persons)

(i) approximately 65.4% were visits by local residents (of South-East Queensland) on day trips;
(ii) approximately 23.2% were visits by interstate visitors on overnight trips;
(iii) approximately 6.1% were visits by Queensland residents on overnight trips;
(iv) approximately 5.3% were made by overseas visitors (also on overnight trips).

Day trip visitors made an approximate 6.74 visits to the Exposition – as opposed to an average of 2.1 visits per overnight visitor.

The final statistics for the six-month expo (including V.I.P.s and staff) came to 18, 574, 476 visits – more than the total population of Australia at the time.

Not only was World Expo ’88 a success in good will and diplomacy – it had managed to pay for itself many times over – with no public debt or liabilities – reversing an alarming trend that had occurred in previous World Expositions. And, it proved that the familiar saying about Australia – ‘the tyranny of distance’ – was not applicable here – with Brisbane, Queensland and Australia hosting a major world-wide international event and doing so in the best of style and with daily attendance figures that would be the envy of any specialized Exposition. – even those hosted in Europe, Asia or the Americas.

Thanks to the leadership of Sir Llewellyn Edwards – who had guided the Expo from it’s inception to development and delivery – with his able-bodied team of the affable Expo Oz & Friends; the Theme Song and Logos; as well as the masterful rudder of Sir Edward Williams, KBE, KCMG, Commissioner-General of World Expo ’88 and Australian Commonwealth Government representative at the Exposition; the Expo Authority with General Manager Mr Bob Minnikin MBE, the eight directors of each division of the Expo – from Communications, to Entertainment, Finance & Administration, International Participation, Marketing, Operations, Site Development, and Technology, and their numerous offices, staff, and several-day contracted employees, including the thinkers, designers, press-writers, architects, engineers, builders, electricians, painters, gardeners, and artists, musicians, magicians, street performers, comedians, directors, and their assistants; the staff of the International, Australian, and Corporate Pavilions – the Commissioner-Generals and their Secretaries, and their Media & Protocol Assistants, Staff and Events Managers, and their Attendants & Guides, Assistants, Artists, Technical and Logistics Staff; and the ever-present courteous and smiling Lorraine Martin-trained and Prue Acton-designed colourfully canary-yellow uniformed and brim-hatted Expo Hosts & Hostesses and the turquoise-stripe uniformed Expo goodwill Volunteers, and the Security Staff, Ticket-Sellers and Ticket-Collectors, Souvenir Shops, Restaurants, Catering and Services Staff – that all kept to the tune and march of the 65-strong Expo City Marching Band – World Expo ’88 had become an unqualified success, and a World’s first in many regards.

Now the time had come to turn the next page in the Expo’s story – it’s re-development.


Post-Expo Blues
South Bank Corporation
The Future


About World Expo ’88


The 40-hectare site of the Expo was designed to please even the most ardent Expo critique – with the beautiful backdrop of the gently meandering Brisbane River and the skyscrapers of the City as a canvas, designers then split the Expo into several zones – each featuring a different colour of tropical and outback Queensland, and each corner filled with landscaped trees, shrubs and flowers indicative of the participating region of the world; scores of large-scale world-class international and Australian art work making the site one of the world’s most expensive and largest sculpture gardens; the humourous whimsy of the popular ‘Human Factor’ plaster-of-paris ‘still life’ figures in their various poses – a snap-shot vignette of day-to-day life; the almost eeringly realistic series of humanoid robot clones in silver-blue jumpsuits that stood 6ft tall in their glass pyramid prisms at all the entrance gates to the Exposition – some beckoning in jitter-like fashion outstretched arms – and others not – with their ‘beneath skin’ electrodes exposed – welcoming guests in computer synthesized speech in over 32 languages; to the meticulously planned street theatre comics, clowns and comedians that entertained the queues, lines and boulevards of the Expo – all under the shade of the eight massive tension-membrane ‘sun-sails’ that stretched above the Expo site, with skyward searchlights at each apex, 22 tropical fish blimps that soared higher still, and the watchful xenon beam eye of the slender copper-and-gold topped dome and spire of the 88-metre Expo Tower and Light Beacon ‘Night Companion’ above all – announcing to all near and far – ‘Welcome to World Expo ’88’.

The Melbourne Street Gate – with it’s grand entrance columns and monumental works of polished and corten bronze and steel – ‘Forme del Mito’, ‘Heureka’, and ‘Continuous Division’ – was the principle gate of the World Expo – where thousands could line in wait for entrance for hours without any disruption to services. The Vulture Street Gate – at the southern end – was the second principle gate – where here also, one could alight at the QR (Queensland Rail) CityTrain Expo Station, and in a matter of seconds be at the Expo’s door, passing by the popular Queensland Girl Guides ‘colours of the Great Barrier Reef’ inspired name-tile wall, where Expo visitors could leave their mark on the Expo site for the cost of a $2.00 donation, with their personalised message typed into one of the several thousand 2.5cm x 2.5cm coloured tiles that made an intricate patterned frieze of Queensland tropical coral and marine life in many gentle pastel colours. One could also arrive via Ferry, Helicopter or Hovercraft (from the golden beaches of the Gold Coast nearby or, the Brisbane Airport) at the popular Ferry Gate – where the queues were obviously less (many took advantage of this!).

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – also Queen of Australia – took advantage of the river form of transport to officially open World Expo ’88 at the World Expo ’88 Riverstage later that day – where after stationing the royal yacht Britannia upstream at Hamilton, the Queen and her party arrived at the River Stage pontoon in the Royal Barge – and in the presence of over 7,000 invited V.I.P. Guests – and many more millions watching the live telecast on the television – after noting her great-grandmother’s important role in opening the very first World Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London, in 1851 – ‘well and truly declared World Expo ’88 open!’

The Australia and Queensland Pavilions – both joint ‘flagship’ Pavilions of Expo ’88 – were advantageously located in front of the 10,000 seater artificial green turf River Stage, where their special roof-top balconies allowed for V.I.P. viewing of the River Stage entertainment, laser shows and fireworks (directed from the FM-104 Control Tower), as well as close access from the Melbourne Street Gate. The Australia Pavilion in particular, whose entrance was located adjacent to the Expo symbol tower ‘Night Companion’ – and whose fun colourfully themed Ken Done 6-metre high AUSTRALIA alphabet letters stood proudly for all to see – featured a contoured roof reminiscent of the shape and the rich ochre reds, purples, and blues of Australia’s most important natural landmark and icon, the magnificent monolith of Uluru (‘little pebble’) – Ayers Rock. Outside, an open-air art gallery of works by some of indigenous Australia’s most famous artists Clifford Possum, Charlie Egalie, Billy Stockman and others took centre stage in the ‘Art of Central Australia’, where the rich red earth, rocks, palms and bushes of desert Central Australia provided the dramatic setting for the 27 works on display. Inside the Australia Pavilion, the $4 million Rainbow Serpent Theatre gave a stunning live theatre and technology representation of the legend of the Rainbow Serpent, and one could listen to the robotic rantings of ‘Blue’ – the 3-metre high ‘Sports’ robot who randomly gave out statistics on Australian sport. The Queensland Pavilion just next door, with it’s white-red-and-blue curved façade featuring revolving information boards of the State’s flag, flora and fauna, enticed Expo visitors to it’s many-story artificial rainforest foyer, and took them on a themed 50-person a-time pod-like train carraige ride, where in air conditioned comfort, they viewed the wonders of the sites and sounds of urban, bush, rainforest, and future Queensland – through rich interactive diorama presentations and humourous wax-model narrators with talking television box heads.

(The Queensland Pavilion also hosted the Expo Monorail which silently slithered along it’s blue neon track as it passed through the top stories of the Pavilion rainforest foyer. The 2.3km circuit Monorail track had two stops – Expo North (Melbourne Street Gate), and Expo South (Vulture Street Gate) – was free to ride with admission – and one could choose between doing a full-circuit, or only half-a-circuit. The Pavilion/’Night Companion’ base was also a good place to view the two daily parades of the Expo – the day parade (led by the 65-strong Expo City Marching Band) with the theme ‘Food’, and the QANTAS Light Fantastic evening parade – with the theme ‘Hermaphro – Queen of the Night’. Joined with numerous acrobats, performers, and clowns, in the guises of each Expo week theme, each float diorama was a mini-story in itself – and was completely computer-controlled.)

Nearby, Canada featured a rousing rendition of the stirring anthem ‘O, Canada, this is my Home!’ in her multi-screen audio-visual projection, with the State of British Columbia also piping in, with her ‘Adventures, British Columbia’ ‘interactive’ action-packed sports movie, the U.S.S.R. (the last representation at a World Exposition) highlighted the Australian map and Bible in ‘micro-miniature’ format less than millimetres wide, as well as hologram renditions of famous art works from the Hermitage, the Univations Pavilion (a consortium of Queensland Universities) featured the latest in research on the Great Barrier Reef and scramjet technology, the U.N.’s colourful ‘children of the world’ Ken Done-inspired façade presented a preface to it’s humourous movie on an alien’s perspective on Anno Domini 2020 Earth, with a gift shop with proceeds to U.N.I.C.E.F., the State Government participants of Australia – Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia presented vignettes of life in the future – and past – with Victoria’s seven-room presentation on the future of leisure and technology; a 1788-port reproduction of the First Fleet H.M.S. Sirius which doubled as a movie setting in the New South Wales Pavilion; a $AUD 250,000 gold bar that could be lifted but not taken with you as well as an electronic weight machine that calculated your weight in gold in the Western Australia Pavilion, and, at the popular TVO Pavilion – the official Expo TV broadcaster – one could view behind a glass partition the making of and presenting of not only the daily 6.00p.m. News Bulletins but also the other Morning and other programs broadcast throughout Queensland and Australia directly from the Expo site. Around the corner was also the popular Suncorp Sensus Play Area – a state-of-the-art interactive outdoor science maze for kids – (and adults!) – where Universal Studios brought to the Expo site the popular artificial intelligence car ‘KITT’ from the popular TV series ‘Knight Rider’, (one could line up to sit in the driver’s seat and converse with KITT on any topic!).

One also mustn’t forget the ‘unofficial’ Bavarian ‘Pavilion’ – the largest restaurant on site – the tavernous 1,300 seater ‘Munich Festhaus’ – where, in traditional Bavarian architecture, light fittings, attendants in traditional Bavarian lederhosen, serving sauerkraut and sausage to the lound themes of the live Bavarian brass band – playing – undoubtedly the biggest hit of World Expo ’88 Bicentennial Brisbane – ‘the chicken dance’ – hundreds of persons at a time would stop to the music and perform the movements of this rather incessant and ever-increasing in tempo, tune.

In the next zone, in the centre of the Expo site and by the river one could view the daily pyramid-(and other) formation stunts of the BP Waterski Spectacular, with the Australian flag flying high above each – and nearby, on land, one could find the European Square & boulevard, housing France with it’s dark-blue illuminated floor featuring scale models of it’s latest alpine and beach resorts – as well as the latest leisure equipment to boot; the Federal Republic of Germany Pavilion – also, the last representation at a World Exposition – where the German car industry showed it’s best; the European Community, with it’s obligatory Europe Map and flashing lights, and Information Booth with each publication in all of the EU official languages; the U.K. – with it’s HOTOL jet scale model, Proton ride simulator, and ‘Best of British’ Musicals performance stage outside the Pavilion (with the obligatory Tudor-style British Pub and Souvenir Shop); Italy – featuring the latest in Italian design – both for home, and holiday; and Spain – proud nation of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1992 Universal Exposition of Seville – featured scale models of both these sites, as well as precious originals of art work by Picasso, Dali and Miro, amongst others.

Towards the railway corridor side of the Expo site, one could find the mystery of the east at the People’s Republic of China Pavilion, with it’s 360-degree film presentation and Xi’an Terracotta Warriors; the Ford Pavilion highlighting the history of the car from Ford’s first release to the latest 1988-prototypes; the 500-seater capacity Amphitheatre – in the gentle protection of one of the smaller sun-sails – in the midst of the mist of the epiphyte forest with it’s magical larger-than-life beetles and stick-insects – replete with terrarium domes of rare flowering orchids and aviary of tropical Australian birds and lorikeets – the National and Corporate Day Flag Raising ceremonies took place – as well as a nightly laser production where the latest in state-of-the-art laser animations, could be seen; Cyprus, Pakistan, Fujitsu, Korea, and Hungary Pavilions – each with their own charm – Cyprus featuring works of art, a restaurant, and attendants in national dress – Pakistan a replica of a carpet-bazaar – Fujitsu with it’s 3-Dimension movie ‘The Universe’ – from molecule to star system – Korea – with it’s displays of the venues for the 1988 Seoul Olympics – and reproductions of traditional Korean homelife – Hungary – with it’s famous panorama of Budapest and it’s fine-dining restaurant – as well as the Australian Opal Mining Showcase – with it’s unique opal mine shaft ‘ride’ and cavern experience – and the Communities of Australia Pavilion – a weekly showcase of a different region of Queensland and Northern New South Wales, with the Indigenous Communities of Queensland Pavilion – where Queensland and Torres Strait Islander communities displayed their unqiue handcrafts and culture – just next door.

Also near here Australia Post delivered the history and future of Postal Communications – as well as a computer that linked you with a pen-pal from overseas, Queensland financial groups Suncorp and the Queensland Teachers’ Credit Union presented their own ‘sci-fi’ view of the future of banking, and Greece brought to Australian shores a survey of Greek art and sculptures from Byzantine to modern-day Greece – also with a focus on the modern-era – and ancient – beginnings of the Olympic Games. On the other side of the neon matrix roof wonderland of Times Square (an intricate heavenly display of time gone mad – 7.5km of neon weaved among neon) – Westpac Banking Corporation – Australia’s oldest bank (formerly the Bank of New South Wales) – had their on-site banking and Bureau de Change facilities here – in one of the oldest (restored) pre-Expo buildings on the site.

In the next zone was located the Japanese Government and Japan Technoplaza pavilions, found side-by-side in a position located towards the back of the centre of the Expo site, facing the Brisbane River and located adjacent to the island nations of the South Pacific at the calming Pacific Lagoon, which incorporated the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa in a Disneyland-style recreation of the tropics – featuring huts, totem poles, and indigenous craftspersons, with a special boulder-rock stage amidst tropical swaying palm trees where daily – even during the balmy Brisbane winter months – visitors could sit together on the artificial green grass turf and watch traditional dancers in traditional attire perform traditional islander music.

The massive New Zealand and USA Pavilions were found nearby, with the imitation New Zealand ancient Kauri rainforest by the (other) bank of the Pacific Lagoon featuring near the exit of the New Zealand Pavilion (as well as a sheep farm-inspired setting for the Pavilion’s popular movie on the inside), and the popular Expo fountain and installation – ‘The Cascade’ – afront the main entrance of the U.S.A. Pavilion with it’s basketball court outdoors foyer – where, at any given time – one could see the rapid antics of the All-American Hackeysack Team, basketball legends ‘performing’ a slam-dunk, and school girl teams jumping to the ryhthm with their calisthenic rope-skipping recitations. Indoor, one could view the history of the U.S. at the Olympic Games – as well as test the speed of your pitch against a computer baseball speed-reader. The States of Alaska, with it’s massive Kodiak bear and ethnic displays, California, with it’s hi-tech aerial film voyage of the valleys and mountains of the State using the latest in satellite imagery, and Hawai’i with it’s illuminated models of each of it’s islands – highlighting the common surf culture with Australia – were also represented here – with the massive 800-seater ‘Americana Food Village’ themed-restaurant village giving one a choice between the cajun and creole of New Orleans at Chez Lousiane, West Coast Cuisine at Hollywood’s, New York fries at Broadway and 42nd Street, or the best of Polynesia at the Waikiki.

And, on the other side of the Pacific Lagoon, in their own themed settings, the famous ‘Lockwood Lodge’ brought one the best of New Zealand fair, one could sample the best of Japanese cuisine at the fine-dining Tsuruya, and islander cuisine at the Pacific Lagoon Restaurant, with the balconies of it’s signature thatched huts jutting out upon the Lagoon itself.

Next door the official Expo newspapers the Brisbane ‘Courier Mail’ and ‘The Sunday Mail’ of the Queensland Newspapers Group – presented a time-line of the old printing press to a prototype look at the future of newspapers – a computer screen. And, one was never far away from the umbrella-tree like formations of the Telecom Australia interactive ‘EXPO INFO’ Help Screen computer booths (over 50 of them were installed in strategic locations throughout the Expo site) – each with several touch-screen interface computers – delivering at the touch of a button information on the Expo site – in both Japanese or English.

In the midst of all the action was the Japan Pavilion – one of the largest and most expensive pavilions built costing $AUD 26 million Australian dollars and with three distinct elements, (i) the Pavilion itself with it’s signature mirror façade, (ii) the traditional Japanese Pond and Garden that met with the Pavilion entrance and exits and, (iii) a Japanese traditional leisure boat, made of pine wood, 17 metres in length and known as the ‘Yakatabune’ (evening boat), specifically designed for entertaining Japan Pavilion (up to 30 at a time) VIPs on the Brisbane River during the nightly fireworks. A multi-themed Pavilion with industrial car robots performing lion-dancing – a 1788 recreation of Edo (Tokyo) in miniature with animated Japanese character in Australian accent introducing traditional Japanese leisure and day-to-day life – and a 18-metre wall-to-wall floor to ceiling slide and Hi-Definition TV (Australian debut) presentation on today’s Japan – visitors to the Pavilion were also shown the more human aspect of contemporary Japanese leisure through classes and displays of Japanese calligraphy, ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), koto-playing (the Japanese harp), Japanese Tea Ceremony, as well as origami (paper folding). A consortium of Japanese regional and civic governments joined with the representation of several Japanese corporations in the adjacent Japan Technoplaza – where, amongst other exhibits, one could view (and listen to) the music played by a electric guitar with a robot hand brought to you by J.E.T.R.O. – the Japan External Trade Organisation – a television forest of computer animals that sang together in a harmonious chorus by Hitachi – ‘friendship capsules’ by Idemitsu – a children’s playground interactive maze by the Leisure Development Centre of Japan – a journey through the seasons of Japan with the Saitama Prefecture (sister state of Queensland) display – and watching the magic of water fountains and folding fans at the Kobe (sister city of Brisbane) exhibit.

The final zone, on the Exposition’s most southerly point, hosted the European Fair fun of the Piazza performance venue – where up to 2,000 seated and another 1,500 in the balconies could view the kaleidoscope of daily entertainment from wood-chopping to body-building – Inner Mongolian acrobats to American mime artists and magicians – and ‘Circus Oz’ to the ‘Expo Oz’ show – a variety dance and song show featuring (in costume) Expo Oz and friends!

The other states/territories of Australia – Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory – featured displays on their touristic charms – as well as how to book your next holiday via interactive computer data-base, Australian Airlines, Comet Express – TNT, The India Centre, LITS Tour and Travel Service, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse, and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons banded together to form promotional exhibits for their respective services at ‘The Plaza’, Papua New Guinea – a second pavilion to her Pacific Lagoon representation featured totem poles and large-scale photo portraits of tribal elders in traditional head-dress, in IBM’s completely computer controlled Pavilion, computers calculated optimal visitor entrance settings – as well as featured displays on the future of leisure and technology, NASA sent Australia an exhibit of astronauts and space rockets which formed part of a tri-angluar space frame jutting out from the sleak lines of the Monorail above, the Magna Carta Pavilion (with one of the four original calf-skin copies), the Yugoslavia ‘Colours of My Country’ Pavilion with it’s displays of Yugoslavian inventions and the fine arts, the Indonesian Pavilion featured an impressive façade recreation of a Sulawesi ‘Toraja’ house, with batik and crafts displays on the inside of the Pavilion, the Nepal Peace Pagoda (a three story hand-made replica of a Kathmandu Temple) and Pavilion featured a photographic exhibition of Nepal’s temples and mountains, Cadbury Chocolate – the ‘Expo Oz’ chocolate factory, Service Clubs of Australia Zonta, Rotary, Lions and Quota, hosted a Service Club for their members, one could make inter-denominational prayer requests at the Expo Chapel, the $AUD 10 million Switzerland Pavilion with it’s unique sub-zero artificial snow fields and slalem ski slope – and gondola ride (!), Thailand with it’s dioramas of Thai culture and day-to-day life, Brunei Darussalam – with it’s displays of traditional arts, leisure and culture, Malaysia – with it’s handcrafted wood-carved exteriors captured the mystique of Malaysia and was popular also for the Pavilion Restaurant – the Sate Ria Restaurant, Singapore – a tourist display brought to you by Singapore Airlines and the Singapore Port Authority – replete with model of the famous Singapore ‘Merlion’ at the Pavilion’s entrance, the Philippines, an imaginatively presented floor-to-ceiling photo panorama setting transported you to the idyllic beaches and villas of the nation’s resorts, the Captain Cook and Holy See Pavilions – with their own respective priceless treasures on loan for the Bicentenary, Sri-Lanka featured her craft, arts, and famous tea, Kenya (the only African state represented at the Expo) featured an entree into traditional Kenyan woodwork, as well as a hot-air balloon themed movie presentation, the ‘Silo in the City’ Australian Primary Industries Pavilion brought the country to the city with each major produce represented, and the Queensland Maritime Museum displayed the H.M.S. Diamantina in-dock, and the Pavilion of Promise (a Christian consortium) won hearts over with the movie presentation ‘The Scroll’, also popular at Vancouver’s Expo ’86.

This zone also included the Aquacade – a first-time for Australia – where a 5-times daily show spectacular of synchronised swimming, high aerial diving, dance, theatre, stunts, and more captivated 3,000 visitors at a time with a humourous rendition of the high drama of ‘Bligh’s Follies’; the popular Boardwalk-themed and named Restaurants and Cafés, with the popular paddle-steamer Kookaburra Queen offering Queensland seafood smorgasboards on her two story-decks; the V.I.P. suite of the Expo Authority in Expo House ‘Club 88’ – high up upon the Mater Hill end of the site overlooking the rest of the Expo, Brisbane River, and City; and the ‘Bulletin Executive Club’ where private V.I.P.s of Australian Consolidated Press were entertained.

At the other end of the site, World Expo Park – the $AUD 52 million space-themed roller-coaster and Fun Park – free admission with your Expo ’88 ticket – gave visitors the more traditional fun park environment – and many hours beyond the 10.00 p.m. close of the Expo each night. One could dance to the rhythm at the ‘Heat Wave’ Disco until 3.00 a.m., record your favourite pop song with your own vocals and friends at ‘Wavelength Sound Studio’, eat to your hearts content at ‘The Galaxy’ and ‘Star Terrace’, and experience the latest in roller coasters and rides from the tight-double-barrelled corkscrew of ‘The Titan’, to the dark and speedy caverns of the ‘Supernova’.

Intended to become a permanent theme park after the end of Expo ’88 – World Expo Park only made it to the Expo’s First Anniversary – 30 April 1989 – where, under the clever management of FM-104, many of the famous street performers of World Expo ’88 were called back ‘one more time’ to entertain the nostalgic at a one-week long Expo ’88 Festival – but soon after, the Park was sold, and became the site for the new Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre. Today, the Nepal Peace Pagoda, now in it’s new riverside location, is the only Pavilion from World Expo ’88 that remains from the Fair, and, with the new Southbank Parklands – the post-expo site development – is a lasting legacy of the wonderful world of World Expo ’88.