Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence dates from 1846 when it was constructed for Patrick Leslie who had first settled on the Darling Downs in 1840. Over the years, Newstead has evolved from a simple Colonial Georgian cottage into a sprawling homestead with intricate balustrade, spacious verandahs and a vista that incorporates the Brisbane River, undulating parkland, elements of the Breakfast Creek Heritage Precinct and the changing suburbs of Hamilton, Bowen Hills, Bulimba and Newstead.
Newstead Park, on Brisbane River, conceals many stories-including its part in WWI. A memorial trophy cannon unveiled near the rotunda in 1922 caused controversy: an alderman suggested it was an 'emblem of evil' and that the money would be better spent supporting returned servicemen. The cannon was removed in the 1950s, donated to the 9th Battalion-and made way for the Australian American Memorial, one of only two such memorials in Australia, attesting to Brisbane's importance in the Allied victory in the South-West Pacific. The grounds of Newstead House, Brisbane's oldest surviving residence, also hosted fundraising efforts during WWI. A dolls' carnival in 1917 was a special drawcard, raising money to send 'comforts' to the troops in the trenches, specifically the 25th Battalion. Newstead House was occupied by the US Army from 1942 through to the end of WWII. The grounds reflect the American occupation and hold memorials to the Australian Navy Corvettes, submariners and Vietnam veterans.