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CAIRNS City of the South Pacific A History 1770 – 1995 | $ 75

Special Expires 31 Mar 2020

The township of Cairns was established in the wake of the Palmer River Gold rush of 1873, and established as a port for the Hodgkinson Goldfield in October 1876. After a tenuous start, Cairns became the terminus for the far North Queensland rail... More
The township of Cairns was established in the wake of the Palmer River Gold rush of 1873, and established as a port for the Hodgkinson Goldfield in October 1876. After a tenuous start, Cairns became the terminus for the far North Queensland railway, servicing the inland mining districts. Chinese were instrumental in launching the sugar cane industry and South Sea Islander labour was important in sowing and harvesting in the 19th century.

This comprehensive work covers the many and varied people who have lived and worked in the district, as well as the dramatic changes that have occurred. It is a fascinating coverage of this unique tropical paradise.

2nd Edition Hardcover 608 pages. Now in stock!

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About NQ Research Associates

Biography & Publications

 Biography & Publications

Dr Timothy Bottoms operates the firm NQ Research Associates should you be interested in getting an historical research project underway. Please contact us

Timothy David Reis Bottoms (click here to find out the origin of the Author’s name) was born in Bromley, Kent in December 1954, and immigrated to Australia with his family arriving on Australia Day 1957. The family lived in South Australia and then moved to Albury, NSW. Ten years later, Tim attended university in Armidale where he graduated from the University of New England and then taught upper primary school (1977) before travelling overland to Europe in 1978. Timothy then returned to teach Aranda children at Santa Teresa south-east of Alice Springs. There the plight of Indigenous Australians began to filter through.

In 1980 he moved to Sydney and began training as a radio announcer and worked as a film extra. During this period he researched and presented radio documentaries; The Australian Film Industry and Radio Oz – A history of Australian Radio, which won an award for Creative Use of the Medium (Australian Hi-Fi Awards, 1981) were some of his efforts. He then worked as a radio announcer and producer at 2GN, Goulburn. A Short History of Australian Radio Advertising was one successful production as well as a dozen music biographies.

In 1984 Tim moved to North Queensland, teaching at the remote Indigenous community, Kowanyama and high schools at Weipa and Woree. His first post-graduate research project was an M.A. (Qualifying) thesis Djarrugan – The Last of the Nesting, A Revisionist Interpretation of Aboriginal-European Relations in the Cairns Rainforest Region up to 1876. As a result of this work, Tim was invited by local Aboriginal groups to assist in research and community development. He then lectured on communication skills for the TAFE Ranger Training Program throughout Cape York before being appointed Ranger Trainer Co-ordinator for the Wet Tropics Ranger Group. His depth of experience with Indigenous issues during this period enabled Tim to research and write several papers for publication in particular, the Oral History Program run by the Djabugay Rangers. This formed the basis for the future work, Djabugay Country – An Aboriginal History of Tropical North Queensland, Allen & Unwin, 1999.

Tim’s book, A History of Cairns 1770-1995 was commissioned by the Cairns City Council in 1997 and was completed in 2002, and awarded a doctorate in 2003. Unfortunately the Council refused to publish citing expense as the reason. Since then Tim has researched and written Heritage interpretational signage for DotDash Pty Ltd and the Cairns Esplanade Development for Cairns City Council.(2001-03), as well as researching interpretation of primary source documents for the Indigenous Schooling Support Unit (Education Queensland) relating to massacres, missions and government policy in North, Central and Southern Queensland and the Gulf. This comprehensive research program was designed as presentations for the Cross-Cultural Awareness Program.

Another recent work involved preparing a lecture for the University of Queensland Art Museum Exhibition Defending the North – Frontline Cairns 1940-1946 (3 September 2005). Artspace Mackay also invited him to give the presentation. This work began as a 30 minute image Powerpoint presentation which was then converted to a DVD.

Tim’s next work, Bama Country, looks at the way of life of the rainforest Aboriginal people of far North Queensland, Australia; considering seasonal activities, based upon and regulated by seasonal changes, prior to European invasion.

Tim was awarded the Visiting Fellowship as ‘Writer in Residence’ at the National Museum of Australia,’ and has just completed a book entitled Conspiracy of Silence, Queensland’s Frontier Killing-Times, which looks at the moving Queensland frontier and the massacres that resulted from European invasion, from 1838 to the turn of the last century. Allen & Unwin published this work in June 2013.


  • Bunu Bunu Press published CAIRNS, City of the South Pacific, A History 1770-1995, 5 November 2015 (paperback). Sold Out and 2nd Edition (hardcover) released May 2016.
  • Completed Yorkey’s Knob Boating Club, A History, March 2016. Club published in June, 2016.

NQ Research Associates Reviews


0 Mohamed Adhikari (Vice president – International Network of Genocide Scholars)

Hope you are well. I have over the last 3 years or so used your book and documentary extensively in my teaching on settler colonialism and genocide. Queensland is one of my key case studies. Students have reacted very positively to your work and use it extensively. I like showing them your series of maps in your book that mark the massacres and poisonings. The visual display has a very dramatic impact.


0 Matthew Jones

My name is Matthew Jones and I have just finished reading your book, Conspiracy of Silence. There has never been a book that has had so much impact upon everything that I associate with being Australian. I’ve read other major works on the frontier wars such as Blood on the Wattle, etc., but your book with its detailed chronology and extensive primary sources, establishes itself as an incredibly important work.

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