Australian rules football in South East Queensland

Australian rules football in South East Queensland has a varied history and many changes were made especially in the 21st century. Ruled and organised by the AFL Queensland, the region had a total of 46 teams playing in different divisions.[2]

Australian rules football in
South East Queensland
Taringa v West, 1940
Governing bodyAFL Queensland
First played1866 (1866) [1]
Clubs46 (divided in 5 divisions)
Club competitions
QFA (Division 1 to 5)

Occasionally inter-zone matches are held with separate South East Queensland representative sides taking part, they include the "Gold Coast Stingrays", the "Suncoast Power", the "Western Taipans", and the "Northern Raiders". Additionally when the South East competes together they are known as the "South East Bushrangers".


Early beginning

The earliest known record of Australian rules football commencing in Queensland was in May 1866, when the Brisbane Football Club was formed,[1] with the aim of keeping cricketers fit in the winter months. The club played its first match on Saturday 9 June 1866 at Queen's Park (now part of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens).[3] By 1870 four more clubs had been created: Volunteer Artillery, Brisbane Grammar School, Civil Service and Ipswich, all adopting Victorian Rules over rugby football.

The original Brisbane Football Club disbanded in the late 1880s and has no direct relationship to the modern Brisbane Bears or Lions clubs.

The first schoolboys match was between Brisbane Grammar played matches against Ipswich Grammar in 1870 – the outcome was a draw. Early games in Queensland were exceptionally long – one match between IGS and Brisbane Grammar in 1876 commenced at 10.30am and ended at 2.30pm, at which time IGS had scored 6 goals to Brisbane Grammar's nil.

During this era, no local governing body for the game was established. All rules and decisions about the rules and competitions were still made from Melbourne and was known in Queensland as "Victorian Rules".

However Victorian rules was growing rapidly and was the most popular football code in Queensland by 1880. Queensland sent delegates to the Intercolonial Football Conference in 1883.

By the early 1880s, there may have been as many as 300 players in the Brisbane and Ipswich region, as contemporaneous newspaper records show that there were at least six active clubs (Brisbane, Excelsiors, Grammars, Wallaroos, Rovers and Athenians (Ipswich)), each of which had at least two teams ('senior' and 'junior' 20s). Matches were played at the Albert Ground, Kedron Park, Grammar School and Ipswich, with occasional matches at Queen's Park.[4][5]

In 1887, one of the most significant events in the history of the code occurred at this time. Independent Schools headmasters voted by 1 vote to adopt rugby football.[6] The decision was influenced by the recent creation of a Queensland-based governing body to govern rugby, and the majority of councillors objected on the basis that the reference of "Victorian" in the name of the sport did not represent the interests of Queenslanders. This dealt a significant blow to the sport and advantage to rugby union.

Despite the advances made by Queensland football, it was clear that Victoria was progressing faster than any other state. On 21 June 1890, South Melbourne Football Club toured, playing against Queensland on Albion Park. The result of the match was a complete 6-17 to 1-0 humiliation (behinds were recorded in the scores at the time but did not actually count until 1897). The humiliation was obviously felt by the players as when Queensland defeated a New South Wales Rugby Union team shortly afterwards many of the former rugby players receded from the Australian football ranks and formed clubs of their own.[7] Over the next few years, rugby union's popularity in South East Queensland would swamp Victorian Rules.

Modern era

In 1969, the "South Queensland Australian Football Association" (SQAFA) was established with the purpose of developing players for the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). Most of the players were amateurs. In 1992, the league changed its name to the "Brisbane Australian Football League" (BAFL) and included clubs from the Sunshine Coast.

Another name change in 2000 brought about AFL South Queensland. In 2006, AFL South Queensland was taken under the umbrella of AFL Queensland and rebranded as the Queensland State Association. In 2012, it was renamed South East Queensland AFL.[8] Finally in 2014 the local level was divided into two leagues, the Queensland Football Association (QFA) and the Queensland Amateur Football Association (QAFA). Again in 2017 the name will change again to the Queensland Football Association (QFA), now covering five (5) divisions and the re-introduction of two (2) regional based leagues (AFL Northern Rivers & AFL Sunshine Coast / Wide Bay).

Current South East Queensland structure

Since 2017 to present:

Queensland Football Association (QFA) league system
Level Leagues [2] N° of teams ↑ Promotion ↓ Relegation
1 QFA Division 1 9 (Seniors & Reserves) 0 1 **
2 QFA Division 2 9 (Seniors & Reserves) 1 * 1 **
3 QFA Division 3 10 (Seniors & Reserves) 1 * 0
4 QFA Division 4 9 (Seniors) 0 1 **
5 QFA Division 5 9 (Seniors) 1 * 0

* Premiers
** Wooden spooners

QFA clubs

Clubs for the 2019 season:

Division 1

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Aspley        HornetsBrendale, BrisbaneSouth Pine Sports Complex1964
Burleigh [note 1]        BombersBurleigh Waters, Gold CoastBill Godfrey Ovalc. 1979
Caloundra                PanthersGolden Beach, Sunshine CoastCarter Park, North Street1973
Coorparoo [note 2]        KingsCoorparoo, BrisbaneGiffin Park1996
Maroochydore        RoosMaroochydore, Sunshine CoastMultisports Complex1970
Mayne        TigersEnoggera, BrisbaneEnoggera Memorial Park1924
Noosa            TigersNoosaville, Sunshine CoastWeyba Rd1970
Springwood        PumasUnderwood, BrisbaneLowe Oval1972
University of Queensland        Red LionsSt Lucia, BrisbaneUQ Oval No.71956
  1. The club website indicates that its first president was appointed in 1979, with no more data about its foundation.[9]
  2. Established in 1996, one year after the original Coorparoo FC folded.

Division 2

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Alexandra Hills        BombersAlexandra Hills, Redland CitySurridge Oval1980
Beenleigh        BuffaloesBeenleigh, LoganDauth Park?
Bond University        BullsharksRobina, Gold CoastBond University2011
Carrara            SaintsCarrara, Gold CoastAlan Nielsen Park2012
Coolangatta Tweed Heads        BluesCoolangatta, Gold CoastLen Peak Oval2012
Coomera        MagpiesCoomera, Gold CoastCoomera Sports Park2009
Kenmore        BearsChelmer, BrisbaneAkuna Oval1967
Robina        RoosRobina, Gold CoastScottsdale Reserve1996
Victoria Point        SharksVictoria Point, Redland CityE.M. Dowling Sportsfield Oval2014

Division 3

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Griffith Moorooka        RoostersMoorooka, BrisbaneAlexander Park2009 -
Gympie        CatsGlanmire, GympieRay Warren Oval
Hinterland        BluesPalmwoods, Sunshine CoastJubilee Drive
Ipswich            EaglesIpswich, QueenslandLimestone Park2001
Jindalee        JagsJindalee, BrisbaneJindalee
Kedron            Lions Wooloowin, BrisbaneMelrose Park1937
Moreton Bay             LionsBurpengary, BrisbaneCentral Sports Complex1987
Redcliffe        TigersRothwell, BrisbaneRothwell Park1974
Pine Rivers        Swans Strathpine, BrisbaneRob Akers Reserve1970
Wynnum        VikingsWynnum West, Brisbane"300 Kianawah Rd."1971'

Division 4

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Collingwood Park            PowerRedbank Plains, IpswichMoreton Avenue Redbank2012
Jimboomba        RedbacksJimboomba, Logan City?
Maroochydore        RoosMaroochydore, Sunshine CoastMultisports Complex1969
Mayne        TigersEnoggera, BrisbaneEnoggera Memorial Park1924
Morningside            PanthersHawthorne, BrisbaneJack Esplen Oval1947
Park Ridge            PiratesPark Ridge, LoganPark Ridge High School Oval2013
University Of Queensland        Red LionsSt Lucia, BrisbaneOval n° 71956
Western Magpies        MagpiesChelmer, BrisbaneSherwood AFC1991
Yeronga South Brisbane        DevilsYeronga, BrisbaneLeyshon Park1929
Zillmere        EaglesZillmere, BrisbaneO'Callaghan Park1923

QFA Division 5

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Bribie Island        BulldogsBongaree, Bribie IslandBribie Ground
Coorparoo [note 1]        BluesCoorparoo, BrisbaneGiffin Park1996
Ferny Grove        FalconsFerny Grove, BrisbaneFerny Grove Ground
Ipswich Cats        CatsAmberley, IpswichIpswich
Ormeau            BulldogsOrmeau, Gold CoastOrmeau Sports Park2008
Marcellin Old Boys            GorillasStafford, BrisbaneHickey Park1945
  1. Reserve team.

Clubs in other competitions

Several clubs from SE Queensland do not take part of local competitions, giving priority to QAFL or NEAFL competitions where they compete. Other clubs have teams in both, QFA and QAFL/NEAFL.

Club City QFA Other competition
Brisbane LionsCoorparooAFL, NEAFL [note 1]
RedlandVictoria PointNEAFL
Southporth FCSouthportNEAFL
BroadbeachMermaid WatersQAFL
Labrador TigersLabradorQAFL
Mount GravattUpper Mount GravattQAFL
Palm Beach CurrumbinPalm BeachQAFL
Surfers ParadiseBenowaQAFL
Western DistrictsChelmerYQAFL
Wilston GrangeStaffordQAFL
  1. Professional team competes in AFL, while reserve team competes in NEAFL

Notable QFA clubs in recess or defunct

As of 2018 season:

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Banyo        BloodsBanyo, BrisbaneNudgee Recreation Reserve1967
Calamvale             LeopardsCalamvale, BrisbaneCalamvale Sportsfield?
Glasshouse Hinterland            LionsLandsborough, Sunshine CoastLandsborough Sports Complex1997
Marsden        HawksMarsden, BrisbaneMudgee Street Park1992
Murri            MavericksKedron, BrisbaneMelrose Park1998
Northshore            JetsMudjimba, Sunshine CoastNorth Shore Community Centre1999
Pomona        DemonsPomona, Sunshine CoastReserve Street Oval1973

Premiers: 1970-present

Year SQAFA Division 1 SQAFA Division 2 SQAFA Division 3
1970 Sherwood Deagon ?
1971 Mt Gravatt University Queensland Stafford
1972 Mt Gravatt Banyo Mt Gravatt
1973 Sherwood Banyo Stafford
1974 Mt Gravatt Wynnum Aspley
1975 Sherwood Banyo Redland
1976 Sherwood RAAF Deagon
1977 Sherwood Deagon Beenleigh-Slacks
1978 Sherwood Oakleigh Everton
1979 Sherwood Ipswich RAAF
1980 Sherwood Beenleigh (No competition)
1981 Sherwood Everton (No competition)
1982 Sherwood Banyo (No competition)
1983 Mt Gravatt Ashgrove (No competition)
1984 Acacia Ridge University Queensland (No competition)
1985 Aspley Beenleigh (No competition)
1986 Aspley Jindalee (No competition)
1987 Aspley Redland (No competition)
1988 Aspley Redcliffe (No competition)
1989 Aspley Springwood (No competition)
1990 Aspley Everton (No competition)
1991 Strathpine Ipswich (No competition)
Year BAFL Division 1 BAFL Division 2 BAFL Division 3
1992 Aspley Moorooka Uni
1993 Maroochydore Sandgate Ipswich
1994 Maroochydore Sandgate Marsden
1995 Maroochydore Marsden
1996 Maroochydore Alexandra Hills Toowong
1997 Noosa Wilston Grange Kenmore
1998 Redland Moorooka Kenmore
1999 Redland Caboolture Redland
Year AFLSQ Premier Division AFLSQ Division 1 AFLSQ Division 2 AFLSQ Division 3 AFLSQ Division 4
2000 Palm Beach-Currumbin Coorparoo Kings Gympie ? ?
2001 Coolangatta Burleigh Heads Coorparoo Kings Gympie ?
2002 Aspley Springwood Redcliffe Kenmore Wilston Grange
2003 Coolangatta Strathpine Wynnum (No competition) ?
2004 Burleigh Strathpine Robina (No competition) ?
2005 Burleigh Redcliffe Robina (No competition) ?
Year AFLQ State League Div 2 AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 1 AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 2 AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 3 North AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 3 Central
2006 Western Magpies Yeronga Kenmore (No competition) ?
2007 Palm Beach-Currumbin Yeronga Kedron Gympie Western Magpies
2008 Western Magpies Wynnum Redcliffe Nambour Strathpine
2009 Palm Beach-Currumbin Wynnum Beenleigh Nambour Woodsmen
2010 Noosa Caloundra Robina ? ?
2011 Noosa Coorparoo Kings Nambour & Hinterland Pomona Jimboomba
Year SEQAFL Division 1 SEQAFL Division 2 SEQAFL Division 3 SEQAFL Division 4 North SEQAFL Division 4 Central SEQAFL Division 4 South
2012 Western Magpies Coorparoo Kings Redcliffe Caloundra Pine Rivers Tweed Coast
2013 Springwood Coorparoo Kings Coomera Pomona Zillmere Tweed Coast
Year QFA North QFA South QAFA A Grade QAFA B Grade North QAFA B Grade Central QAFA B Grade South
2014 Mayne Springwood Griffith Uni/Moorooka Bribie Island Woodsmen Bond Uni
2015 Mayne Springwood Bond Uni Gympie Kedron Tweed Coast
2016 Mayne Coorparoo Kings Southeast Suns Maroochydore Zillmere Byron Magpies
Year QFA Division 1 QFA Division 2 QFA Division 3 QFA Division 4 QFA Division 5 QFA Northern Rivers
2017 Maroochydore Aspley Hornets Victoria Point Zillmere Mayne Byron Magpies
2018 Maroochydore Park Ridge Carrara Maroochydore Yeronga South Brisbane Byron Magpies
2019 Noosa Bond University Moreton Bay Park Ridge Bribie Island Byron Magpies

Former AFL South Queensland Divisions

Notable former QFA regional Divisions

2003 Bundaberg-Wide Bay Hinterland Division

All four AFL Bundaberg-Wide Bay Clubs from 2002, Hervey Bay Bombers, Across the Waves Bundaberg Eagles, Brothers Bulldogs and Maryborough Bears were joined by teams further south, Gympie Cats, Pomona Demons, Glasshouse and Bribie Island to play one season against each other before reverting to their various regional leagues in 2004 once again.

Finals summary:

  • Elimination Final - Maryborough 13.8-86 defeated Glasshouse 10.7-67
  • Qualifying Final - Across the Waves 13.12-90 defeated Bribie Island 11.11-77
  • First Semi Final - Maryborough 15.14-104 defeated Bribie Island 12.6-78
  • Second Semi Final - Hervey Bay 18.15-123 defeated Across the Waves 9.7-61
  • Preliminary Final - Across the Waves 14.15-99 defeated Maryborough 4.10-34
  • GRAND FINAL - Hervey Bay 8.8-56 defeated Across the Waves 6.17-53

See also


  1. Brisbane Courier 25 May 1866
  2. SEQ teams and competitions on AFLQ website
  3. Brisbane Courier 16 June 1866
  4. Brisbane Courier 5 May 1883
  5. Brisbane Courier 7 June 1884
  6. Ronald Lawson, University of Queensland Press, 1973, page 203
  7. 'Queensland Australian National Football League Official Souvenir Programme of Collingwood v South Melbourne', dated Saturday 27 July 1935
  8. "SEQAFL". Australian Football. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  9. History on Burleigh Bombers site
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