The Dunwich Cemetery has graves from the early days of Queensland’s European settlement, dating back to 1847. There are over 8,500 unmarked graves of inmates from the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, and the cemetery is still a current place of remembrance for Island residents.
Three cemeteries have operated on North Stradbroke Island. The Myora/Moongalba cemetery just north of Dunwich is the burial place of people from the Mission, the Lazaret or Leper’s Cemetery south of Dunwich was set up in the late 19th century, and the Dunwich Cemetery still operates in the township itself.The first of the Dunwich Cemetery’s estimated 10,000 burials is believed to date from 1847 when a victim of the shipwrecked Sovereign was interred, which makes it one of the earliest surviving cemeteries in Queensland.Also among the early burials were the victims of one of Queensland’s immigration tragedies: a typhus epidemic in 1850 on the ship Emigrant, which claimed about 27 lives. Dunwich had just been proclaimed the quarantine station for Moreton Bay and the Emigrant was the first ship to arrive at the new station.The bunya pines are believed to date from the time when visiting mainland Aborigines brought the nuts as gifts to the people of Stradbroke. They are a living reminder of the complex socio political structure of South East Queensland prior to colonisation.8,470 inmates from the Benevolent Asylum are buried in the Dunwich Cemetery. As most are in unmarked graves, a memorial has been erected to them. Descendents of many Aboriginal families are also buried here. Listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and the Register of the National Trust of Queensland.