Amiens is a rural village in the Southern Downs region of Queensland with a population of around 250. It is predominantly a fruit and vegetable growing district, however tourism is becoming increasingly important in the area.
Various First Nations tribes are thought to have passed through the area regularly, however the Kambuwal people are believed to have spent considerable time in the area, particularly in the summer months, hunting possums who's skins were then used for trading with other tribal groups.
During the 19th Century, the area was settled by pastoralists, bringing the lucrative sheep industry to the area. Tin was discovered in the area in the mid 1800s, a lucrative industry that was to bring thousands of fortune seekers. Following World War I, the area was designated as the central village for the Pikedale Soldier Settlement, a scheme that sought to establish a fruit industry in the area.
Many names were submitted to the Governor-in-Council for approval. Where there was no well recognized local name, one of aboriginal origin was usually preferred. Mr George D Grant (the surveyor) writing from Thulimbah on the 18th Aug, 1919, suggested the practice be varied in this instance in order to adopt the names of notable battlefields in Gallipoli, France and Palestine.
The names ultimately proposed were “Fleurbaix”, “Pozieres”, “Bullecourt”, "Messines", "Passchendaele", "Bapaume" and “Romani”. As usual these were submitted to the Lands Department and Post Master General. All were approved except “Romani”, because of the similarity to “Roma”. As a replacement, “Cambrai” was suggested, only to find a town of this name was in South Australia. So the third choice, “Amiens” was finally approved.
The Battle of Amiens was a turning point in WWI and Australian troops played an integral role in the allied success. The City of Amiens in France held an important place in the hearts of many returned troops.
Use the links below to guide you to information about the Model Village of Amiens that was created as a central hub for the Pikedale Soldier Settlers.