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A Convict Quadrille

Apr 28, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

In 1831, the handsome convict John Bushell came to the Moreton Bay penal settlement and found a very special role in the colony.

John was a fine young gentlemen who after receiving the best education that London could offer, toured the continent to become masterful in languages, and studied under the finest masters of music and singing. When the family business failed, John fell into bad company, leading to a conviction of theft and transportation.

On arriving in Moreton Bay, the military officers in charge of the Settlement heard about of his accomplishments, and they “gladly availed themselves of the opportunity to improve themselves: he became a great favourite, and taught them music, dancing, drawing, fencing, and French, Italian, Spanish and German languages to their great delight, better than these branches could be taught in London.”  

One of the arts John taught to the military officers and their families were the most fashionable dances of the day: the Spanish Quadrille, and German Waltz.

An exceptional way to share John’s story is to experience the very dances that he taught to the families of early Moreton Bay. What better way to bring heritage to life!

Join us to learn the Spanish Quadrille, German waltz, and other dances popular in 1831. You’re welcome to come in costume, though this is not a requirement. All the dances will be taught by dance historian, Dr Heather Clarke. Live music by Phillip’s Dog.

We’re proudly part of Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Healthy & Active.
In partnership with Bush Traditions Inc.

Plan Your Visit


Hills District Community Centre, 291 Dawson Parade, Arana Hills, Queensland, 4054

Open Hours

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM


(07) 3289 4708


Entry Fees

Adult - $4