Keys to the City of Brisbane

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner presenting the key to the city of Brisbane

The granting of the Keys to the City is a symbolic presentation that represents the highest honour that a city can confer on an individual or an organisation. The tradition of using a key dates back to medieval times, when many cities were enclosed within walled fortifications. The key symbolised the relationship between a city and the king or ruler of the land on which the city was located. When that ruler visited the city for the first time after assuming power, the authorities would formally greet them at the gates to the city and hand over the key to signify that the city was now under his control. The ruler would then return the key to the city authorities to acknowledge that they intended to respect the political authority of those who administered the city.

The Keys to the City of Brisbane is traditionally presented by the Lord Mayor at a Civic Reception to acknowledge the achievement/contribution of an individual or organisation in furthering the ideals of the city. It may also be awarded to recognise outstanding achievement in sport, community or humanitarian work by a Brisbane resident at an International or National level.

Known Recipients of ‘Keys to the City of Brisbane’

  1. Mr Keith Payne - 24 September 1969
  2. Dame Joan Sutherland 1983
  3. Brisbane Bullets – 1985
  4. The Bee Gees  - 1989
  5. The Brisbane Broncos - 30 September 1992
  6. Mr Leroy Loggins - 1992
  7. Her Excellency Leneen Forde AC - 24 June 1997
  8. Savage Garden - 6 February 1998
  9. Uncle Herb Bligh - 12 February 1998
  10. Dr Clem & Mrs Sylvia Jones - 19 February 1998
  11. Mr Pat Rafter - 18 December 1998
  12. Mr Mick Doohan - 18 December 1998
  13. Ms Vicki Wilson OAM - 5 October 1999
  14. Australian Wallabies – 19 November 1999
  15. Major General Peter Cosgrove – 16 March 2000
  16. Queensland Bulls – 27 March 2000
  17. Brisbane Lions – 1 October 2001
  18. Mr Steven Bradbury – 21 March 2002
  19. Powderfinger – 29 November 2003
  20. 2004 Qld Olympic Athletes – 3 September 2004
  21. 2006 Qld Commonwealth Games Team – 29 March 2006
  22. 2006 Qld Winter Olympic Athletes – 29 March 2006
  23. Mr John Knox – 8 November 2006
  24. Scouting Queensland – 4 August 2007
  25. The Very Reverend Father Gregory Sakellariou MBE – 31 March 2008
  26. Queensland Police Pipes & Drums – 23 August 2008
  27. QLD Members of the 2008 Australian Olympic Team – 19 September 2008
  28. QLD Members of the 2008 Australian Paralympic Team – 29 September 2008
  29. Mr Leigh Matthews – 24 November 2008
  30. Ms Jude Munro AO – 10 June 2010
  31. Girl Guides Queensland – 11 November 2010
  32. Brisbane Roar – 15 March 2011
  33. Firebirds Queensland Netball Team – 25 May 2011
  34. St George Queensland Reds – 11 July 2011
  35. Mr Darren Lockyer – 4 September 2011
  36. 2012 Olympic Team – 24 August 2012
  37. 2012 Paralympic Team – 14 September 2012
  38. Brisbane Heat – 22 January 2013
  39. Queensland Police Service – 28 February 2014
  40. Brisbane Bandits – 16 February 2016
  41. 2016 Olympic Team – 2 September 2016
  42. 2016 Paralympic Team – 11 October 2016
  43. Mr Jeff Horn – 6 July 2017
  44. 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games Team – 27 April 2018
  45. Women’s Brisbane Broncos – 5 October 2018
  46. Women’s Brisbane Heat – 6 February 2019
  47. Red Frogs – 13 December 2019
  48. Bushfire Relief Heroes – 7 March 2020
  49. Women’s Brisbane Lions – 24 April 2021.
Last updated: 13 July 2021