Written by Rory Scott

Produced for online by Beatriz Alonso Montalvo

Hundreds of people have gathered to remember the 30th anniversary of the start of World Expo 88, held in Brisbane in 1988.

During six months, The World Expo 88 attracted more than 15 million visitors to Queensland south-east, and gave Brisbane the opportunity to show case itself to the rest of the world.

Brisbane had hosted the Commonwealth Games six years earlier so the city was already on the rise.

Worker at the Expo and founder of the website site “Celebrate Eighty Eight” John McGregor credits the events with shaping Brisbane into what it is today.

“As many have said, it certainly put Brisbane on the world map. We’ve grown amazingly ever since.”

Mr McGregor said the anniversary celebrations had already begun and would continue throughout the next six months.

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to regale those memories, and I’m sure there are many private reunions happening throughout the year as well.”

He also pointed out that this anniversary of Expo 88 gives Brisbane a great opportunity to push to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

“Of course, it would be wonderful if we could capitalise on the hosting of Expo 88 with hosting of the Summer Olympic Games.”

Expo visitor Lyn O’Sullivan, said Brisbane would not be like it is today without it.

“Brisbane at the time, there wasn’t a great deal happening so it’s not after the Commonwealth Games but Expo really brought lots of people to Brisbane.”

One of the 90 sculptures that formed the Human Factor series at Expo 88 in Brisbane
One of the 90 sculptures that formed the Human Factor series at Expo 88 in Brisbane

A notable impact on Brisbane was the use of what is now known as Southbank as the grounds to host the event. Southbank is now considered one of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks.

“All the whole South Bank precinct, was derelict before Expo so you certainly wouldn’t on South Bank at night ever. There was nothing. It was just grass.”

More information about Expo 88 anniversary celebrations is available online at celebrate88.com and on their Facebook and Twitter.