“The local residents didn’t know what to make of them, so what the Vietnamese people did is what we call spring roll diplomacy; the Vietnamese would make a batch of spring rolls and pass them over the fence to their Aussie neighbours, and consequently all the barriers broke down.
Today it’s a melting pot of cultures – that’s Inala’s strength. It’s always been its strength.
Anyone who comes to Inala, I tell them to come to the Civic Centre. It’s the meeting place – anyone who is anyone goes to the Civic."
When I asked Palaszczuk why Inala has been perceived so poorly over the years, he blamed the Inala Courthouse.
“We had a local courthouse which serviced all of the areas outside of Inala as well, but because of its name people presumed all of the people appearing in court lived here, which was not the case.”
90s: An ideal childhood
Greg Clews, a former Inala resident, spent the first thirty-seven years of his life living in Inala.
“I grew up in a 3-bedroom commission house during the 50s and right through until the 90s,” said Clews.
Caption: The house Clews grew up in. Supplied by Greg Clews.
“The government built Inala for low income residents who relied on living in housing commission. Over the years we have seen different races come to live in the area – Poms, Italians, and Greeks,” he said.
“I loved growing up in Inala. There was always something to do. I used to do Scouts on Friday nights when I was young, and when I got older I had a great bunch of mates who I used to play footy with at the Inala Leagues Club."
Caption: Clews' footy team. Supplied by Greg Clews.
"We loved to go out socialising. You know, drinking and chatting to girls,” Clews laughs.
Clews has always been a hard worker and credits Inala for instilling “manners, respect, and a good work ethic” in him.
“My first job was at the fish and chip shop on Magnolia Street, and I also worked a second job on the side at the Inala pub drive thru to pay for my wife’s engagement ring!”
2000s: A little rough around the edges
Brisbane journalist, Myjanne Jensen, moved to Inala when she was fifteen and has fond memories of her time growing up there.
Caption: Photo from Myjanne's (left) blog post.
Supplied by Myjanne Jensen.
“I worked at the Bi-Lo in the Inala Civic Centre and built a good rapport with a lot of my regular customers who would tell me stories,” Jensen said.
“We moved to Inala when I was fifteen due to a family crisis. We didn’t have a lot of money so I didn’t do a whole lot of extracurricular activities. I was just working and playing with my sibling at home,” she said.