On 23 January 1860 Governor Sir George Ferguson Bowen lay before the Queensland Legislative Council his proposals for the establishment of a permanent Queensland Public Service. Bowen’s vision was modest in scope, with First, Second and Third Class clerks subordinate to a Chief Clerk in the offices of the Colonial Secretary, Attorney-General, Colonial Treasurer, President of the Legislative Council and (shortly) the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Importantly, Bowen insisted that all appointments were to be ‘open to all natural-born or naturalised subjects of the Queen’, with subsequent promotion based on merit rather than patronage.
To this end, he proposed creating a Board of Examiners to oversee appointments and promotions. The Legislative Council fully endorsed Bowen’s proposals, and although all public servants were expected to be ‘young men’, such has been the growth of Queensland’s public service that the gendered barriers have long since fallen.
Queensland State Archives Item ID 1137581, Digital Image ID 2813
Executive Council of Queensland