Before European settlement, two Aboriginal groups lived in the Brisbane and Ipswich areas, the Jagera and the Turrbal tribes who spoke the Yugara language. Exactly where the territorial boundaries lay between the two groups is unknown, however, the Jagera traditionally occupied the areas south of the Brisbane River while the Turrbal primarily lived north of the river.
The region around the Wolston and Centenary creeks was the home of the Yerongpan clan known to occupy the Oxley and surrounding creeks. In 1823, lost cedar cutters, Pamphlet, Finnegan and Parsons were the first Europeans to make observations of this clan. They found two Aboriginal canoes tied at the mouth of Oxley Creek, which they then named Canoe Creek. The canoes were for the use by those wishing to cross the creek when travelling east and west along the south bank of the Brisbane River.
Later, in 1828 Cunningham and Fraser found Aboriginal huts in the vicinity of the Oxley and Wolston catchments boundary.
The only documented evidence of an Aboriginal site in the catchments is a bora ring on the banks of Sandy Creek, which now can be found at the end of Kertes Road, Camira. However, a site with a cave in a sandstone escarpment on the Brisbane River at Pullen Reach (Westlake) was identified by the late Neville Bonner as being a significant site for Aboriginal peoples when he visited there with local residents circa 1996 (E. Parker 2009, pers. comms.)
The catchment, with its rainforests, eucalypt forests and connection to the Brisbane River would have provided a source of fresh water and food for the local Aboriginal people. The rainforests yielded yams, black beans and wild figs, all of which still grow along the creeks today.