In August 1863, a ship called the Don Juan sailed from Erromango, New Hebrides now Vanuatu into Moreton Bay and on board were 12 crew and 67 islanders. 150 years later, in 2013, we remembered their journey and all those who followed, in an effort to keep their stories alive for future generations. South Sea Islanders connection with this landscape over the last 150 years has been filled with its fair share of challenges. However through adversity we have continued to make valuable and significant contributions to Queensland and Australia. Unfortunately as time passes the markings our ancestors and forefathers have left in the landscape are slowly disappearing along with the memories and the connections they shared with people in various places along our eastern and western coastlines, rivers, creeks, to the open plains of the outback. 2013 was an interesting journey for many Australian South Sea Islanders. It was a time for us to sharing and creating an open dialogue about Australian South Sea Islander history, heritage and culture. We talked about a shared history in the sugar, farming, railways, mining and wartime. We shared stories about where we gathered with friends and families, in sadness and happiness; where and how we lived, worked and worshiped. Australian South Sea Islander artists shared with us their exploration of their South Sea Islander identity through art, music and film. Krishna Nahow, Luther Cora, Jasmine Busby- Togo, Gemma Tamock, Georgia Corowa and Marcus Corowa shared with us some of their creative energy. Burden Child, Namaraca Corowa and the River Rats were also performances not to be forgotten. We had many visitors representing the home islands including Mars Melto, the Leweton Cultural Group, Vanuatu and Chief David and Richard from the paramount Chiefs in Vanuatu. Communities throughout Queensland commemorated the occasion with exhibitions, symposiums, digital stories, workshops, music, park naming ceremonies, tours, walks and marches, all in the name of recognising and acknowledging that last 150 years of contributions made by Australian South Sea Islanders and their ancestors. Telling local stories through their own lived experiences. This blog now comes to an end, but a big thank you to all the authors for making a contribution to the Australian South Sea Islander Blog over the last 12 months. This blog is a great example of the diverse activities that happened for the 150th year. A big thank you also goes out to everyone who shared their stories for others to hear, and all those people who participated in events across Queensland and in New South Wales. I know things do come to an end, however I know that this will be here for longevity for all to share and read. Remember you can find more information at the; State Library of Queensland Australian South Sea Islander Showcase, just click here. Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, QAGoMATV Sugar Interviews just click here. Queensland State Archives Australian South Sea Islander web resource just click here ASSI150 project web resource, just click here It all helps to keep our Australian South Sea Islander history, heritage and culture alive for future generations. Imelda Miller, Assistant Curator, Queensland Museum
Another blog from our guest blogger Normana Wight. HURRY! Currently, there is a wonderful little exhibition of the work of Australian artist, Fred Williams (1924 -1982). This is a rich endowment of goodies belonging to the Queensland Art Gallery; mostly a gift from former director of the National Gallery of Australia, James Mollison. There are mostly prints; a large collection of etchings and some lithographs. These are supported by a handful of characteristic and varied paintings. If you have seen this show, and need to know more, pop across to the State Library, where there are some appropriate books. For example; Patrick McCaughey’s definitive book, Fred Williams, includes a lithograph,’Waterfall.’ which the library has framed. There is also a bound, handsome book Fred Williams : music hall etchings 1954-1956, with a number of prints made from the original plates, printed at Lyre Bird Press in 1997. As you know, prints and books have a close relationship, historically. When I was a student at RMIT in the 1950’s Printmaking was called ‘Art of the Book.’ As you probably also know, Williams was the artist who finally ‘nailed’ the Australian landscape for the second half of the 20th century. Since then, landscape has moved right along, for example with indigenous painters like Rover Thomas, or the computer manipulated works of Daniel Crooks.
That's right, Now Hear This: Love is a four letter word is completely booked out. But never fear, another event is near! If storytelling is your thing, then you'll be very interested in the following events: Yarn: stories spun in Brisbane. Celebrating World Storytelling Day, this event explores all things gods and monsters. From acts of divine intervention, to paranormal activity, to the bogeyman under the bed, these stories are based on personal experience and are retold throughout the ages as they resonate with experiences of our own. Listen in to six true stories of the good, the bad, and the unexplained. Date - Thursday, 20 March 2014 Time - 7:00pm - 8:30pm Venue - The Library Cafe, Level 1, State Library of Queensland Now Hear This: Reconcile. To fight, to forgive, to forget; come together as stories of reconciliation are shared in the final Now Hear This event at SLQ. Eight randomly selected storytellers will vie for the position of Slam Champion, judged by three teams from the audience. The winner will have their story played on ABC Radio National. Date - Friday, 2 May 2014 Time - 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start (storyteller registrations open at 6:30pm) Venue - SLQ Gallery, Level 2, State Library of Queensland Head to slq.eventbrite.com now to reserve your seat at these amazing storytelling events.