A Golden Opportunity for Gold Coast Community Museums

Guest Blogger: Josh Tarrant - Museum Development Officer- South East Queensland Region

Recently, members of the Gold Coast Heritage Voice network were treated to a behind the Scenes tour of both the John Oxley Library and the Southbank campus of the Queensland Museum.
Brian Randall , Anne Scheu and staff at SLQ were generous enough to retrieve a large number of books, posters, maps, photographs, and ephemera all specifically related to the Gold Coast region from their collection stores for the group to view.

Later, Reuben Hillier showed the group through the library repository where sheer magnitude of the collection and the challenges of providing for an ever-growing collection became apparent. The careful storage and order is undoubtably a key factor in the John Oxley Library being able to respond so quickly to collection viewing requests- largely within the hour!

Gold Coast Heritage Voice members with Rachel Spano in the conservation lab at State Library during the group’s visit to the Cultural precinct.

Rachel Spano greeted us at the SLQ conservation lab, where a number of specialist conservators were at work on fragile paper based objects. The lab has a range of specialist equipment at hand, including some fanciful looking gilding and embossing tools. There was an interesting conversation about the principles behind the appropriate choice of conservation or restoration in a library context, which provided some interesting philosophical insights for comparison from a museum standpoint.

Sue from the Kirra Hill heritage group gets the all clear from conservation!

At the Museum, Nicholas Hadnutt treated the group to an in-depth examination of the Social History collection stores and the treasures that it holds. While some elements of the collection elicited nostalgic reactions and others confirmed a long history of collecting, all asserted the important role of Queensland Museum as responsible custodians of significant Queensland histories.
A visit to the conservation lab provided an eye-opening experience, with the opportunity to see the painstakingly precise nature and results of conservation work. Textiles Conservator Dr Michael Marendy shared some simple, yet effective techniques for preserving costumes, while Jenny Blakely and Caroline O’Rorke showcased some current ANZAC related objects being treated.

The visit was facilitated by the Museum Development Office of South East Queensland, Dr Kevin Rains and Jane Austen at Gold Coast City Council, Nick Hadnutt and Jenny Blakely at Queensland Museum Southbank, and Anne Scheu at the State Library of Queensland. A big thank you to you all!


Queensland Places – Wild Irish Girl Reef, Mine and Crushing Works, Palmer River

The Palmer River Gold Field followed a similar pattern to many other gold mining fields.  Beginning as rich sources of alluvial gold, the fields then evolved into surface or deep reef mining areas, with heavy machinery needed to extract payable levels of gold.  In the case of the Palmer River area, this was taking place by the 1890s, with the Wild Irish Girl Mine and Battery established to access quartz reefs under the main escarpment of the Conglomerate Range.  Other similar mining ventures nearby included the Best Friend and the Bal Gammon mines.

In 1894, the mine’s operators, John Trainor and James Burchall, had struck a rich reef, encouraging greater investment in the venture.  By 1897, more than four hundred ounces of gold had been retrieved but yields were to subsequently decline.  During World War One there was a brief revival and limited mining and crushing were undertaken and nearby mines used the Wild Irish Girl Mill to crush their ore.  In 1930, Sam Eliott purchased the mill and associated infrastructure and continued working the mine and mill for the next thirty years.  It is said that Sam Elliott was to be the last hard rock miner to operate on the Palmer River field.  He died in 1986 and is buried in the Maytown cemetery.

Lone Star Gap, Conglomerate Range, near Wild Irish Girl, c. 1930, State Library of Queensland Neg. No. 69263

Lone Star Gap, Conglomerate Range, near Wild Irish Girl, c. 1930

Remnants of the mining that took place in the area can still be seen today, mainly comprising what is left of the Native Girl, Friendly Girl and Wild Irish Girl mines and associated mining infrastructure.  This includes both open cut as well as underground workings.  As well, there are remnants of the early alluvial work which took place along the creek, together with various water channels and a stone lined waterchase.  The remains of various mine buildings and huts can also be seen.

In acknowledgement of the importance of the site in terms of Queensland’s history and development, the remnants of the Wild Irish Girl Mine and Battery are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

This image, dating from around 1930, shows the Lone Star Gap, Conglomerate Range, not far from the Wild Irish Girl Mine.

Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland




Podcast: Johnstone Gallery (A night in the JOL)

The Johnstone Gallery operated in Brisbane from 1950–72, a seminal time in the development of an audience for contemporary art in Australia.

The gallery represented major Australian artists including Charles Blackman, Sidney Nolan, Donald Friend, Arthur Boyd, Ray Crooke and Margaret Olley.


Brian and Marjorie Johnstone with Margaret Olley. From SLQ collection

Brian and Marjorie Johnstone with Margaret Olley

Gallery owners Brian and Marjorie Johnstone were well known for their friendliness, taste and fabulous exhibition openings. Marjorie bequeathed the records of the gallery to State Library of Queensland and they are among our most valuable resources on art in Queensland.

Listen to ABC Radio National journalist Ian Townsend as he leads a discussion with gallerist and former Assistant Director of the Johnstone Gallery Victor Mace, and Simon Elliott, Assistant Director Curatorial and Educational Services, National Gallery of Australia.

You can peruse the Johnstone Gallery Archives via our One Search catalogue.

[Recorded on 13 July 2014 at the State Library of Queensland]

A long ride on a tall bicycle : Sydney to Rockhampton in 1884

No doubt many readers have been following the recent Tour de France but the impressive performances of the riders in that classic event in many ways pale to insignificance when compared to the epic ride of George E. C. Timewell in 1884.  The ‘road’ from Sydney to Brisbane and on towards Rockhampton was dreadful enough in the 1930′s, as described in Blue Coast Caravan.  That trip being undertaken by car.  How much more difficult must the journey have been in 1884, travelling by penny-farthing bicycle?

Long distance cyclist, G. E. B. Timewell, 1885, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 41581

Long distance cyclist, G. E. B. Timewell, 1884

Timewell was an 18 year old Englishman, originally from Bristol, and a member of the Suburban Bicycle Club in Sydney.  It seems that a number of Sydney cyclists were planning to go to Brisbane for a competition against the Queenslanders.  Most would travel by the usual means and board a steamer for the journey by sea but Timewell and his friend E. C. Hughes decided to attempt the overland journey on their trusty bicycles.  Timewell set off from George Street, Sydney on Saturday, 30th August, 1884 but his friend Hughes was delayed and then suffered a broken bearing in his rear wheel which required him to return for a spare machine.  He then took a steamer to Newcastle and caught up with his friend at Singleton, from which point the two traveled together as far as Brisbane.

The Brisbane Courier covered the long trek in some detail in an article published on 15 September 1884, shortly after the arrival of the adventurers in Brisbane.  This section picks up the riders as they approach the Queensland border.

The men were in excellent spirits, but Timewell was suffering from a cough and cold, contracted a few days before. The dust of Tenterfield was shaken off at 7:15, and along bad roads they went on their way anything but rejoicing. Bonoo-Bonoo was passed at 10.30, London Bridge, Tenterfield Gap, was crossed about noon, and Bookookoorara was reached at 1.30. Whilst at dinner they hear the pleasant news that several teams were on ahead cutting up the track. The knowledge that the Queensland border was two and a half miles away bore down everything else. A race to the border line now took place, and at 3 p.m. they passed over the invisible line which separates New South Wales from Queensland. Timewell being about half-a-dozen yards ahead of Hughes. They appear to have rather astonished the teamsters on the way, and one or two of the “oldest inhabitants” stared blankly at the “‘new-fangled machines,” for it was the first time a bicycle bell had ever wakened the echoes in the bush thereabouts. Having carved the rough initials of their names on one of the border posts, they made tracks for the Hawkesbury Hotel, Sugar Loaf, and their “first drink in Queensland.” Stanthorpe was reached at 4.45 p.m. on Wednesday last, and that evening the first news of their progress reached Brisbane. The last four miles to Stanthorpe were covered during a heavy shower which made the cyclists wet through. Warwick was reached on Thursday afternoon at 3.30, and Allora at night, but not the latter until the trials of travelling through black soil had been experienced. In consequence of this pleasant road they had to walk for four and a quarter hours, and it was pitch dark before they reached the town. 

Once in Brisbane the intrepid travellers took part in the annual sports day of the Brisbane Bicycle Club, on this occasion taking the form of an inter-colonial competition.  Hughes took out several handicap events and subsequently returned to Sydney by steamer, Timewell continuing his journey in the direction of Rockhampton.  The Rockhampton Capricornian has a description of the event.

The annual sports of the Brisbane Bicycle Club, held here on Saturday last, were by far the most successful of the kind which have ever taken place in Brisbane. They were witnessed by between three and four thousand people. The unusual interest taken in these sports was due in a great measure to the presence of six or seven cyclists from Sydney, two of whom — Timewell and Hughes — have accomplished the unprecedented feat of travelling overland on their machines, the former from Sydney, and the latter from Newcastle. Mr.Bennet, the New South Wales champion, won all the principal events with comparative ease, and his clever and graceful riding was greatly admired. There is, however, a fly in the ointment. Amongst the prizes contested for, was the St. Jacob’s Oil Trophy, which has to be won three times in succession, each event to take place within six months of the other. Mr. Johnson, the Brisbane champion, has already won this trophy once ; and as the New South Wales men are not at all likely to comply with the conditions and win it three times it was thought that it would have been a graceful act on their part to stand out. But they are the guests of the Brisbane Club, the members of which have “a down” on Johnson, who is a seceeder from their ranks ; and in consequence of the pressure brought to bear by that club, Bennet started in the race, and of course won it. This morning Timewell started from Brisbane on an overland ride to Rockhampton.

Queensland cyclists G. H. Perry and J. E. Harris with friends posing with a penny-farthing, ca. 1884, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 41542

Timewell and Harris reclining with two other Brisbane cyclists standing behing

George Timewell continued his journey north in the company of the president of the Brisbane Bicycle Club, J. E. Harris, who accompanied him as far as Maryborough.  The Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser reported their arrival on October 1.

Messrs. G. E. B. Timewell (Sydney) and J. E. Harris (Brisbane), amateur bicyclists of considerable repute in the respective southern cities to which they belong, arrived in Maryborough last night. The first-named gentleman has pedalled overland all the way from Sydney, and was met in Brisbane by Mr. J. E. Harris, who accompanied him to this town via Gympie. Although they had been ‘pegging away’ continuously all the day from Gympie they appeared not to be in the least fatigued, which speaks well for their powers of endurance and skill. They have kindly furnished us with a copy of their log from Gympie, and also a statement of their future plans, as follows Left Gympie at 6 o’clock ; made 7 mile gate (railway crossing), at 7-10, and arrived at Gunalda for breakfast at 9-25, distance 20 miles ; left again at 10.15 and made Gundiah at 12-30 for dinner, distance 31 miles ; left at 1.45 , reached Tiaro 3 o’clock, had a refresher and some fruit at Victoria Hotel, and left again at 3.30 and reached Maryborough 6.30. Were met about 3 miles from town by several local cyclists, and escorted to Melbourne Hotel. Mr. Waller, a Gympie cyclist, accompanied them all the way. The roads throughout were quite a treat after the very hilly and stony country between Brisbane and Gympie. The machine ridden by Mr. J. E. Harris is a 56 inch club roadster, and Mr. Timewell’s a 52 inch special club, both from Messrs. James Martin and Co., George street, Sydney. We must not forget to mention that before leaving Gympie the cyclists were presented with a splendid specimen of gold at the Theatre on Monday 30th inst. Mr. J. E. Harris will not be able to travel farther north than Maryborough as he is obliged to get back to business ; however, we are pleased to state that Mr. Godson will accompany Mr. Timewell as far as Bundaberg rather than allow the Sydney cyclist to travel alone. Mr. Timewell intends starting hence to-morrow (Thursday) morning, and is due at Bundaberg that evening.

Overland rider, Mr Timewell posing on a penny farthing at a photographic studio, Brisbane, 1884, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 7610

Overland rider, Mr Timewell posing on a penny farthing at a photographic studio, Brisbane, 1884

Timewell’s arrival in Rockhampton at the end of his epic ride appears to have be somewhat anticlimactic according to this article by a Rockhampton reporter in the Brisbane Courier.

Timewell, the bicyclist, arrived here on Friday afternoon, and owing to local cyclists not being apprised of the hour or probable time of his arrival, they did not turn out to meet him, as it was their intention to have done. He arrived here unannounced, but soon the news spread that he had at last reached the end of his long over- land journey from Sydney. On Friday evening he was interviewed by several prominent supporters of sport, and on Saturday evening was entertained at a luncheon in the Belmore Arms. There were about twenty-five gentlemen present, the mayor in the chair, and  the evening was passed pleasantly. The mayor  was not backward in eulogising the youthful  adventurer, and he congratulated him on the accomplishment of a feat that had been unknown hitherto in the annals of cycling.  The evening was most enjoyable, and the reception accorded Mr. Timewell was most cordial. His visit to Rockhampton will give an impetus to wheeling in Rockhampton, and  as a track has been formed at the Cremorne Gardens I have very little doubt a club will be formed at an early date. The first sports on wheels open here to-morrow afternoon, the proprietors of the gardens having offered a five-guinea prize for a five-mile race. Timewell will remain here a few days longer, and will probably take passage by steamer for Sydney. It is rumoured he is willing to reside here for a few months if a situation is offered him, and if such is brought about cycling will become as popular almost as any other sport.

Timewell had traveled over 1300 miles (2100 km) in 22 riding days, averaging 57 miles per day (92 km) over rough tracks and barely formed roads still having the energy to win the 5 mile race in Rockhampton as reported in the Brisbane Courier during a stopover in Brisbane while returning to Sydney by steamer.  Timewell’s feat was certainly an Australian record for distance cycling but not a world record as an American cyclist had previously ridden from San Francisco to New York although you could certainly argue that Timewell’s was the tougher journey.

MR.G. E. B. Timewell returned from Rockhampton by the steamer Eurimbla, en route for Sydney. He completed his long overland ride of 1360 miles from Sydney to Rockhampton on Friday, the 10th instant. The average for twenty-two days’ actual travelling was about fifty-seven miles. Mr. Timewell speaks highly of the hospitality he met with in Gympie, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, and indeed at every township and station along the road. Notably among the latter he refers to a hearty reception he met with at Rodd’s Bay Station (Mr. A. Norton’s, M.L.A.), in the Gladstone district, where his arrival had been anticipated in consequence of special instructions from Mr. Norton. Before reaching Rockhampton he had to wade the Boyne River. At a bicycle sports gathering at Rockhampton last Wednesday, Mr. Timewell won the five miles race, and was second in a mile handicap, in which he gave Letsom – an English medal bicyclist-about 200 yards start. He leaves for Sydney on Wednesday.

G. E. B. Timewell with a penny-farthing, 1885, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 41582

George Timewell - overland cyclist, 1884

George Timewell returned to Sydney and out of Queensland history but not before visiting a Brisbane photographic studio where he was immortalized in the portraits that inspired this article.

You have the opportunity to get on your own bike and learn more about Queensland history and shop for retro outfits by joining one of the library’s Retro Rides events in September.  These events are part of the Hot Modernism exhibition currently showing at the Library.

Simon Miller – Library Technician, State Library of Queensland

Vale Blair Wilson

Brisbane architect Blair Wilson recently passed away, aged 83. Born in 1930, Blair began his architectural education in 1949, attending the Brisbane Central Technical College and the University of Queensland. He followed in the footsteps of his father Ronald Martin Wilson and grandfather Alexander Brown Wilson, who founded Wilson Architects in 1884.

Blair was principal of the Wilson Architects, one of Australia’s oldest continuous architectural practices, for 40 years, stepping down from the role in 1995. During that time he was responsible for several landmark Queensland buildings, including the Greek Orthodox Church at South Brisbane, the Stanthorpe Civic Centre, Kindler Theatre at Queensland Institute of Technology and La Boîte Theatre in Petrie Terrace.

In developing the exhibition Hot Modernism staff from State Library and UQ School of Architecture, along with film-maker Dean Saffron, interviewed Blair at La Boîte Theatre earlier this year. In this video he talks about using “reject bricks” to make this landmark theatre-in-the-round, how Finnish design influenced him deeply and how the theatre provided a social hub for Brisbane residents.

La Boite Theatre with Blair Wilson from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.

If you want to learn more about Blair’s contribution to Queensland’s architectural history, visit Hot Modernism until 12 October. You can also read and listen to these extensive interviews (part 1 and part 2) with Blair and his wife Beth, as conducted by Deborah van der Plaat, Janina Gosseye and Andrew Wilson as part of an ARC Linkage project with UQ School of Architecture.

Ticket office at the La Boite Theatre

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and the New National Trust Significant Tree Database/App

Guest blogger: Margaret Munro – Volunteer, City Botanic Gardens

National Trusts of Australia: Register of Significant Trees

App for National Trusts of Australia: Register of Significant Trees

Queensland has many outstanding trees. The 2,000 year old Antarctic Beech Trees (Nothofagus moorei) on the Springbrook plateau – relics of Gondwana, beautiful Norfolk Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) which cluster along the coastline and 500 year old Strangler Figs (Ficus macrocarpa) in the Atherton Tableland rainforests are just a few examples. However, to see some of our state’s significant historic trees, one needs to go no further than the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens – sometimes referred to as the ‘Cradle of Horticulture in Queensland’.

A visit to the Gardens in Alice Street could find you standing under the first cultivated Macadamia Nut Tree (Macadamia integrifolia) which resulted from trials in 1858 and lead to the development of Australia’s only native plant-based export industry. A stroll along the river path will find you gazing up at more than a score of mature Bunya Pines (Araucaria bidwillii) which were planted between 1858 and 1867 by the Garden’s first curator, Walter Hill, to honour John Carne Bidwill who is commemorated in their scientific name.

On the opposite side of the Gardens, adjacent to Gardens Point QUT, the path leads past a Cook Pine (Araucaria columnaris) which, at approximately 45 meters, is the tallest tree in the Gardens. This tree was planted in 1868 by Queen Victoria’s oldest son, Prince Albert, later King Edward VII. Following its planting, Prince Albert survived an assassination attempt in Sydney on his journey home. Also along this path you will pass one of the most magnificent tree that you could ever hope to see. It is an Indian Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis) whose large prop roots have spread out and entered the ground to support its new branches forming a forest of interconnecting ‘trunks’ altogether measuring an astounding 49 meters in circumference.

National Trusts of Australia: Register of Significant Trees

App showing significant tree in the City Botanic Gardens

The National Trusts of Australia have developed a new database/application to be officially launched in Melbourne on 11 August. This app is for use on all computers, tablets and mobile phones and its purpose is to help people locate, find information about, or nominate for identification, significant trees around Australia. Volunteers and staff at the National Trust of Queensland have uploaded approximately half of the known records of significant trees in Queensland and hope to encourage individuals and groups to submit new nominations to the website. The website’s address is www.trusttrees.org.au.

Sharing stories from Multicultural Communities

“What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilisations and cultures, progress weakens life and favours death.” – Octavio Paz

“Infinite diversity in infinite combinations… symbolising the elements that create truth and beauty. - Commander Spock, Star Trek

Migration and globalisation have brought diversity to societies all around the world. Although policies of assimilation have been implemented with the view to create a melting pot whereby one culture and people emerge, such notions were (rightly) discredited by the sheer reality that cultures survive!

And thank goodness for that. Diversity brings a richness of experience and perspective, of history, language and culture and, well, you bloody beaut tucker!

Worth lining up for (and wish I was there!). What a feast at the Africa Day celebrations festival, Rockhampton. Image by Dean Saffron.

Queensland is a multicultural State. It  is as true of its cities as it is of its regional and rural communities. These communities have not been passive participants in the development of Queensland, but active members contributing to our history and future way of life.

Of course life is constantly in a state of change, not to mention a state of flux.  Similarly, culture is ever evolving and changing making the representation of diversity and our cultural interactions more complex. Yet, the sharing of cultural information provides us with the effective means to interact and cooperate with one another.

Grape stomping competition (looks like fun!) at the Australian-Italian Festival, Ingham. Image by Sarah Scragg.

There are many ways that we transmit cultural information from direct learning to casual observation. Multicultural festivals are ways in which we directly transmit cultural information for they are not only places which allow for a public celebration showcasing diverse ethnic cultures of local communities; but they are also places for dialogue and exchange, helping us negotiate the notions of identity and belonging, as well as exclusion and disadvantage.

They reveal to us where cultures  merge and diverge, creating reciprocally beneficial experiences and relationships in the process.

The gorgeous Ka Maeva Cook Island dance group at the The Pacific Unity Festival, Logan. Image by Reuben Stafford.

Through a “Your Community Heritage Program’ grant, from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian Government, we embarked on a project entitled “Sharing stories from Multicultural Communities.” We hoped to highlight just a few of the wonderful multicultural festivals which are held throughout Queensland. The result was a rich collection of photographs and oral histories from established and new migrant groups sharing their culture through festivals.

The 29203 Sharing Stories from Multicultural Communities Photo Essays and Oral Histories, 2013-2014 is available on our online catalogue.  See the Link to the record and the Link to the digital item .

There is also a  multicultural showcase for this collection on our website. It showcases only some of the images that are available in their entirety through our online catalogue. It also includes the oral histories.

Thanks to Sarah Scragg, Reuben Stafford and Dean Saffron who completed the brilliant photo essays and Jan Cattoni, Jennifer Barrkman and Hamish Sewell for recording the wonderful oral histories. Thanks also to the organisers of the Australian-Italian Festival, The Pacific Unity Festival, Queensland and Africa Day celebrations,  for their cooperation and assistance!

Zenovia Pappas – Contemporary Collecting Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Queensland Places – Keiraville, Ipswich

This grand Ipswich residence, located in Roderick Street, has long been a part of the city’s history, dating from 1886. It is believed to have been built for the Cribb family by local building contractor, John Mackenzie, who originally acquired the land upon which Keiraville stands, in 1884. It is not clear who actually planned the building, but it is likely that the design was developed in close consultation with the Cribb family, as they purchased it from Mackenzie soon after its completion.

Keiraville is a single storey building of rendered masonry which, apart from some minor changes, remains largely unchanged since it was first constructed. Fortunately, most of the changes have only impacted on the rear of the building leaving its front appearance intact. The home remained in the Cribb family for many years before being used as a manse, for around forty years from 1938, by the adjoining Congregational Church. It should be noted that this new use is entirely logical, given that the Cribb family were prominent members of the Congregational Church. Later, Keiraville was used as the local headquarters for the Blue Nurses as well as eventually being used as a centre by Lifeline.

Keiraville’s importance within Ipswich’s history and development has been recognised by its inclusion in the Queensland Heritage Register as well within Ipswich itself, by an Ipswich City Council historical marker.

Keiraville, Ipswich. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 195363

Keiraville, Ipswich

This photograph shows Keiraville in around 1900, with what appears to be a newly replaced roof and wide verandahs surrounded with lattice work, giving it an attractive presence in the local streetscape.

Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Dinner

Business Leaders' Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, 2014

Business Leaders' Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, 2014

On Thursday 17 July I had the pleasure of attending the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. In its sixth year and with more than 800 guests, the Hall of Fame inducted six more Queensland leaders, businesses and families at the gala event. Her Excellency The Honourable Ms Penelope Wensley AC, presented the awards to inductees. Professor Jan Thomas, Chair of the Library Board of Queensland accepted the prize on behalf of Queensland’s first businessman, John Williams (1797– 1892). Other inductees were: Teys Australia, Sir Vincent Fairfax CMG, RACQ, Bank of Queensland and Sarah Jenyns. You can find out more about each inductee online.

Jo and Kym Fort  from the Birdsville Hotel receive the Queensland Business History Award 2014.

Jo and Kym Fort from the Birdsville Hotel receive the Queensland Business History Award 2014.

The Queensland Business Leaders History Award was awarded to the Birdsville Hotel for excellence in its business record keeping and the public exhibition of the iconic hotel’s history. We hope that awards of this type encourage other businesses to be aware of their history and consider how they document that history as it happens.

Sponsored by Crowe Horwath and many other organisations, the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame is a joint venture between State Library of Queensland, Queensland Library Foundation and QUT Business School.

Mary Kajewski - Directorate Support Officer, State Library of Queensland


Indigenous Languages Blog Launched

The State Library has launched a new Indigenous Languages Blog!

SLQ Indigenous Languages Blog.

This space will be a portal for State Library, IKCs, Indigenous Language Centres, Community Language Workers and others to share and network about Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The Categories for the Blog reflect some of the key themes for Indigenous languages: Resources, Training, Contacts, etc.

Language Resources.

The Resources section will provide useful Indigenous Language resources and links to help community groups and language workers with their research. In addition to highlighting resources within the State Library collections, this element of the Blog will serve to focus on community-based resources and collections.

Railways map of southeast Queensland showing the Aboriginal tribes in the region.

Within the Collections category, items within the State Library collections will be showcased. For example, the above Map is from OM73-20F J Watson Papers and identifies “The Aboriginal tribes of south-east Queensland – with map showing their lingual divisions”. This item accompanies Watson’s work ‘Vocabularies of four representative tribes of South Eastern Queensland: with grammatical notes thereof and some notes on manners and customs, also, a list of Aboriginal place names and their derivations’.

Launch of Yugambeh Language App.

State Library and community activities will be highlighted in the Events category. This space will allow IKCs, language Centres, Community Groups etc to share news of upcoming events such as language workshops, culture love programs, etc.  For example, the above image is from the launch of the Yugambeh Language App, held in April 2013.

Norman Tayley presenting at Research Discovery Workshop.

State Library holds regular research activities, including Indigenous Languages Research Discovery Workshops – these will be a key component of the Workshops section. In addition, key outcomes or findings from workshops will also be presented here. Again, community groups are also able to provide accounts of their local/regional workshops as well as language research activities.

Philip Brown - Guest Blogger.

Guest Bloggers are encouraged to submit posts on their language activities within this section. State Library is aware there is a range of community language activities in place across Queensland to preserve and maintain Indigenous languages; these range from small individual or family activities to those coordinated via language centres through to larger-scale projects supported by external organisations/collecting institutions. State Library invites language workers, IKC Coordinators and community members to submit a Blog Post about their work with language; e.g. recording language, community resource development, language stories, etc.

Meston Notebook - Birds.

Digitised Content identifies language material that has been digitised and made available for community access. In addition to State Library, other collecting institutions such as University of Queensland, AIATSIS and State Library of NSW have significant digitisation projects underway.  The above image is an extract from the Meston Vocabulary Notebooks which were recently digitised and made available online via the State Library’s website.

Sandra (Injinoo IKC).

The IKCs also have a section on the Indigenous Languages Blog to share news and events within their communities.

Kabi Kabi kinship terms.

It is envisaged that the Indigenous Languages Blog will be a dynamic space with news and updates on a regular basis. State Library welcomes your input into the Indigenous Languages Blog and looks forward to supporting your language journeys.


Desmond Crump – Indigenous Languages Researcher, State Library of Queensland

State Library’s Indigenous Languages Webpages

References and Further Reading

OM73-20 F J Watson Papers

OM64-17 Archibald Meston Papers

REFJ 499.15 wat Vocabularies of four representative tribes of South Eastern Queensland.