Dr. Jackie Huggins delivered the annual Loris Williams Memorial Lecture at State Library of Queensland last Tuesday night. Nearly 100 people came to remember Loris and to share their own stories.
One theme that emerged was the extent of government records about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland, “unparalleled anywhere in the world” according to Dr. Huggins. Ironically, the Orwellian surveillance which produced these detailed files has made it easier for aboriginal people in Queensland to trace their families, but they can be very painful for people to read. Getting access has also been a long, painful process for the individuals involved and their families. As the first Aboriginal person from Queensland to gain professional archival qualifications, this was a fight in which Loris was actively involved and it is an important part of her legacy.
The lecture this year was hosted by the Australian Society of Archivists, in conjunction with the International Council on Archives Congress