Wonderful Warana: Queensland’s Own Spring Festival

In a simpler and more innocent age Brisbane had the Warana Festival, a great annual Spring extravaganza which began in 1962 and included a 2 hour parade through the city streets featuring decorated floats, marching girls, entertainers, and bands, under the blue Brisbane skies.  Warana, which is an aboriginal word for “blue skies”, endured until the early 1990s … Read more

50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum

Lambert McBride's suitcase. Lambert McBride Collection, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

The 1967 Referendum changed the Australian constitution, with the record breaking ‘yes’ vote to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census for the first time. The referendum removed discriminatory clauses from the constitution of 1901, which stated that Indigenous peoples should be a state government responsibility. After the 1967 referendum Aboriginal people … Read more

Freedom Then, Freedom Now (5 May – 19 Nov 2017)

Freedom Then, Freedom Now - 5 May to 1 October at State Library of Queensland, Level 4

From drinking, smoking and gambling to voting, marrying and travelling — and everything in between — what are the freedoms that Queenslanders take for granted? Freedom Then, Freedom Now is an intriguing journey into our recent past exploring the freedoms enjoyed and restricted in Queensland and examines what happens when collective good intersects with individual rights. … Read more

Little Red School Book

Little Red Schoolbook

The Little Red School Book was the work of two Danish schoolteachers, Soren Hansen and Jesper Jensen. It appeared in 1969 and then essentially went viral, travelling around the world and whipping up outrage wherever it went. The first Australian edition, published in 1972, was promptly banned by the Queensland Literature Board of Review. In … Read more

Early rain-making experiments in Queensland

Battery of Stiger Vortex rainmaking guns at Charleville 1902. Clement Wragge on the right. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 85049

In Australia, water can be a scarce commodity, with various areas of the country suffering through prolonged droughts at times. Its no wonder then that several ‘cloud seeding’ (rain-making) experiments have been conducted in Australia. Here are the tales of two unsuccessful Queensland rainmaking experiments – Brisbane, 1882 In January 1882, advertisements began appearing in the … Read more

Vale Carol Lloyd

"Only A Matter Of Time", Railroad Gin (1974). John Oxley Library Collection, State Library of Queensland

This week Queensland lost influential singer-songwriter Carol Lloyd, who passed away in Brisbane after a long illness. Lloyd was part of Brisbane’s music scene during the 1970s as frontwoman of the band Railroad Gin. The band is best known for their 1974 single A Matter Of Time. The single reached the number 1 spot in … Read more