“The Library is a space to just thrive, feel safe and be creative.” – Indigo’s story

Meet Indigo, one of our regular visitors to State Library of Queensland.

Girl holding skateboard

Indigo – image taken by State Library staff member

“My name is Indigo and originally, I came to Australia as a refugee war orphan at the end of the Vietnam war. My life began in an orphanage in Vietnam and I was adopted into an Australian family. I grew up here on the northern beaches in Sydney. It took a long time to try to work out where I fitted into Australian life. Part of the way how I did that was a masters degree at the University of Technology of Sydney, in sociology, during which I studied Vietnamese adoptees from around the world.

I also got a fellowship in the University of Massachusetts in Boston to work with scholars from around the world which were trying to make sense of the Vietnam war and how those babies fit in their new countries.

Then I did my PHD at UQ. I moved up here after I finished my masters and I got a scholarship to study adoption again, but this time I studied Queensland’s adopted children from Africa, Asia and America asking what’s it like for the parents?

Now I use the library to do skateboarding research! Because I’m a skateboarder, I’ve used my sociological training to ask interesting questions about what it means to be a female skateboarder, an older skateboarder and a mum who skateboards; and I’ve been looking at older generations and what it means to be older in the youth culture.

I look at what sort of historical figures in Queensland played a role and some of the best skateboarders of the world are from here. But their stories are overshadowed by football and other sports. So, I’m trying to bring skateboarding into more public awareness and maybe breaks some stereotypes and so that people can enjoy the contribution that Queensland has done for them.

The Library has been excellent. It has some cool stuff about skateboarding, but it could be so much richer!

I’ve been able to use the Library as a work space and it has helped me have a nice, supportive space of knowledge. It must have been at least 3 publications that I worked on from here! With the skateboarding the JOL staff have been amazing helping me locate the items that I needed and pointing out how to use OneSearch.

The Library is a space to just thrive, feel safe and be creative.”

As told to State Library staff member

Fed Pani

Visitor and Information Services