Media releases

View current and recent media releases from the State Library. For more information about any of these stories or about earlier releases, please contact Marketing and Communications on +61 7 3842 9847 or by email to


31 Aug 2014

Premier's Cultural Diversity Award

Cultural diversity award for State Library of Queensland

State Library was, on Saturday, announced as the winner of the Premier’s Cultural Diversity Award in the Public Sector category.

The Premier’s Cultural Diversity Awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support Queensland’s cultural diversity and help build an inclusive, harmonious community.

State Librarian Janette Wright said she was thrilled to win the prestigious award.

She said, “The State Library of Queensland serves all Queenslanders and we take that responsibility seriously.”

“We have an extensive collection in Languages Other Than English comprising over 90.000 items in 50 different languages including books, DVDs, and CDs. Items can be borrowed via your local public library”

The State Library’s Creative Community Computing program is run in conjunction with organisations like the Multicultural Development Association (MDA) and the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma. The program teaches participants the skills they need for IT self-sufficiency – working with recycled computer hardware and free and open-source software.

Ms Wright said SLQ’s Mobile Media Lab was a program actively targeting young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

“The media lab is a production hub and training resource enabling young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to develop skills in media production, create stories that are meaningful to their community, and distribute them to the wider community. At the moment we are working with diverse communities, including Muslim young people creating digital stories exploring their experiences in Australia.”

“We are also sharing stories from Queensland’s multicultural festivals by documenting the heritage of the Australian-Italian Festival, the Pacific Unity Festival, and the Africa Day celebrations."

“State Library is developing a Cultural Diversity Engagement Framework – replacing our Multicultural Action Plan – that will outline how we work with multicultural communities. Our Content Strategy also expresses our commitment to making sure Queensland’s multicultural heritage is represented in our collections.”

“We have a number of human resource initiatives in place including our very successful Work & Welcome program in partnership with MDA. The program, which is funded through staff donations, offers short-term paid work experience for recently arrived refugees and migrants to help them settle successfully into their new home country.”

We have hosted two Work & Welcome placements to date with both individuals going on to secure further work with SLQ on completion of their work experience.”

Arts Minister Ian Walker said the State Library's winning this award highlighted its role as a cultural leader within the community.
"State Library is there to serve all Queenslanders," Mr Walker said.

"Its programs are tailored to engage as many of us as possible, including multicultural communities. It delivers these programs in a variety of ways, both digitally and in person, which helps people get involved."

"This award highlights the State Library’s achievement of helping deliver the arts to all Queenslanders, wherever they live, wherever they were born.”

The awards were announced at the Premier’s Cultural Diversity Awards gala dinner on Saturday 30 August 2014.

Media enquiries:
Cathy Stacey, SLQ Communications 07 3842 9346 |

22 Aug 2014

2014 Young Writers Award winners

Winner announced for the 2014 State Library Young Writers Award

Brisbane writer Michael Day has been awarded the prestigious State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award and $2,000 for his short story Zen Master.

Mr Day, a 22 year old writing and literature student at UQ, said he was thrilled to be acknowledged for his story, which captures the vulnerability and awkwardness of the transition into adulthood.

“It's amazing because this story feels like the closest I've come to figuring out how I like writing and what I like writing about,” he said.

Acting CEO Kathy Hayter said the Young Writers Award, which was established in 1995, continues to unearth and encourage young creative talent.

“This year the competition received a record number of entries, with stories coming in from right across Queensland,” said Ms Hayter.

“The Young Writers Award sits alongside State Library’s black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing program and the Queensland Literary Awards as key initiatives celebrating, showcasing and supporting the development of Queensland’s writing talent.

“It’s competitions such as these that give budding young writers the confidence, resources and connections to develop their writing further."

Arts Minister Ian Walker said it was exciting to see new Queensland talent like Mr Day launch on the literary scene.

“Michael now joins a prestigious list of young writers who started their writing careers by winning the Young Writers Award prize.”

“Most recently, past winner Rebecca Jessen this month published her first book Gap (UQP), which is a novelisation of the short story which won her the 2012 Young Writers Award,” Mr Walker said.

The Young Writers Award Runner-Up prize of $500 went to Lucinda Bopf from Kedron for Fish, a memorable story full of originality and ambition.

Judges also recognised four highly commended entries — Fog on the Highway by Regan Lynch (Paddington), Ziggy the Bagman by Tina Gaudry (St Lucia), The Beekeeper's Wife by Kimberley Smith (Annerley), and The Deep End by Molly Glassey (Paddington).

The Young Writers Award is open to Queensland residents aged between 18 and 25 years. Read the winning stories online at

Media enquiries:
Alexia Saeck, SLQ Communications 07 3840 7784 |

19 Aug 2014

Queensland Literary Awards

A new chapter for Queensland Literary Awards

Entries are now open for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards (QLA) under a new arrangement which sees State Library of Queensland take leadership of the program.

QLA is a community driven awards program which nurtures and celebrates the talent and achievements of Australian writers.

State Librarian Janette Wright said that State Library will collaborate with the QLA Committee and supporting partners to continue the work of the awards program in its third year.

“Whilst State Library will take a leadership role in managing the QLA program, we will continue the collaborative model established through the hard work and dedication of the QLA Committee, volunteers, partners and supporting community members over the past two years.”

“We are excited to have the continued support of key QLA partners including the University of Queensland, Griffith University, the University of Southern Queensland, the Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund and The Courier-Mail,” Ms Wright said.

“The Queensland Literary Awards complement our existing awards programs – the Young Writers Award and the black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships and Indigenous Editing Mentorships.”

“Queenslanders are avid readers and writers, with 84% of people reading or engaging in some form of creative writing. State Library is delighted to play a role in not only nurturing this interest throughout the state, but also applauding those who excel at writing through this prestigious awards program.”

“Programs such as the QLA are key in drawing out our most unique and captivating literary voices, and sharing them with the world. We’re excited to see what this year’s entries will produce,” Ms Wright said.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said aspiring Queensland writers could also apply for a new $10,000 Queensland Premier’s Young Writers Fellowship or one of three 2014 Queensland Writers Fellowships worth $15,000 each.

“The aim of these fellowships is to discover and encourage new writing talent,” Mr Walker said. “The Premier’s fellowship is specifically for young Queensland writers under 30, to help young talent find their feet.  We want to provide opportunities for talented Queensland writers who are looking for support to finish their manuscripts to get the help upfront when it is needed.”

Nominations for the Queensland Literary Awards and Fellowships close on 19 September 2014 and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in December.

Information about the awards, the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers Fellowship, Queensland Writers Fellowships and nomination forms are available at

2014 Queensland Literary Award categories are:

  • University of Queensland Fiction Book Award
  • University of Queensland Non-fiction Book Award
  • Griffith University Young Adult Book Award
  • Griffith University Children’s Book Award
  • University of Southern Queensland History Book Award
  • University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award
  • State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award
  • Unpublished Indigenous Writer - David Unaipon Award (supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and University of Queensland Press)
  • Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award (supported by the University of Queensland Press)
  • The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book for the Year

Media enquiries: Alexia Saeck, SLQ Communications, 07 3840 7784 |

17 Jul 2014

Queensland Business History Award recipient announced

Queensland Business History Award recipient announced

The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame announced the recipient of the 2014 Queensland Business History Award, the Birdsville Hotel.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the Queensland Business History Award, presented by Library Board of Queensland Chair, Professor Jan Thomas at the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, recognises leadership in collecting, preserving and sharing business history.

“This award aims to raise awareness of the value of good record keeping and preservation and acknowledges businesses that protect and promote their corporate history and heritage collections,” Ms Wright said.

This year’s recipient, the Birdsville Hotel, is an iconic Queensland business that has a long and colourful history dating back to its establishment in 1884. The hotel’s diverse and voluminous collection is a living archive of the many people that have passed through its doors, and their experience of remote Queensland.

The hotel owners, Jo and Kym Fort and Nell and David Brook, along with their staff, demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the collection and use it to connect with their patrons, as the historical material is on display on the hotel’s interior walls.

Preserving business records helps co-create Queensland’s memory for future generations and State Library of Queensland encourages all businesses to get on board. “The Birdsville Hotel engages with the community and visitors on a daily basis to promote their collection, and even add to it where they can,” Ms Wright said.

“A visitor’s book in the hotel’s reception area encourages patrons to write about their own experience of the bush and make a contribution to local shared history.”

Photographs, leaflets, brochures, flyers, film, correspondence, ledgers, minute books, annual reports and oral histories all play a part in telling Queensland’s narrative.

This award encourages businesses and business leaders to elevate the importance of safeguarding their irreplaceable historical material.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said the Birdsville Hotel owners and their staff were keeping the history of more than the pub alive through their collection of mementoes and documents.

“The fortunes of the hotel are entwined with the story of Birdsville,” Mr Walker said.

“The Birdsville Hotel is a true Queensland icon and it’s important that its unique history is available to future generations.”

The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame is a partnership between State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Library Foundation and QUT Business School.

For more information on the award and the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame visit

Media enquiries: Kirri-Lee Huggett, SLQ Communications
07 3842 9803 |

4 Jul 2014

Say G'day

Say ‘g’day’ in an Indigenous language for NAIDOC Week

Queenslanders are encouraged to greet each other in their local Indigenous language this NAIDOC Week for a new campaign promoting cultural awareness.

Say ‘g’day’ in an Indigenous language will run over the week of NAIDOC celebrations from 6–13 July 2014. Say ‘g’day’ invites Queensland communities to discover and use an Indigenous greeting from the traditional language of their local area.

Led by the Yugambeh Museum Language and Heritage Research Centre, in partnership with State Library of Queensland, and supported by Dreamworld Corroboree, The Smith Family Partnership Brokers, The City of Gold Coast and 91.7 ABC Gold Coast, Say ‘g’day’ supports a larger state-wide movement dedicated to the preservation of Queensland’s Indigenous languages.

State Librarian Janette Wright said participating in the campaign was a great way for Queensland communities to recognise the existence and importance of traditional Indigenous languages.

“Discovering local languages helps us connect with and better understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This connection is what NAIDOC Week is all about,” Ms Wright said.

“Preserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages is vital to ensuring a rich cultural future for our state. The survival of these languages is reliant on them being shared, which is the responsibility of all Queenslanders.”

More than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects were once spoken in Queensland. Today only 50 of these continue to be spoken, fewer than 20 are used as first languages — predominantly in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait ― and only two languages are categorised as ‘living’ or ‘thriving’.

Preserving and sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage, knowledge and experiences is a key priority for State Library.

“Our focus goes beyond just documenting these languages as part of Queensland’s past; State Library is dedicated to ensuring traditional languages are not only remembered but are accessible for future generations,” Ms Wright said.

State Library of Queensland has been working with a network of Indigenous Language Centres, community organisations and other groups over a number of years to document, preserve and share Indigenous languages.

“Most recently we’ve charted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken throughout Queensland through an interactive Indigenous languages map. Say ‘g’day’ spotlights Indigenous languages and provides a way for people to connect with Queensland’s Indigenous cultures. Without being valued, heard and spoken today, these languages are at risk of being forgotten, and with them, some of the richness of Queensland’s living culture and memory,” Ms Wright said.

Rory O’Connor, Director of the Yugambeh Museum said that Say ‘g’day’ is part of a cultural activation program called ‘Yugambeh Mobo’, which is a community movement to connect the population of Queensland to local Aboriginal stories, language, tastes and culture through a series of annual events.

All Queensland communities are encouraged to get behind the Say ‘g’day’ campaign during NAIDOC Week.

Word lists with greetings from more than 25 Indigenous languages across Queensland are available on the State Library of Queensland website and Yugambeh Museum website

For more information on the Say ‘g’day’ campaign and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, visit

Say ‘g’day’ was developed through State Library’s Indigenous Languages project which is supported by funding from the Indigenous Languages Support Program (ILS) from the Australian Government Attorney-General Department, Ministry for the Arts.

Media enquiries
Kirri-Lee Huggett, SLQ Communications 07 3842 9803 |

Useful links
G’day word lists in Indigenous languages
Indigenous languages map of Queensland
Information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

27 Jun 2014

Young Writers Award 2014

Last chance to enter Young Writers Award

Aspiring young writers have until 18 July to enter their short story in State Library of Queensland’s Young Writers Award for a chance to win $2000.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the prestigious competition, open to Queensland residents aged 18 to 25, encouraged young wordsmiths to channel their creativity and share their stories.
“The annual short story competition is a great opportunity for emerging and aspiring writers to gain exposure and receive invaluable professional development opportunities. Queensland is home to many talented young creatives, and it is competitions like the Young Writers Award that help unearth that talent, providing the support and encouragement needed to further their careers,” Ms Wright said.

“Whether you’re a notepad scribbler, a creative writing student, or just have a great story to tell, I encourage you to let the words flow and see where it takes you,” said Ms Wright.
If you’re thinking of entering, here are some tips on how to get noticed.

  • Be confident in your writing, relax and don’t try too hard
  • Use language that comes naturally to you
  • The judges are looking for stories with distinctive and interesting characters and plots – so first get to know who your characters are and where your plot is going, and the language will follow.
  • They’re all good ideas, but don’t try to cram them all into one piece. Think about your core themes and characters and stick by them; your loyalty will pay off in the end.

The Young Writers Award closes at 5pm on Friday 18 July, 2014. For more details, and to read some of the past winning stories, visit

The Young Writers Award is funded by the Library Board of Queensland, and supported by Queensland Writers Centre, Brisbane Writers Festival, and the Australian Writer’s Marketplace.
Media enquiries
Alexia Saeck, Communications, State Library of Queensland | 07 3840 7784

11 Jun 2014

Poetry Slam 2014

The search begins for Queensland’s best spoken word poet

Queensland rappers, rhymers and poets are invited to bring their words to the stage as the 2014 Australian Poetry Slam competition tours the state.

Poetry Slams are electric live events, featuring a broad range of writing and performance styles, where contestants have two minutes on stage to impress the audience with a spoken word performance of an original poem.

State Librarian Janette Wright said State Library will take the Queensland heats of the Australian Poetry Slam competition to nine locations in the search for Queensland’s best slam poet.

“Working with public libraries and communities throughout Queensland, the competition aims to draw out local talent from all around the state, giving a platform to local voices and offering the opportunity to compete against Australia’s best at the state and national finals,” said Ms Wright.

The Queensland leg of the Australian Poetry Slam will visit Mackay, Goondiwindi, Rockhampton, Cairns, Logan, Moreton Bay, Cloncurry, Thursday Island and Brisbane to unearth local talent. Free workshops will be held in each location prior to the heat, to help competitors polish their performance before they hit the stage.

The Queensland competition will culminate in a State Final at State Library in September, where two finalists from each heat will be invited to compete. The State Champion and Runner Up will then travel to Sydney to compete for the Australian title later in the year.

Wordsmiths of all genres are encouraged to compete with the lure of $12,000 of cash and prizes on offer.
Ms Wright encouraged both seasoned slam poetry enthusiasts and those new to the art form to get involved in the competition.

“Slam poetry is a truly diverse form of expression that demonstrates the power of words. In previous years the competition has revealed extraordinary talent from all walks of life. You never know where this year’s champion will be discovered.”

“Whether you have aspirations to get up on stage and have a go at the championship or simply want to sit back and be inspired by the brave voices that emerge ― come along and get involved!” Ms Wright said.

All Queensland Poetry Slam heats are free to attend and enter; however, bookings are essential to guarantee your spot. 

For more information and full heat details, visit

The Queensland tour of the Australian Poetry Slam 2014 is coordinated by State Library of Queensland in partnership with local public libraries and regional arts organisations.

Media enquiries: Nicole Mangelsdorf, SLQ Communications t. 07 3842 9084 |

6 Jun 2014

StoryLab winter workshops

Popular holiday workshops return to State Library

Children aged 8 to 14 can explore the world of digital technology these winter holidays with State
Library’s fun, hands-on Story Lab workshops.

Story Lab runs from 30 June to 11 July with exciting new workshops using creative programs
including Story Scrapbook and MaKey MaKey, plus the very popular Scratch and stop motion
animation workshops.

State Librarian Janette Wright said Story Lab workshops are a winter holiday favourite and
encourage children to be creative and use their imagination to create stories using more than just

“Run by industry professionals, these workshops are specially designed to cater for different age
groups (ages 8 to 11 and ages 11 to 14) and various learning styles,” Ms Wright said.

“Story Lab is a fun program that develops children’s literacy, creativity and social skills in an
interactive way. Creative children’s workshops add to their cognitive, language and emotional development and build capacity for lifelong learning, and Story Lab makes for a fun holiday experience.”

Young creatives will enjoy a range of new workshops that will develop their digital technology skills
in a supportive, positive and informal learning environment.

The day-long workshop series will run from 9.30am to 3.30pm each day (Monday to Friday) and all
materials are supplied.

Tickets for all the Story Lab workshops are now on sale for $70 each.

Visit for more information and bookings.

Media enquiries:
Kirri-Lee Huggett, SLQ Communications p 07 3842 9803, e

2 Jun 2014

Queensland Memory Awards 2014

State Library celebrates Queensland Memory Awards

State Library of Queensland has honoured five award recipients through its annual Queensland Memory
Awards program.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the Queensland Memory Awards, supported by the Queensland Library
Foundation, recognise important new contributions to the state’s history and documentary heritage.

“These awards offer those with a keen interest in Queensland history the opportunity to use the materials
in the John Oxley Library to uncover our state’s untold stories,” Ms Wright said.

The 2014 award recipients are: Thomas Blake (John Oxley Library Fellowship — 12 months residency in
the John Oxley Library), Madeleine King and Nadia Buick (Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame
Fellowship — 6 months residency in the John Oxley Library), Richard Stringer (John Oxley Library Award),
and Adopt a Digger (John Oxley Library Community History Award).

Presented by the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AC, the inaugural Queensland Business
Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship was awarded to Madeleine King and Nadia Buick for their proposed
project High Street Histories: Queensland’s fashion business leaders, while the recipient of the prestigious
John Oxley Library Fellowship, supported by the Queensland Library Foundation, is Thomas Blake for his
proposed project Liquid Gold: the history of the Great Artesian Basin in Queensland.

“High Street Histories is described by the judging panel as creative, innovative, engaging; it has the
potential to change people’s minds about business history,” Ms Wright said.

“This online project will examine Queensland’s fashion business history and map approximately 12 key
fashion sites throughout the state with an aim to link these sites to the communities around them.

The judging panel believe well-known historian Thomas Blake’s project Liquid Gold will be of great public
interest as the project documents the history of the Great Artesian Basin, with a focus on its social and
economic impacts.

Thomas plans to expand on his 2006 historical overview of the Great Artesian Basin and explore the
effects on areas such as pastoral industries, towns and settlements, Indigenous groups, health, and

Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory, said an extensive list of candidates was
compiled in the search for the John Oxley Library Award and John Oxley Library Community History Award

“Distinguished architectural photographer Richard Stringer was presented the John Oxley Library Award
for his work in documenting Queensland’s landscape and architecture heritage over the past 40 years,” Ms
Denoon said.

“Richard is renowned for his ability to capture the significance and spirit of structures and places in his
photographs and his work has been featured in various landmark publications and exhibitions.”

The John Oxley Library Community History Award, supported by the Queensland Library Foundation, has
been granted to Adopt a Digger, a voluntary community project that commemorates the Sunshine Coast
region’s men and women who served during the First World War.

“Local residents, historians, school students and descendants are encouraged to ‘adopt a digger’, research
the person’s military history and upload this information to the website,” Ms Denoon said.

“This is an outstanding example of a voluntary community project with over 1,300 diggers adopted by the
community so far.”

Fellows, researchers, writers, filmmakers, academics, artists and storytellers have delved into thousands of
original materials in the John Oxley Library for many years. The Queensland Memory Awards offers the
rare opportunity to celebrate excellence in this research and recognise new contributions to Queensland’s
documentary heritage.

For more information on the Queensland Memory Awards visit

Interview opportunities:
2014 John Oxley Library Fellowship
Thomas Blake

2014 Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship
Madeleine King and Nadia Buick

2014 John Oxley Library Award
Richard Stringer

2014 John Oxley Library Community History Award
Chrissy Fletcher
Adopt a Digger

Media enquiries:
Kirri-Lee Huggett, SLQ Communications
e:, p: 07 3842 9803

19 May 2014

Indigenous writers

Queensland leads the way in supporting Indigenous writers

Two exciting new works of fiction by Indigenous authors will be published through State Library of Queensland’s 2014 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships.

Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Ian Walker announced first-time author Adrian Stanley and distinguished playwright Jane Harrison as the two 2014 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellows.

“Once again the competition has revealed an exceptional range of Indigenous literary talent from across Australia,” Mr Walker said.

“Adrian balances a fly-in fly-out mining job with care for his disabled children and lives in Adelaide. His winning manuscript Could be Worse is a comical tale of colourful characters in a small country town and is Adrian’s first novel.”

“Jane Harrison is an established playwright whose works have been performed in Australia and internationally. Her winning manuscript Becoming Kirrali Lewis is a young adult novel,” Mr Walker said.

Each of the two fellowship prizes are worth $10,000, and include a publishing deal with leading Australian Indigenous publishing house Magabala Books. The prizes were awarded following the national competition for published or emerging Indigenous authors of fiction.

Highly commended in the 2014 competition were Dylan Coleman from Adelaide for her novel Clear Water White Death, Siv Parker from Lismore for her novel On Dusk, and Alison Whittaker from Sydney for her poetry collection Lemons in the Chicken-Wire.

Now in its fourth year, the black&write! project was launched to train, mentor and promote outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and editors and encourage a love of reading, writing and ideas in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

State Librarian Janette Wright said that since the project’s launch in 2010, black&write! continues to foster a thriving Indigenous Australian writing community.

“A national project and the first of its kind in Australia, black&write! continues to demonstrate the value and importance of Indigenous Australian literature,” said Ms Wright.

“Queensland is leading the way in supporting and developing outstanding Indigenous literary talent and making it accessible to the Australian and international public.”

black&write! is supported by State Library of Queensland and publishing partner Magabala Books.

Entries for the 2015 fellowships close 30 January 2015. Visit for conditions of entry.

Media enquiries:
Nicole Mangelsdorf, SLQ Communications | 07 3842 9084 |

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For more information about any of these stories or about earlier releases, please contact Marketing and Communications on +61 7 3842 9847 or by email to

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