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


18 Sep 2014

Hot Modernism

Hot modernism sparks conversations at State Library

State Library of Queensland partnering with The UQ School of Architecture, is sharing stories of Queensland’s architectural past through the hugely popular exhibition Hot Modernism.
State Librarian Janette Wright said the exhibition had been embraced by patrons and had opened up conversations about our city and its buildings.
Hot Modernism explores and showcases the changing face of Queensland from 1945–75, revealing not only stories of the architecture, but also stories about the people who created, worked and lived in the buildings,” said Ms Wright.
“It has been a nostalgic journey for many of our visitors, with the exhibition triggering memories of people’s own experience living in and around the featured buildings, as well as sparking curiosity about the history of their own childhood haunts.”
“For us, the sign of a great exhibition is one that sparks conversation, and gets people talking, sharing and exploring their own personal stories, and we’ve definitely seen that with Hot Modernism.”
“With only a few weeks remaining of the exhibition, I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet seen it to come along and explore Hot Modernism for themselves, before doors close on 12 October,” she said.
Visitors to the exhibition can walk through a full-scale re-creation of a 1957 house, take a seat in a 1960s living room and examine 3D architectural models, original drawings and historical photographs from the time.
Hot Modernism is on display at State Library of Queensland until 12 October. Visit for more details.
The project is supported by the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Project funding scheme, and project partners BVN Donovan Hill, Conrad Gargett Riddel – Ancher Mortlock Woolley and Wilson Architects, along with principal sponsor dansk vintage.
Interviews and images available upon request.
Media enquiries

Cinnamon Watson Publicity | 0432 219 643 |

9 Sep 2014

Indigenous military service

Untold stories of Indigenous military service uncovered

State Library of Queensland explores the untold story of Indigenous service in the First World War with an online screening of the Serving Country Forum.

Tune in on 26 September to watch a full day of thought-provoking conversations unfold as the Indigenous experience of WWI, both on the homefront and the battlefront, is discussed. Organise a viewing at your workplace, community organisation or at home to share the interesting discoveries together.

State Librarian Janette Wright said screening the Serving Country Forum online via State Library’s website provides a rare opportunity for anyone to experience the stories uncovered by the Black Diggers project — a joint Queensland Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company production.

“When war was declared in 1914 many Indigenous men were the first to try to enlist, although it wasn’t until April 1917 that Indigenous enlistment was permitted,” Ms Wright said.

“As we uncover this hidden history, it’s clear that these men fought valiantly for their country. As they stood by their fellow Australians they hoped to bring equality to their communities. Until very recently, these stories and this important history were virtually unknown.”

Facilitated by Joshua Creamer, Native Title Barrister and Chairman of Titans 4 Tomorrow, the forum features a keynote address by Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA, Historian and Author. A range of guest speakers will discuss topics such as 100 years of Indigenous service, researching Indigenous service history and creative responses to commemorating the fallen.

Speakers and researchers from the Black Diggers production will present along with speakers from the Australian War Memorial, Cherbourg Historical Precinct and the Yugambeh Museum.

Minister Assisting the Premier on the Anzac Centenary, Glen Elmes, said the forum’s theme of Serving Country reflects this year’s NAIDOC Week theme which recognised the century of military service by Indigenous Australians.

Mr Elmes said that Indigenous Australians have served the country in conflicts going back to the Boer War, and many have died protecting Australian and Commonwealth interests.

“It’s amazing these young Australians even bothered to join up because they were not classed as citizens, had no right to vote, could not buy property or enter a public bar,” Mr Elmes said.

“Many of them were treated as equals for the first time in their lives as soldiers, but upon returning to civilian life they experienced the same discrimination and prejudice as before going into uniform. A century later, we continue to honour their memory and the memory of every Queenslander who gave their all during those four dark years and the re-building which followed.”

Arts Minister Ian Walker said State Library had led Queensland in helping us to commemorate our Anzac heritage.

“The Queensland Government supports State Library to deliver services for all Queenslanders, wherever they live,” Mr Walker said.

“Their special role in helping us to know authentic Anzac experiences not only informs this generation, but
keeps the Anzac story alive for future generations.”

The Serving Country Forum is part of Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation, a five year legacy
project led by State Library and proudly supported by the Queensland Government, commemorating the
centenary of World War One and Anzac across Queensland.

Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation, will commemorate and celebrate our history, capture living
memories, and help current and future generations understand Queensland’s experiences during and after
the First World War — renewing the First World War and Anzac legacy.

For more information on the Serving Country Forum online screening and Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a
New Generation visit State Library of Queensland’s website at

Serving Country Forum live stream
Friday 26 September, 9am–3.30pm

Join the conversation on Twitter with #ww1 #qanzac100 and #servingcountry

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

8 Sep 2014

Thousands of images free from State Library

Thousands of images free from State Library

Immediate access to 60,000 high resolution historic and contemporary Queensland images is now available free from State Library of Queensland.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the images could be downloaded via the SLQ catalogue.

She said, “All our out-of-copyright and Creative Commons-licenced images are now available for direct download from our catalogue – at no charge.  We believe wholeheartedly in making our content available to all so we’re delighted to offer this new service. Images available cover Queensland people, places, and events. They are high resolution TIFF files and the images can be re-used for any purpose – all we ask is that you credit or attribute the images appropriately. Those images made available under a Creative Commons licence should be credited by identifying State Library, the creator, the title, and the licence the work is under. Out-of-copyright images can simply be credited to State Library of Queensland.”

Ms Wright said State Library of Queensland images were being used for a wide range of purposes.

She said, “Our images are already widely used – for websites and blogs, school work, academic research and more – and this new service makes these images even more accessible.”

Information about SLQ’s preferred attribution can be found at

To download high resolution images go to and search the catalogue. When you find the image you want, select Display item on the right hand side and then click on the download icon top left (View Options). Select the download icon again and you will then be able to open or save the image.

Previously library clients had to pay to order copies which could take up to five working days for delivery.

State Library will continue to provide an image reproduction services offering clients a high resolution file or photographic print of items in the collections. Pricing depends on original format and delivery options. See for details.

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

 Women running over a sand dune

Young women running over a sand dune on an unidentified beach, ca. 1935. Image courtesy of State Library of Queensland

Link to digital item 

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 45726 

Gardens Point in Brisbane, ca 1870

Gardens Point in Brisbane, ca 1870.  Image courtesy of State Library of Queensland

Link to digital item 

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 156882

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 |

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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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