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 www.halloffame.slq.qld.gov.au

Media enquiries: Kirri-Lee Huggett, SLQ Communications
07 3842 9803 | kirri-lee.huggett@slq.qld.gov.au

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