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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 Nov 2016
State Library digitises soldier portraits in time for Remembrance Day
Digital portraits of nearly 30,000 Queensland soldiers who served in the First World War are now able to be searched online as part of the Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the soldier portraits are an incredible digital resource for anyone interested in the First World War and Queensland history.
“These nearly 30,000 portraits are freely available for people to view, comment on and download as high resolution image files,” Ms Enoch said.
“Now that these photographs have been digitised and linked to war service records, we have a uniquely discoverable and usable resource available online for current and future generations.”
Captain Andrew Craig RAN (Retd), Chair of the Queensland Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary said the innovative state-wide initiative demonstrates the importance of creating a digital legacy for current and future generations.
“Embracing 21st century technology has made it easier than ever for the public to understand and discover more about those Queenslanders who served in the First World War and their experiences.”
State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said the digitisation of the soldier portraits was an important commemorative resource, particularly in the lead up to significant occasions such as Remembrance Day.
“The digitisation of the soldier portraits will contribute to developing a lasting First World War legacy while furthering our understanding of Queensland’s involvement in and experiences during the war years,” Ms McDonald said.
“We’ve had feedback from people who have used the resource, telling us that this is the first time they’ve been able to see photographs of their family members.”
“The soldier portraits represent almost 30,000 unique Queensland stories; stories of husbands, fathers, sons, friends and brothers. This is a powerful resource and one which truly serves to commemorate those who fought and sacrificed during the war.”
In order to digitise, describe and make accessible such a vast collection of portraits and information, SLQ staff worked with a team of 30 tireless volunteers who have donated their time to help complete this project. Planning for the digitisation project commenced in late 2013, with the final soldier portrait being made available online in September 2016.
In September 1914, Talma Studios and Fegan Studios set up tents in the soldier’s camp at Enoggera to take photographs of soldiers in uniform for publication in the Pictorial Supplement of The Queenslander newspaper, a weekly summary and literary edition of the Brisbane Courier (now The Courier-Mail).
The portraits continued to be published in The Queenslander until the war ended in 1918. There would eventually be nearly 30,000 photographs captured of young men about to enter war (around half the number of Queenslanders who served in the First World War).
Throughout the war years, The Queenslander was regularly filled with pages of soldier portraits, as well as photographs from the war and the home fronts, depicting all aspects of life in Queensland.
This large collection of photographs enabled The Queenslander to promptly publish portraits as soon as casualty lists were issued. Photos were re-published as reports of wounded or missing soldiers were received and again as pages were created as a Roll of Honour.
SLQ has now digitised all of the soldier portraits which can be accessed and downloaded through the One Search catalogue. Where possible, each soldier portrait has been linked to their war service record on the National Archives of Australia’s Discovering Anzacs website.
Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.
Hillary Bell | 07 3842 9864 | email@example.com
State Library of Queensland Communications
For more information visit
To ‘find your soldier’, visit the One Search catalogue, search for a soldier by surname, include the word ‘soldiers’ in the search terms, and limit the search to ‘SLQ Digitised Collections’.
1 Nov 2016
State Library digitises Bloomfield River history
More than 20 years since they were recorded, the stories of the people living in the Bloomfield River region can now be heard online through State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) catalogue.
In 1995, Bloomfield River resident Camilla Darling conducted numerous interviews with local Kuku Yalanji Elders and non-Indigenous settlers of the Bloomfield Valley to document the rich and varied history of this remote rainforest region in Far North Queensland.
The 39 interviews reveal the way of life of the subjects and their families, and speak to the interactions and relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous settlers in Bloomfield prior to, and during, missionary involvement.
Capturing stories of residents who have lived in the region since the 1940s and 1950s, as well as residents with profound knowledge of the history of Bloomfield from the 1800s, the oral histories collection is a comprehensive view of the area’s fascinating past and heritage.
Some stories capture the culture of Elders, which have eroded through time, especially since white settlement. Other stories reflect on the tin mining and timber industries, which were the two major industries on the Bloomfield, but have long since ceased.
Over an 18 month period, SLQ reformatted the original audio cassette recordings of the interviews to a digital format to make this collection of unique oral histories accessible to all, including the descendants and families of the interviewees.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Bloomfield River oral histories amount to a powerful collection of memories of a community that spans from the time of Captain Cook.
“This oral histories collection is important as it offers a powerful view of the diversity and history of Queensland, and through its recent digitisation, is now easily accessible for all,” Ms Enoch said.
“Bloomfield River is a true microcosm which highlights our varying ways of life and plays an important part in our understanding of this state’s rich history.”
State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said the digitisation of this collection is significant as it offers a comprehensive view of one of Queensland’s most interesting communities.
“Oral histories are often very narrow in focus but this collection is vast and sweeping, describing how this unique Far North Queensland community survived and thrived,” Ms McDonald said.
“Now, after an extensive digitisation process, these voices and stories can be shared with surviving family members, the wider community, and future generations.”
“It is often peoples’ stories, rather than objects or facts, that really brings history to life and this oral histories collection does just that.”
Digitised photographs and a digitised hand drawn map of the Bloomfield River region are included with the oral histories collection online, and transcriptions of all recordings are currently in progress.
Hillary Bell, SLQ Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07 3842 9864
9 Sep 2016
2016 Queensland Literary Awards finalists announced
59 authors have been shortlisted across 12 categories as the 2016 Queensland Literary Awards recognises the achievements of Australian writers.
State Library of Queensland supports and champions the Queensland Literary Awards in nurturing a culture of reading, writing and ideas and celebrating the incredible strength and diversity in Australian writing talent.
State Librarian and CEO, Ms Vicki McDonald today announced the 2016 Queensland Literary Awards (QLA) shortlists.
“From well-known authors such as Matthew Condon and Tim Winton, to talented debut novelists like Sonja Dechian, the Queensland Literary Awards continue to highlight the high calibre of literature across Australia,” Ms McDonald said.
“With such a rich field of nominations across all the 2016 QLA categories, I thank the judges for what could only have been an extremely challenging task in determining the shortlists.”
Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Queensland Literary Awards recognised outstanding writers, celebrated Queensland stories and fostered the next generation of writing talent.
“Last year, my Government reinstated funding for these prestigious awards and also established two new awards, one for a work of State significance and the Young Publishers and Writers Awards, to recognise important Queensland voices,” the Premier said.
“In 2016, the Queensland Government continues to match the sponsor and partnership funding in ten award categories with the aim to expand the awards and attract additional sponsors.”
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the power of seeing Australian life represented in the books we read cannot be overstated.
“These are our stories,” Ms Enoch said. “They lay bare every aspect of contemporary Australian life, help us to understand our history and set the path forward for our future.”
In addition to the 12 categories of the Queensland Literary Awards, three Queensland Writers Fellowships will be awarded to provide support for Queensland authors in developing their work for publication.
Queensland readers have the power to pick the winner of The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year category. Readers can vote for their favourite shortlisted book before Thursday 29 September 2016 by visiting qldliteraryawards.org.au.
In announcing the shortlists, Ms McDonald said the continued support for the Queensland Literary Awards from authors, booksellers, publishers and the literary community was outstanding.
“We are grateful for the continued support of our partners including the University of Queensland, Griffith University, the University of Southern Queensland, Claire Booth, the Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund and The Courier-Mail,” Ms McDonald said.
The award winners and fellowship recipients will be announced at a special awards ceremony held at State Library of Queensland on 5 October.
The shortlists can be found at qldliteraryawards.org.au.
The 2016 Queensland Literary Award categories are:
- Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance
- Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards
- 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 University of Queensland Press)
- The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book for the Year
Kate Allen, SLQ Communications
07 3840 7897 | email@example.com
2016 Queensland Literary Awards shortlist
Queensland Premier’s Award for a Published Work of State Significance ($25,000)
- Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style, Nadia Buick & Madeleine King
- All Fall Down, Matthew Condon
- Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane, Elspeth Muir
- The Long Goodbye, P.J. Parker
- Not Just Black and White, Lesley and Tammy Williams
Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards ($10,000*)
- Emily Craven
- Sam George-Allen
- Anna Jacobson
- Michelle Law
- Andrew McMillen
*Winners of this award also receive $2,500 each worth of professional development
University of Queensland Fiction Book Award ($10,000)
- Ghost River, Tony Birch
- Between a Wolf and A Dog, Georgia Blain
- The Midnight Watch, David Dyer
- One, Patrick Holland
- The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood
University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award ($10,000)
- Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru, Madeline Gleeson
- Talking to My Country, Stan Grant
- Second Half First, Drusilla Modjeska
- Island Home, Tim Winton
- Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger, Fiona Wright
Griffith University Young Adult Book Award ($10,000)
- The Sidekicks, Will Kostakis
- Dreaming the Enemy, David Metzenthen
- The Stars at October Bend, Glenda Millard
- One Thousand Hills, James Roy and Noël Zihabamwe
- One Would Think the Deep, Claire Zorn
Griffith University Children’s Book Award ($10,000)
- Suri’s Wall, Lucy Estela & Matt Ottley
- How the Sun Got to Coco’s House, Bob Graham
- Incredibilia, Libby Hathorn & Gaye Chapman
- KidGlovz, Julie Hunt & Dale Newman
- Me, Teddy, Chris McKimmie
University of Southern Queensland History Book Award ($10,000)
- Armenia, Australia and the Great War, Vicken Babkenien & Peter Stanley
- Australia’s Boldest Experiment, Stuart Macintyre
- The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia’s Northern Trading Network, Julia Martinez and Adrian Vickers
- Unseen Anzac, Jeff Maynard
- The oldest foods on earth, John Newton
- Gay Sydney, Garry Wotherspoon
University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award ($10,000)
- Six Bedrooms, Tegan Bennett Daylight
- An Astronaut’s Life, Sonja Dechian
- A Few Days in the Country and other stories, Elizabeth Harrower
- Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh
- The High Places, Fiona McFarlane
State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award ($10,000)
- Year of the Wasp, Joel Deane
- Content, Liam Ferney
- The Hazards, Sarah Holland-Batt
- The Anatomy of Voice, David Musgrave
- Not Fox Nor Axe, Chloe Wilson
Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award ($10,000)
- Dancing Home, Paul Collis
- Song of Jessica, B.A. Quakawoot
- 67 Days, Yvonne Weldon
Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award ($10,000*)
- The Boatman, H.E. Crampton
- The Elements, Laura Elvery
*Finalists of this award receive $3,000 each worth of editorial development, sponsored by Claire Booth
The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award ($10,000)
- Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style, Nadia Buick and Madeleine King
- All Fall Down, Matt Condon
- Day Boy, Trent Jamieson
- The Landing, Susan Johnson
- Swimming Home, Mary-Rose MacColl
- The Promise Seed, Cass Moriarty
- Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane, Elspeth Muir
- Dying: A Memoir, Cory Taylor (non-fiction)
The winner of The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award is determined by public vote, which is open from Friday 26 August and closes Monday 26 September 2016. Readers can vote at qldliteraryawards.org.au
29 Aug 2016
Australia’s largest collection of Bee Gees memorabilia comes home to Queensland
The immortality of the Bee Gees lives on at State Library of Queensland thanks to a generous donation to the Queensland Library Foundation (the Foundation).
Secured from a private collector in Melbourne, Victoria, the collection comprises more than 370 items and includes all three Bee Gees Australian releases, scrap books, merchandise and every Australian album cover of Barry Gibb’s 1963–67 songs (bar three records), as well as a hand taped song Barry wrote but never recorded from the same period.
This collection is regarded as Australia’s most comprehensive and significant collection of Bee Gees albums and memorabilia.
“State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is thrilled to have received these materials through the efforts of the Foundation,” State Librarian and CEO Sonia Cooper said.
“This collection will prove an invaluable resource for music historians, researchers and fans alike,” Mrs Cooper said.
“State Library’s music collection is one of our fastest growing reference sections and this acquisition will greatly enhance the library’s content of Queensland music which has influenced the local, national and international music scenes.”
Queensland is where it all started for the trio, with the Gibb brothers signing their first music contract on the kitchen table of their Redcliffe home and playing their first gig, in 1958, at the Redcliffe Speedway.
“The Bee Gees have a remarkable connection to Queensland, so it’s very exciting to receive these artefacts — reflective of an extraordinary Queensland story — to preserve for future generations and share with Queenslanders today,” Mrs Cooper said.
The Queensland Library Foundation will host a special free event on 1 September to celebrate the acquisition with presenter Loretta Ryan, SLQ Music Curator Laurel Dingle, and an open discussion with Brisbane radio announcer of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bill Gates.
1 September 2016 is a noteworthy day for the Gibb family: it’s the anniversary of the day they arrived in Australia from the UK, the 50th anniversary of the release of the Spicks and Specks album and more significantly, Barry Gibb’s 70th birthday.
Stayin’ Alive: the Bee Gees collection presentation
Thursday 1 September, 6pm–7pm
SLQ Auditorium 2, level 2
Free, bookings required www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on
State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, South Bank
For more information about this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications, State Library of Queensland
email@example.com | 07 3842 9847
24 Aug 2016
$2,000 up for grabs for Queensland’s young writers
State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) annual Young Writers Award is open once again, with $2,000 on offer for the budding author that wins first prize.
For more than 20 years, SLQ’s Young Writers Award has offered young Queenslanders the opportunity to launch their writing career and join the ranks of previous winners and published authors, Benjamin Law and Rebecca Jessen to name a few.
The short story competition also looks to nurture talent in school-aged writers with a category now open for 15 to 17 year olds, in addition to the long standing category for 18 to 25 year olds.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the award fostered our state’s home grown talent.
“The Young Writers Award is a great opportunity for Queensland’s most promising budding authors to develop their skills and get their foot in the door of the writing industry,” Ms Enoch said.
“The competition provides professional and personal opportunities that support the next generation of writers.”
State Librarian and CEO Sonia Cooper said the award was part of SLQ’s commitment to share the stories of Queenslanders — whether historical and personal or fictional and imaginative.
“This annual competition helps young writers to find their own voice and contribute to the diverse story of our state,” Mrs Cooper said.
“Through the Young Writers Award, we aim to provide the winners with the confidence in their abilities and industry exposure to successfully pursue their career aspirations.”
The competition is open to Queensland residents aged 15 to 25 years into two categories: 15 to 17 years (1,500 words) and 18 to 25 years (2,500 words).
The winner of the 18 to 25 years category receives $2,000 prize money, and the winner of the 15 to 17 years category receives an Apple iPad Air 2.
Runners up and highly commended entrants receive a variety of prizes including prize money, digital tablets, gift vouchers and book packs.
All prize winners also receive a 12 month youth membership to Queensland Writers Centre.
Visit slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards for the entry form and conditions, and to read past winning stories.
Entries close at 5pm on Friday 30 September.
The 2016 Young Writers Award is presented by State Library of Queensland with support from Queensland Writers Centre.
Shahedah Sabdia, SLQ Communications
3842 9084 | firstname.lastname@example.org
19 Aug 2016
SLQ encourages parents to make reading with little ones top priority this Children’s Book Week
In the lead up to Children’s Book Week (20 – 26 August), the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) in partnership with public libraries across the state will highlight the importance of book sharing with babies and young children.
As part of the First 5 Forever initiative, parents and carers are encouraged to read with their children and benefit from free state-wide literacy activities available at their local library.
The four-year $20 million program, now in its second year, supports parents and primary caregivers of children aged 0–5 to be their child’s first and most important educator through simple everyday activities like reading, singing, playing and talking.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch says the First 5 Forever program provides parents, grandparents and caregivers with the information, skills and tools needed to support their child’s early language and literacy development.
“It’s about giving Queensland kids the greatest chance to succeed, something which has flow on benefits for the whole community, Ms Enoch said.
“Research shows that spending time in the early years talking, playing and reading has the most positive impact on literacy and success in school.”
“Families have endless opportunities each day to interact with their children and provide the best opportunities for learning.”
State Librarian, Mrs Sonia Cooper says First 5 Forever breaks down some community misconceptions about what’s important in early childhood.
“Parents want to do what’s best for their kids, but it can be difficult to navigate what’s really needed when there’s a barrage of competing messages,” Mrs Cooper said.
“Many parents think you need to spend a lot of money to give children the best learning experiences, or that learning can wait until children start school, but in fact it’s the simple everyday interactions and exchanges that make a huge difference and are proven to have the biggest impact over time,” she said.
“That’s why we’re really excited to be part of this program – something that gets back to basics and empowers parents and caregivers to be confident as their child’s first and foremost educator.”
“I’d encourage all Queensland parents, grandparents and caregivers to check what free First 5 Forever activities and support is available in their local public library.”
An initiative of SLQ and the Queensland Government, First 5 Forever is delivered in partnership with Queensland Local Governments through their local public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres potentially reaching 98% of the population.
Find out more about First 5 Forever at your local public library or visit www.first5forever.org.au
8 Aug 2016
Free public event: Wills and Bequests seminar
It’s incredible to think that over half of all adult Australians don’t have a valid Will, yet most of us have firm ideas about what we’d like to happen with our assets when we’re no longer here.
To help start the conversation and take the mystery out of Wills and Bequests the Queensland Library Foundation is partnering with de Groots wills and estate lawyers to host a free public information seminar at State Library of Queensland on Thursday, August 18.
Presented by Special Counsel Dr John de Groot, this seminar will cover the different ways of making a Will, the costs involved, what you need to consider and bring along to meetings and how to leave a legacy. There will also be time at the end of the session for questions.
A Will is a legal document that details how you would like your estate distributed and nominates the person who will be responsible for that distribution when you die. If you die without a Will you risk your estate not being distributed in the way you wish which can lead to family conflict, an extra burden at a time of grief and stress, and additional expense to finalise your estate.
The seminar will also look at Bequests and how your legacy can continue to achieve great things long after you’re gone.
“As a community it’s important we have these conversations and discuss the inevitable,” said Dr de Groot, a long-time supporter of State Library of Queensland and donor to the Queensland Library Foundation. “It’s good to be organised and a Will can be as simple or complex as you like. By being informed and making a conscious decision about your assets, you can not only benefit your loved ones, but the broader community for many years.”
State Librarian and CEO, Mrs Sonia Cooper said, “I’m thrilled we’re able to offer this event through the work of Queensland Library Foundation at no cost to the public. Making these types of events freely available is important so anyone from the community can have their questions answered”.
“The Queensland Library Foundation raises funds to maintain, enhance and expand the Library’s collections, facilities and services on behalf of State Library of Queensland,” said Mrs Cooper.
“Donations to Queensland Library Foundation help connect people to information and the Wills and Bequests seminar is one of these services. Making a Will is a very personal process but can be relatively simple with the right advice.”
For more information about the free public Wills and Bequests seminar, contact email@example.com.
Kate Allen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: Wills and bequests public information seminar
Date: Thursday, August 18
Time: 2.30pm to 3.30pm
Venue: Auditorium 2, Level 2 - State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane
Cost: Free – bookings required at slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on
29 Jul 2016
Queensland Business History Award recipient announced
Architectural firm Conrad Gargett has been awarded the 2016 Queensland Business History Award, presented by the Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch at last night’s Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.
The Queensland Business History Award – offered by the State Library of Queensland (SLQ), Queensland Library Foundation and QUT Business School as part of the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame partnership – recognises leadership in collecting, preserving and sharing business history.
Ms Enoch said preserving business history was important for future generations to understand the significant role business has played in shaping Queensland’s history.
“This annual award celebrates the importance of good record keeping and preservation and acknowledges companies that protect and promote their corporate history and heritage collections as part of Queensland’s memory,” Ms Enoch said.
State Librarian and CEO Sonia Cooper said the active leadership shown by Conrad Gargett to not only preserve their history, but to make it actively accessible was to be commended.
“This year’s recipient, Conrad Gargett, is one of the state’s oldest architectural firms. Founded in Brisbane in 1890, the award-winning company started life as HW Atkinson, and received its first award for the design of the Brisbane Head Fire Station.” Mrs Cooper said.
“Conrad Gargett, through an active publication programme and partnerships with the university and heritage sectors, has promoted an awareness and appreciation of Queensland’s architecture across all periods.”
History is important to Conrad Gargett. Their historical items include architectural drawings, architectural models, photographs, 120th anniversary book, ephemera, film, correspondence and ledgers.
Conrad Gargett have provided an impressive example for architectural and Queensland businesses on how to record and preserve history through the generations. Their historical items have a very public presence with a number of drawings and models of iconic building projects being displayed in Conrad Gargett’s head office as well as being donated for use in exhibitions at State Library of Queensland and Museum of Brisbane.
For more information on the award and the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame visit www.halloffame.slq.qld.gov.au
Kate Allen, SLQ Communications
07 3840 7897 | Communications@slq.qld.gov.au
28 Jun 2016
New take on historic Indigenous practice now showing at State Library
In a new major exhibition at State Library of Queensland, an age-old cloak-making technique has been revitalised and given a contemporary spin.
Art of the Skins, a large-scale project initiated by Wathaurung woman Carol McGregor and Taungwurrung-Yorta Yorta woman Glennys Briggs, invites visitors to explore the beauty, tradition and artistry of possum skin cloaks through contemporary community works.
Six intricately decorated and meticulously stitched together cloaks made from possum skins form the cornerstone of the exhibition, which reveals rich stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, past and present.
Inspired by a practice last known to be active around 150 years ago, the cloaks were created with the help of more than 120 Indigenous artists and community members using a combination of contemporary and traditional techniques.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the exhibition showcases the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and continues a rich legacy for future generations.
“There’s been broad community support for this project with internationally renowned Aboriginal artists, Elders, children, families and community leaders involved in the creation of the cloaks,” Ms Enoch said.
“Community members with ties to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane have banded together to contribute to this exhibition – making it one of the largest resurgence projects of its kind in this country.”
Researcher Carol McGregor, who coordinated the cloak-making workshops, said the project came about after creating and wearing her family’s possum skin cloak as a way to connect to her great-grandmother.
Ms McGregor said she saw the cloaks as authoritative mediums for healing, cultural renewal and reclamation and began investigating the material culture of possum skin cloaks and rugs in South East Queensland.
“It then became essential to share and empower the whole community with this knowledge along with the skills involved with cloak making,” she said.
“The need to tell our own stories is an important form of resistance and this artform celebrates our stories and survival,” she said.
Exhibition curator, Freja Carmichael, a descendant of the Ngugi people, Quandamooka Country, said the cloaks form an important oral history for Aboriginal communities.
“The cloaks embody an array of cultural stories – each important and unique – reinforcing that our people maintain a strong connection to family and environment,” Ms Carmichael said.
“The collaborative process has also provided Indigenous communities an opportunity to share, learn and create stories of Country together.
“Art of the Skins will be an engaging exhibition and events program which supports State Library’s 2016 theme of belonging.”
Visitors to the exhibition will get up close and personal with the stories and cultural identity that are captured and imprinted into this unique form of clothing.
The possum skin cloaks will be gifted to the communities who created them at a ceremony held after the exhibition closes.
Possum skins used in the project are ethically sourced from New Zealand.
Art of the Skins is free and open in SLQ gallery and kuril dhagun at State Library of Queensland until 20 November. Visit www.slq.qld.gov.au/belonging for more details.
20 Jun 2016
Mr Chicken comes to State Library
State Library of Queensland (SLQ) will be a-buzz with little people from tomorrow, kicking off with workshops by Australian Children’s Laureate, Leigh Hobbs.
As part of Out of the Box children’s festival, Hobbs, a popular children’s author and illustrator, will deliver character development workshops for children eight years and younger bringing his well-known Mr Chicken character as inspiration.
Original artwork featuring Mr Chicken at iconic Queensland landmarks will form a playscape in SLQ’s Knowledge Walk for the duration of the festival.
Through Hobbs’ illustrations, the almost lovable Mr Chicken can be seen on tour around the state – from the Wheel of Brisbane and the Big Pineapple to the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforest.
State Librarian, Sonia Cooper said SLQ’s involvement in Out of the Box sees thousands of the smallest members of the community flood through the precinct for fun, free and affordable activities.
“State Library will be bustling with activities and workshops not only for Out of the Box, but right through to until the end of the winter school holidays,” Mrs Cooper said.
“This is a great opportunity to fire up young imaginations and expose children and their families to high quality literary and creative experiences,” she said.
Children’s activities will run over the eight day festival and throughout the winter school holidays.
Parents and children can craft their own puppet characters and learn tips and tricks to make them come to life at the puppet-arium workshop (for all ages, bookings required); or drop by the puppet paper town (for all ages) to craft and play with their own puppet characters.
SLQ’s Asia Pacific Design Library is also getting involved with a Little Designers workshop (for ages 4–8, bookings required), which will introduce young minds to special and interior design through play.
Plus, Story Lab workshops (for ages 8–16, bookings required) are back for another jam-packed program of hands-on, minds-on fun and creativity. Workshops range from filmmaking, LED and origami art to robotics.
Bookings are required for some workshops. For more information and to book, visit slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on.
Discover an eclectic range of books, gifts, reproduction prints and more at the Library Shop.