kuril dhagun draws its meaning from kuril, which is the native marsupial that is found on the State Library site near Kurilpa Point on the Brisbane River, and dhagun meaning earth/place/country. A literal translation of the name is 'kurils place'.
Located on Level 1 of our South Bank building, kuril dhagun is an Indigenous space. It is an initiative of State Library of Queensland designed specifically to inspire audience participation and has been a nucleus for Queensland's unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures since 2006. kuril dhagun is a significant cultural and learning space and is used as a meeting place by many community groups and organisations.
It facilitates community connection, advocacy, and the creating, sharing and preserving of Indigenous knowledge, ideas and experiences.
A Welcoming Place
We have a team of Indigenous staff members who can assist with navigating State Library's collections and services. There is a staff member available within the kuril dhagun space every weekday from 10am till 4pm. If you want to learn how to use the library, start your family history research or have a research question, we are happy to help.
Lilla Watson artwork
A large installation artwork by Aunt Lilla Watson is features on Level 1 of the State Library building, guiding you towards kuril dhagun.
"Beneath the Southern Cross
and the canopy of the rainforest along the riverbank,
the kuril, which still survives here,
dug out its nest, and left its tracks.
They looked out over the river,
the ripples on its surface stirred by the wind and tidal surge,
and the fish swimming in the water"
-Lilla Watson, 2006
The area is for the whole family to interact with reading material and storytelling. The reading nook invites you and your family to sit, grab a book from the shelf and read as you enjoy the best views of the Brisbane River. There are also games and language activities for younger children, making to a space for everyone regardless of age.
The area is devoted to various Indigenous media sources - watch NITV, read newspapers like Koori Mail, Indigenous Times and Torres News, check out Deadly Vibe magazine, listen to radio programs such as ABC's Awaye! and Speaking Out.
The kuril dhagun team works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups across Queensland to facilitate programs , exhibitions, events and workshops, and to co-curate exhibitions for display at State Library.
Possum skin cloak workshops
As part of the development of an upcoming State Library exhibition (2016–17), we are working with community groups in the Sunshine Coast (Kenilworth), Brisbane and Gold Coast to host contemporary possum skin cloak making workshops.
For six months each year, our exhibition program is guided by community groups and individuals looking to share their art, stories and collections with new audiences.
Artist in Residence
Each year a new kuril dhagun Artist in Residence will be selected to undertake a three month creative project at State Library. The program aims to connect community knowledge to SLQ’s collections, resulting in a display in the kuril dhagun exhibition gallery.
We work with communities across Queensland to transfer skills and increase capacity to communicate, capture and maintain community stories using various digital platforms.
Our exhibitions are curated by Indigenous people and present an Indigenous perspective on Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, knowledge and culture. Past exhibitions include Flash Women and Deadly Brothers.
kuril dhagun plays host to a variety of Indigenous events for the community. We celebrate significant dates and occasions such as NAIDOC, Reconciliation Week and Christmas. We facilitate regular talks with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guest speakers.
Check Indigenous voices webcasts to watch recent kuril dhagun events.
For tour options and bookings, visit the School and group tours page.
Venues for hire
kuril dhagun is a community space available for many types of events. The space is free for the Indigenous community to hire.
The room offers an intimate meeting space for family or community meetings, workshops or seminars. The room is named in honour of Loris Elaine Williams (1949-2005) who was a passionate advocate for the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to use archives as a means of reconnecting with family. She was the first Aboriginal person from Queensland to gain professional archival qualifications. She spent the last 11 years of her life helping Indigenous people research archives and encouraged her professional colleagues, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to recognise the significance of this work.
Talking Circle is an outdoor area with a fire pit. Traditionally, both Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders would talk, laugh and share knowledge around the fire.
Watch a video about the history and construction of the Talking Circle:
The main activity area is used for large gatherings and events.
Please contact us on 07 3842 9981 for venue bookings.
For regular updates regarding kuril dhagun events, exhibitions and programs, subscribe to the Indigenous voices newsletter .
For the latest news regarding kuril dhagun, check out the Indigenous Voices blog .
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