Welcome to Strait Home at the State Library of Queensland, where you will hear, experience and share stories from the Torres Strait Islands.

The State Library holds some of the most unique and significant Torres Strait Islander documentary material in Australia.

The treasures in our collection have inspired interactive exhibitions, conversations, installations and performances, creating opportunities to learn about the people, history and culture of the Torres Strait Islands.

Over four months, Strait Home invited you to keep culture strong by connecting with this integral part of Queensland and Australia's Indigenous heritage. The State Library has made a long-term commitment to keeping culture strong through its Indigenous Knowledge Centre network throughout Queensland.

Strait Home was part of The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration. Cultural Centre partners State Library, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum and Queensland Performing Arts Centre, joined forces to showcase the diversity and vibrancy of historical and contemporary arts and culture of Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Strait Home
1 July - 23 October 2011
State Library of Queensland

In the Torres Strait

State Library partners with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and Aboriginal Councils to support Queensland's network of Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs).

There are currently 21 IKCs in Queensland and nine in the Torres Strait. They are:

  • Badu (Mulgrave Island)
  • Boigu (Talbot Island)
  • Dauan (Mt Cornwallis Island)
  • Erub (Darnley Island)
  • Kiriri (Hammond Island)
  • Iama (Yam Island)
  • Kubin Village, Moa Island (Banks Island)
  • Mabuiag (Jervis Island)
  • Poruma (Coconut Island)

Staffed by local Torres Strait Islanders, the IKCs provide library services and collections that connect, engage, and empower individuals by bringing together people, technology and culture. Often respected Elders and leaders, IKC coordinators understand their community's interests and needs, running weekly programs that promote literacy, build life skills and keep culture strong.

The Centres are community hubs, with everyone from children to Elders accessing books, CDs, DVDs and magazines. Art, storywriting, music and dance workshops, photography and digital stories make learning programs fun and interactive.

Each community hosts creative programs that celebrate their living culture and promote intergenerational learning.

Literacy through the arts
Children spend a week at these writer and illustrator workshops, developing individual stories and a shared story built around a culturally significant natural phenomenon. Island Treasures: Torres Strait Children Share Stories builds on this.

Culture love
Culture love school holiday programs provide week-long activities for children and employ local artists. Elders and community members share stories, song and dance, inspiring children and young people to create artworks and digital stories.

The State Library of Queensland gratefully acknowledges the use of materials from the British Library, National Film & Sound Archive and the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island.