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2022 Queensland Memory Awards announced

By Jacinta Sutton | 6 October 2022

Group of people

State Library welcomes a new cohort of research fellows and award recipients with the announcement of the 2022 Queensland Memory Awards. A special event on Thursday 6 October hosted by ABC journalist and weather presenter Jenny Woodward, recognised the valuable contribution of individuals and organisations across Queensland in the investigation, preservation and celebration of Queensland’s documentary heritage. 

The John Oxley Library Fellowship is awarded to Dr Mimi Tsai and her project, Vernacular Landscapes and Queensland Memories: Exploring Queensland’s resilience through narratives of therapeutic environments. Mimi will explore our connections to place via three landscapes: prison farming on St Helena Island, Queensland war gardens and Chinese market gardening. The fellowship will also investigate the therapeutic value of gardening for Queenslanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The John Oxley Library Honorary Fellowship is awarded to A/Professor Anna Johnston for her project, History and Fiction: Mapping frontier violence in colonial Queensland writing. Anna's research will explore the representation of colonial violence in Queensland writing, including fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction.

Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA is the recipient of this year’s John Oxley Library Award. A Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru woman, Jackie embodies the Award’s criteria of significance, impact and leadership in making an outstanding contribution to the appreciation of Queensland history. Jackie is currently leading the work for Treaty/Treaties in Queensland.  She is a well-known historian, author and speaker, with articles published widely in Australia and internationally. She was the former Co-Chair National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, former member of the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia, the State Library Board of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She was Co-Commissioner for Queensland for the Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, and for several years was a Judge of the annual David Unaipon Award. 

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald AM FALIA acknowleged the passing of past John Oxley Library Award winner Dr Spencer Routh OAM, a highly respected librarian and academic, a champion of reference librarianship and treasured friend to State Library as a visitor and user of our collections for over 70 years. 

The John Oxley Library Community History Award is awarded to Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation which holds native title over Mithaka Country in far south western Queensland, encompassing parts of the Barcoo and Diamantina Shires. The award recognises the success of this community organisation in working locally, nationally and internationally to preserve culture and identity into the future.

The State Library Medal honours the significant and lasting impact of past Library staff. The 2022 recipient is Des Crump, acknowledging his development and delivery of State Library’s commitment to support the revitalisation of Indigenous languages in Queensland. Des’ cultural links are with the Gamilaroi Nation of south west Queensland and he is recognised nationally and internationally for his language expertise, his knowledge of Queensland history and his abiding curiosity.

Now in its third year and with support from the Siganto Foundation, the Monica Clare Research Fellowship is awarded annually to people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander to research, explore and create new knowledge about Queensland’s First Nations' histories and cultures using the John Oxley Library and State Library collections and resources.  Kullilli man Dr Max Brierty is awarded the 2022 fellowship for his research project entitled, Mipa Mipumani: The Colonisation of Kullilli Country in South-West Queensland.  Mipa Mipumani (‘Bad Dreaming’, in Kullilli language) will tell a story of the colonisation of Kullilli Country underpinned by truth-telling, traditional and contemporary Indigenous philosophy and Max’s own standpoint as a Kullilli man.

The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship is awarded to Mary Howells and her project Trittons: Furnishing Queensland. Mary’s research will provide insights into the iconic Queensland family furniture and homewares company that operated for more than 100 years.

The inaugural Rainbow Research Fellowship is awarded to Bianca Martin. Bianca’s project aims to establish an abridged contemporary history of LGBTQIA+ zines in Queensland, uncovering stories that may have been overlooked, silenced, or erased and will establish an alternative history of self-publishing in Queensland.

Greer Townshend and her project I Feel You: Discovering collections through emotion is the 2022 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence. Greer plans to explore alternate ways of searching collections held in cultural institutions that will enable emotive and meaningful connections to be made.

Another new addition to the host of fellowships offered by State Library and with support of the Boughen family is the Christina Boughen OAM Fellowship, which commemorates the life and career of Queensland musician Christina Boughen OAM. Juanita Simmonds is the inaugural recipient; her project Christina Boughen: A Queensland musical artist and woman, aims tostrike a balance in creating a creative and scholarly preliminary record of Boughen’s varied roles as pianist, accompanist, curator, and mentor.

Awarded biennially, the Letty Katts Fellowship supports projects that uncover Queensland’s music history. This year’s recipient is Dr Leah Cotterell, with her project Sunday nights at the Primitif  focused on the performers of the Primitif coffee lounge, situated in the Piccadilly Arcade in Brisbane city in the late 1950s.  

State Library congratulates the 2022 fellows and recipients and looks forward to a year of fascinating research through the diversity of their valuable contributions.

The Queensland Memory Awards are made possible by the support of donors through the Queensland Library Foundation.


Recording of the 2022 Queensland Memory Awards event, held Thursday 6 October 2022.


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