ATSI Children's Day celebrated with SLQ world heritage images, Boigu Island

Boigu Island children

State Library celebrates National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day on 4 August 2015 with newly released digitised content from its world heritage collection, TR1791 Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Strait Islands Material 1964-1998 TR1791 .  Children’s Day celebrates the strengths and culture of  ATSI children. The day is an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Indigenous children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

Girls playing games on Boigu Island

Queensland Memory, Indigenous Library Service’s Cairns branch and the Boigu Island Community have worked together to obtain cultural clearances for digital access to images from the Margaret Lawrie Collection, depicting life on Boigu Island during the 1960s and 1970s. Boigu Island is the most northerly inhabited island of Queensland, located about six kilometres from the Papua New Guinea mainland. The collection includes beautiful photos of hunting and fishing, school life and celebrations on the Island.

Ganadi Toby and his son on Boigu Island

Local Councillor Dimas Toby has taken a keen interest in having digital access to historic images available for community members, and has expressed his appreciation to all involved for the recent release of the digitised content.  He  notes that he plans to display the images around the council office. The Boigu Indigenous  Knowledge Centre also supports Community access to these wonderful images. Enjoy more Boigu Island images in State Library's catalogue One Search.

The Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Strait Islands Materials is the culmination of the life's work for Margaret Lawrie, documenting the history, languages and cultures of the Torres Strait Islander peoples, and has been included on UNESCO's Australian Memory of the World Register.

The collection  contains stories from the Torres Strait islands in audio-tape and manuscripts. These formed the basis for the publication of Myths and Legends of Torres Strait (1970) and Tales from Torres Strait (1972).  The collection also contains genealogical information (including genealogical tables) on many Torres Strait Island families, slides and photographs mostly taken between 1964 and 1973, artworks by Margaret Lawrie and Torres Strait Islanders, many of which were published in the above-mentioned books, research notes on the cultural history of the Torres Strait (children's games etc.), as well as research material relating to the history of Torres Strait Islands.

C. Cottle - Digital Collections Curator, State Library of Queensland

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