OutbackQueensland communities – featuring Julia Creek, Richmond, Cloncurry and more

Horse racing in the bush, outback Queensland, image 29527 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

2019 was the named by the Queensland goverment as the Year of Outback Tourism in Queensland. Starting in April through to late September many townships and communities in western Queensland hosted special events and programs in their regions, extending a warm welcome and invitation to visitors and travellers alike to experience country hospitality as part of the outback experience.

In support of this initiative at the time State Library featured collections showcasing the diverse experiences of living in the remote parts of the state.

The Lew Jenkin collection of photographs, family albums, negatives, and scrapbooks donated to the John Oxley Library highlight events where the people of Julia Creek, Cloncurry, Richmond, Lawn Hill and various pastoral stations celebrated life in the country during the 50s. Even though the events Lew photographed in the 40s - 60s have evolved, many are still being promoted and hosted as important outback tourism events in regional communities today. The images digitised in this collection help to preserve knowledge of Queensland's places and communities.

A large crowd watches as a horse wins easily at Sedan Dip, near Julia Creek, ca. 1968, Lew Jenkin Photographs of North-West Queensland Acc number: D4-6-85, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Judges box, grandstand and photo finish at Richmond Races, 1966, Lew Jenkin Photographs of North-West Queensland Acc number D4-6-84, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Drinks at the bar in the Post Office Hotel, Cloncurry, Queensland 1967, Negative: 83550, 7829 Lew Jenkin Photographs of North-West Queensland, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

One of the first events hosted in the 2019 outback calendar was the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival usually held in the month of April. Run over three days, 2019 marked 25 years since the festival began. The entertainment included country music artists, novelty events, bull-riding, camp draft and traditional horse racing. 

For more images access the Lew Jenkin collections. They include:

7829 Lew Jenkin Photographs of North-West Queensland 1944-1972

7978 Lew Jenkin collection of photographs 1950 – 1970/ including images of Cunnamulla, Julia Creek, Lady Wallace Station, Kalmetia, Kallaba, Dajarra and Bindooran Stations

M 273 Lew Jenkin Scrapbooks / Four scrapbooks and photographs on Cloncurry 1920s-1930s; 1961-1971

7387 Lew Jenkin collection of negatives 1919-1977

The images featured in this blog are a small selection digitised from the collection. 

Anne Scheu | Engagement Officer | Queensland Memory

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