State Library of Queensland Awards 2011
On Queensland Day, 6 June 2011, the State Library of Queensland hosted its annual awards ceremony in Auditorium 2 followed by a beautiful afternoon tea on the Queensland Terrace.
Minister for Finance and the Arts, Hon. Rachel Nolan MP awarded this year's John Oxley Library Fellowship to journalist and writer Heidi Gibson from Mossman. Ms Gibson's project will explore whether there have been changes in the perception and roles of PNG nationals within the Saibai and Boigu Island communities of the Torres Strait since independence; and how any such changes may have had an impact upon relationships within families and other social networks that span the border divide.
Endorsing the benefits of the John Oxley Library Fellowship, 2010 Fellow Jeff Rickertt spoke of the research he was able to undertake on Ernie Lane using publications and manuscripts held in the John Oxley Library.
The 2011 John Oxley Library Award went to Dr Ross W. Johnston. Ross has had a long and distinguished involvement in studies and publication in the field of Queensland history and development. During a long career as a Senior Lecturer and Professor of History at the University of Queensland, he was the author of many publications, among them ground-breaking works which pioneered local and regional studies which inspired a generation of researchers. He also was at the forefront of the study and teaching of Queensland history in its own right and remains heavily involved in the Queensland and Australian historical field.
Ross has always been a strong supporter of the John Oxley Library and has donated material to its collections directly over the years as well as encouraging others to do so. He also served with distinction for many years as a member of the John Oxley Library Advisory Board. He has been a key member of the Queensland Consultative Committee for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and contributed a number of entries to this key biographical resource.
The John Oxley Library Community History Award for 2011 was presented to Berenice Wright OAM who has played a key role in the research and promotion of the history of Mackay and region, as well as being involved in a wide range of community work over an extended period, especially presenting the area's history to students of schools and colleges in the area.
Berenice worked closely with both the John Oxley Library and the Mackay City Library in the development of collections that reflect the history and development of the Mackey region. She has researched and published in the area and been an invaluable source of advice for Oxley Photograph Librarians in the identification and description of pictorial material relating to Mackay.
Later in the evening Berenice accompanied the Oxley's Brian Randall and Simon Farley to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland's Annual Queensland Day Dinner at the Queensland Club concluding a wonderful day celebrating those who have played an important role in recording, writing, and preserving Queensland history.
Congratulations to this year's worthy winners. Thanks also to our terrific host Jenny Woodward who reflected on her experience of the 2010-11 Queensland floods and the role of the library in recording these events for future generations.
Simon Farley - John Oxley Library