Two community exhibitions and their stories

By Niles Elvery, Regional Coordinator, QANZAC 100, State Library of Queensland.

Last week I was privileged to attend two community exhibition openings - one at Beaudesert and the other at Noosa.  Telling the story of their regions in similar but different ways.

Our Stories exhibition at The Centre Beaudesert is part of the year long War Stories and Our Town Program developed  by Bronwyn Davies, Coordinator Cultural Services for the Scenic Rim Regional Council. Her team has collated significant war stories from Scenic Rim communities, relating to a number of conflicts.  Our Stories exhibition was curated by Irene Girsch Danby with support from local volunteers.

The exhibition, which is on until 16 December, is one of the culminating events of a yearlong commemorative program in the Scenic Rim Region.

Artefacts on display include a selection of personal First World War diaries from Arthur Stanley Dobbs, who served with the 7th Light Horse Regiment and fought at Gallipoli.

During the panel discussion, Dobb's daughter-in-law spoke of how important it is for her ‘children to know what their grandfather wrote’. Through this collection of diaries and postcards the family can view the events from a very personal perspective. This sentiment resonates very strongly with other commemorative activities, as it is only through the individual stories that we develop a broader understanding - the stories are deeply personal but throw light on a global event.

Stories from the Scenic Rim community are also being added to a map and pinned to the location of that story.

During the evening we were also treated to the inaugural regional outdoor screening of the State Library of Queensland's QANZAC 100 Projection which was shown on the exterior wall of The Centre. This projection is a collation of First World War imagery from State Library’s collection.

The Noosa Library has taken a different approach to mapping their stories, not only physically but by using Historypin to digitally share the story of their community’s involvement in the First World War.

At the launch of the Noosa’s War Front exhibition at the Noosaville Library on 11 November, Jane Harding, Heritage Librarian for Noosa Library Service, said that she had located a staggering amount of material during this project and was overwhelmed with the number of stories that had been uncovered.

On a very large map of the shire, Jane has pinned items to tell those stories and indicate their connection with place. Along with the map, are a selection of personal collections, as well as a series of banners highlighting particular elements of Noosa’s story, which can be viewed at the Noosaville Library until 28 November. The exhibition will then travel to the Cooroy Library in February 2016.

View Noosa’s War Front on Historypin. These significant stories from the community are pinned, along with images and digital stories. Here again the image is connected to place to locate the information with in the geographic area.

Niles Elvery  |  Regional Coordinator, QANZAC 100  | State Library of Queensland
qanzac100@slq.qld.gov.au

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