Plantation Voices

Plantation Voices is State Library’s portal to Australian South Sea Islander culture and history in Queensland. Over time State Library has cultivated resources and collections telling the story of Australian South Sea Islanders and celebrating their contributions to contemporary Queensland.

Australian South Sea Islander women working in the cane fields Hambledon Mill ca. 1890

Collections at State Library

Linking you to all the items in the State Library catalogue relating to Australian South Sea Islanders, contemporary and historical.

Plantation Voices Gallery featuring Dylan Mooney's 2 artworks from the Stop and Stare series.

Plantation Voices Exhibition Opening

Photos taken during the opening of Plantation Voices: Contemporary conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders. 

South Sea Islanders labourers loading cut sugar cane into a wagon Queensland


The State Library Australian South Sea Islander blog is a place to discuss, share and celebrate Australian South Sea Islander heritage, culture and stories.

Plantation Voices

The online presence of Plantation Voices: Contemporary conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders. Digitised collections, exhibition themes and learning resources complementing the 2019 exhibition.

Overseer standing with the cane workers at the Hambledon Sugar plantation


Images of the South Sea Islanders and their descendants, the Australian South Sea Islanders, pinned to their location across Queensland. This collection shares many of the images used in the Plantation Voices exhibition.

Lot 71 Digital Story

Lot 71 digital story

Many Australian South Sea Islander families lived at Lot 71 in Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast from the late 1800s to the 1970s. Lot 71 is now celebrated as a meeting place and for its historical significance.

Studio portrait of three South Sea Islander men in Queensland

Flickr Commons

Historical photographs of Australian South Sea Islanders, depicting the lives of those living and working on plantations throughout Queensland and their journeys via ship to Australia.

LaVonne Bobongie

LaVonne Bobongie

New contemporary images taken by photographer LaVonne Bobongie, to highlight the Australian South Sea Islander community in 2019 and held in the State Library of Queensland collection.

Cutting of the cake ceremony at the Recognition Day celebrations at Emmaus College Rockhampton

Refined White

Contemporary black and white images taken for the exhibition Refined White. These images reflect the themes of Work, Family, Food, Religion, and Recreation and complement historical images held at State Library.

Mal Meninga digital story

Mal Meninga Digital Story

Mal Meninga and his brother Geoffrey share their family story with interviewer Imelda Miller, speaking about their Australian South Sea Islander heritage and their identity through their family connection to Vanuatu and the Solomons.

South Sea Islander woman at Farnborough, Queensland, ca. 1895


Digitised historic and contemporary content depicting the story of Melanesians brought to Queensland to work in sugar and cotton plantations, revealing the complexity of Australian South Sea Islanders’ experience.

A Time for Telling

A Time for Telling

Video recordings from A Time for Telling, a symposium held at State Library in 2013 on the remarkable history and contemporary identity of Australian South Sea Islanders in Queensland.

Large group of Australian South Sea Islanders on a Queensland plantation

Citizen J

11 Australian South Sea Islanders from across Queensland came together in 2013 to produce their own digital stories about what the 150th anniversary of the arrival of South Sea Islander people to Queensland means to them.