Plantation Voices

Plantation Voices is State Library of Queensland’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.

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 Exhibition Opening

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


Search for articles on Australian South Sea Islander heritage, culture and stories on the John Oxley Libray Blog.

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.


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.

The Old Place: 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.

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

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.

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 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.


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

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.

Joskeleigh: A place to call home digital story

Joskeleigh is a small distinct community and home to a number of Australian South Sea Islander families. It is situated 40 kilometres east of Rockhampton in central Queensland.