State Library and the John Oxley Library have a leading role in ensuring that Queensland’s cultural heritage is collected, organised, preserved and made accessible. Our heritage is a critical contributor to our identity and self understanding.
The John Oxley Library Community History Award recognises excellence and innovation in the preservation, recording and sharing of Queensland history by community organisations.
The Award promotes the rich history of Queensland’s diverse communities, and seeks to encourage the communication of those histories in varied formats. The achievement being recognised may take the form of a print or online publication, exhibition, website, blog, multimedia presentation, walk or tour.
The 2020 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was the Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre for recognising the efforts of the museum to preserve and make accessible their archives and collections through their Community Research Room and Collection Management Overhaul project.
The project has resulted in; the creation of a community research area, the transformation of an overcrowded collection space into a collections operation centre and dedicated archives space, and the training of volunteers in collection policy and management.
The 2019 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was Caylie Jeffrey in recognition of the project Under the Lino for its innovating engagement in the documenting and sharing of Queensland’s cultural heritage.
Under the Lino is s a Brisbane-based community research project inspired by revolving around three 1940/50s bankbooks and money that Brisbane writer, Caylie Jeffery, found underneath the lino flooring of her 1912 Queenslander in Milton. After sharing her discovery on Facebook’s Old Brisbane Album, a comprehensive search for the owners of the documents ensued and as a result, hundreds of amateur detectives have unearthed local mysteries and stories that have turned Brisbane into a fascinating library of underground stories.
The 2018 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre - Yugambeh Museum has developed its own language app to encourage young people and the wider public to engage with Aboriginal languages and heritage
The 2017 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was the Annerley-Stephens History Group for their continued and highly successful community project the Frank Corley House Photo project.
The Frank Corley House Photo Project aims to uncover the houses of the inner Southside of Brisbane photographed by Frank Corley in the 1970s. Frank Corley was a commercial photographer who photographed almost every house in Brisbane as he drove past in his Cadillac in the early 1970’s. His wife developed the prints in a van that they had converted to a darkroom. A team of door-to-door salespeople would sell the photos packaged in a cardboard calendar priced at 85 cents.
Before Frank passed away, he bequeathed the remaining photos in his collection to the John Oxley Library. The JOL holds around 50,000 photos taken around South East Queensland that were not purchased by residents. Digitisation of these photographs has commenced and the digital images have been used by the Annerley-Stephens group in their community engagement activities.
The 2016 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was the Cairns Museum and Historical Society. Through its museum programs, library and archive, photographic collection, Society publications and newly developed web portal, the Cairns Museum and Historical Society is committed to bringing the stories of Cairns and the region to life. The Society operates the Cairns Museum, the Cairns Historical Society Research Centre and the History on the Move School Trailer program.
The 2015 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was the Ration Shed Museum.
The Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg has been active in collecting local history since opening in 2009 and has worked with State Library on several projects to promote their local history – exhibitions onsite and online and participation in our Indigenous Language program. To complement the museum’s physical presence, the organisation has launched the online Cherbourg Memory project. This website is an initiative of the museum to bring together the photos, videos, oral history recordings, documents and other artefacts from the lives in the Cherbourg community.
The Ration Shed Museum is also participating in QANZAC 100 program and is about to launch their Boys from Barambah project. This project will produce an exhibition, a book and a website which proudly display the involvement of men from Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and surrounding areas in World War I.
The 2014 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was Adopt a Digger, an outstanding example of a voluntary community project. The project commemorates the men and women from the Sunshine Coast region who served during the First World War. First launched in 2010, the aim of the project is to create an extensive database documenting the 2000+ soldiers and nurse from the region.
Local residents and historians, school students and descendants are encouraged to “adopt a digger”, research the person’s military history and upload this information onto their website.
The 2013 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was Brisbane Open House for encouraging Queensland's residents and tourists to engage actively with Brisbane's history through architecture.
Now in its fourth year, Brisbane Open House has unlocked more than 50 of Brisbane's architecturally significant buildings to the public for guided tours and self-exploration, and hopes to add another 20 buildings to the mix.
This annual event is part of the Open House Worldwide family.
The 2012 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was the Cardwell & District Historical Society for its efforts to record the events of Cyclone Yasi, despite its own museum being destroyed by the cyclone.
The Cardwell & District Historical Society showed great community spirit as they worked together to collect oral histories from the town’s inhabitants in the wake of Yasi while also salvaging their valuable collections.
The 2011 winner of the John Oxley Library Community History Award was Berenice Wright.
Ms Wright has long been involved in researching and promoting the history of Mackay, as well as undertaking a wide range of community work. She has worked closely with both the John Oxley Library and the Mackay City Library in the development of collections that reflect the history of the Mackay region.
She has been a driving force behind the Mackay City Library’s heritage collections, which are now a model for the management of regional historical collections in general.
She was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2008 for her services to the community.
The inaugural John Oxley Library Community History Award in 2010 was presented to Geoff Moore from the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum on Minjerribah.