Queensland Memory Awards

State Library’s Queensland Memory Awards recognise the valuable contribution of individuals and organisations across Queensland in the investigation, preservation and celebration of Queensland’s memory — past and present. 

Applications and nominations now open

For more information about individual fellowships, awards or residencies or to apply for a fellowship or residency please select from one of the tiles below.  All applications must be received by 5:00pm Thursday 25 March 2021.  

If you would like to submit a nomination for Queensland Memory’s recognition awards please select either the John Oxley Library Award for individuals, the Queensland Business History Award for businesses or the John Oxley Library Community History Award for community organisations and heritage groups

If you have an interest in applying for a fellowship please come along to our Fellowship Information Night on Wednesday 23 February, 5.30pm, Auditorium 2, level 2 State Library of Queensland. A panel of past fellows, judges and State Library staff will discuss the experience being a State Library of Queensland fellow and what aspects make a good application. 

The Queensland Memory Awards are made possible by the support of donors through the Queensland Library Foundation.


As one of Queensland’s most prestigious research awards, running for 17 years, the John Oxley Library Fellowship offers researchers, writers, historians and content creators the opportunity to discover Queensland’s rich history utilising the resources of the John Oxley Library and State Library of Queensland. The fellowship recipient will receive a stipend of $20,000.

An Honorary Fellowship has been established to support research projects of high calibre. Honorary Fellows will have access to facilities and receive support in accordance with State Library’s other fellowship programmes.  This position is without a monetary stipend.  No applications are required for the Honorary Fellowship. Only applicants to the John Oxley Library Fellowship are eligible.   

Wondunna wearing headdress decorated with kangaroo teeth Fraser Island ca 1900

The Monica Clare Research Fellowship offers people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, the opportunity to research, explore and create new knowledge about Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories using the significant collections of John Oxley Library. The recipient will receive a stipend of $15,000.

Ray and Babe Melrose inside their shop at Grovely

The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship supports a research project using the rich resources of the John Oxley Library and contributes to knowledge about Queensland's business or economic history.  The Queensland Business History Award recognises Queensland businesses that are proudly promote their heritage and place in Queensland’s history.

Woman mixing sound in the Edge recording studio

The Mittelheuser Scholar in Residence is generously supported by Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser AM through the Queensland Library Foundation. Valued at $15,000, the residency is awarded annually to a leading thinker in the cultural sector, whose work gives rise to innovative new services or strategies. The successful scholar will develop new ideas, tools, strategies or services benefitting both Queensland’s GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector and State Library of Queensland.

Brisbane Punk band

The Letty Katts Award supports the research and documenting of Queensland’s music history. It gives a musician, composer, scholar or researcher the opportunity to study, experiment and explore new thinking in their art/study, leading to the creation of new knowledge or work/s inspired by Queensland’s music history. The recipient receives a stipend of $5,000. This award is biennial and will be awarded again in 2022.  

Herberton Mining Museum  Visitor Centre

The John Oxley Library Award and the John Oxley Library Community History Award are gifted by the Library Board of Queensland and the Queensland Library Foundation and given annually to individuals and local community organisations for distinction and innovation in the documenting and sharing of Queensland’s history.

State Librarian Vicki McDonald presenting Dianne Byrne with the State Library of Queensland Medal

The State Library of Queensland Medal recognizes the valuable contribution and dedication of former staff and their work at the Library.  

Researchers Matthew Wengert and Louise Martin-Chew explore an item from the collections of the John Oxley Library

A list of past Queensland Memory fellows and award recipients. Details of their projects and research topics.

Guidelines for Entry

Download the Guidelines for Entry


About Queensland Memory Awards in 2021 

State Library’s Queensland Memory Awards program is dedicated to supporting researchers of all kinds to interpret the collections of the John Oxley Library. Through deep engagement and interaction with the collections, these interpretations provide new insights into the collection and contribute new knowledge about Queensland’s history.   

Queensland Memory Awards’ fellowships and residencies:  

  • John Oxley Library Fellowship $20,000 

  • Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship $15,000 

  • Mittelheuser Scholar in Residence $15,000  

  • Monica Clare Research Fellowship $15,000  

  • John Oxley Library Honorary Fellowship (no application required). No honorarium.  


  • 2021 John Oxley Library Award. Recognition only.  

  • 2021 John Oxley Library Community History Award $5000 for groups and organisations 

  • 2021 Queensland Business History Award. Recognition only.  

 What does a fellowship or residency offer?  

  • A supportive environment for extended research and inquiry  

  • A shared back of house workspace in the Neil Roberts Research Lounge on level 4 of State Library of Queensland  

  • An honorarium paid in scheduled instalments (excl. the John Oxley Library Honorary Fellowship). The honorarium can be expended at the fellow’s discretion  

  • Free Wi-Fi, printing and photocopying  

  • Access to staff expertise and support  

  • Access to State Library’s collections  

  • Special borrowing privileges   

 What are fellows or residents required to do?  

  • Contribute at least three (3) articles to State Library’s John Oxley Library Blog related to his/her/their research.  

  • Provide two (2) reports about their progress to date.  

  • Participate in at least one (1) public program related to his/her/their research project such as the Research Reveals events.   

  • Deposit a copy of any work produced with the John Oxley Library.   

  • Be available for publicity purposes relating to their fellowship or residency, including media interviews and social media engagement.  

  • Participate in creating a digital story or filmed presentation about his/her/their fellowship or residency.  

  • Compile and submit an annotated bibliography of the research undertaken and presented to the State Library for use as a research resource at the conclusion of the fellowship.  

  • Ensure outcomes of the research undertaken as part of the fellowship or residency acknowledge the State Library of Queensland.   

  • Provide new insights into State Library’s collection and contribute new knowledge about Queensland’s history.  

  • Fellows are required to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with State Library, detailing payment schedule and other requirements listed above.   

 Who can apply?   

Researchers and writers of any discipline, historians, curators, visual and performing artists, filmmakers, musicians and digital creatives are all welcome to apply. Queensland Memory fellowships, residencies and awards are open to applications from individuals only. Applications from groups, University or Australian Research Council (ARC) research teams will not be accepted.  

Interstate applicants are welcome to apply, however onsite use of the Neil Roberts Research Lounge at State Library of Queensland is expected for a portion of the fellow/scholar’s tenure.   

If you are currently in receipt of a funded fellowship or residency from another institution, please indicate this in your application. The fellowship is not intended to support research projects which are a component of postgraduate studies.  

If your project has already commenced, you are eligible to apply. 

If you are a Queensland State Government employee, please provide evidence of the support of your manager (email/letter) with your completed application.  State Library of Queensland employees are ineligible to apply.   

If you would like to be considered for the John Oxley Library Honorary Fellowship, please select this option on the entry form.  This applies only to applicants for the John Oxley Library Fellowship.  The Honorary Fellowship may be offered to the first shortlisted applicant after the winner.    

 How to apply 

  • Select the fellowship, residency or award for which you would like to apply or make a nomination.  

  • Create an account in SmartyGrants using the link to your application or nomination of choice on the Queensland Memory Awards webpage  

  • Read each page carefully. You can start an application or nomination, save it and go back to it if needed. 

  • Complete the application or nomination form.   

  • All mandatory fields must be completed to submit your application or nomination.    

  • If you are applying for the Monica Clare Research Fellowship, please also attach a copy of Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent or Letter of confirmation with your application form. 

  • Attach any relevant material to your application and submit. 

  • You will receive an email acknowledgement of receipt of your application.    

Important!  If you do not receive an email acknowledging receipt, please check your spam/junk folder first and then contact the Research Coordinator immediately at the email address or phone number listed below.  For further information please email: or phone: 073840 7887 or 073840 7879 

All completed applications (including any attachments) must be received by State Library no later than 5pm Thursday 25 March 2021.   

What happens to my application?  

An independent judging panel approved by the State Librarian and CEO will assess all applications. The judging panel may, at their discretion, interview short-listed applicants.   

The successful applicant will be notified before any public announcement.   

All applicants will be notified in writing as to the outcome of their application, approximately 8 weeks after the closing date. Successful applicants will be announced at the Queensland Memory Awards ceremony in June 2021.   

The decision of the judging panel is final, and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into with regards to the panel’s decision.   

Fellows/scholars will be provided with physical space, Wi-Fi and printing access to conduct their own research. Fellows/scholars will be expected to bring in their own laptop computers or digital devices to complete their projects. Fellows/scholars will be given an initial orientation and introduction to State Library. Fellows should liaise with the Research Coordinator to assist with their day-to-day needs.   

State Library research fellowships are proudly supported by: