John Oxley Library Award and John Oxley Library Community History Award

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

John Oxley Library Award

The John Oxley Library Award recognises an individual who had made an outstanding contribution to the appreciation of Queensland history. The award is granted annually to promote the value of pursuing historical knowledge and its role in shaping Queenslanders understanding of themselves and each other. The achievement being recognised may relate to any aspect of Queensland's social, political, public and cultural history; and may take any form, occurring in any context, and extending over any period of time.

John Oxley Library Community History Award

The John Oxley Library Community History Award recognises excellence and innovation in the preservation, recording and sharing of Queensland history by community organisations. The successful recipient will receive a one-off gift of $5000. 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 is not restricted by format and can take the shape of a community engagement initiative, project or event.   

John Oxley Library Award 2020

Joanne Tapiolas is the 2020 recipient of the John Oxley Library Award for her project Footprints of Italian Prisoners of War in Queensland.

Footprints of Italian Prisoners of War in Queensland is an international community project spearheaded by Joanne Tapiolas. Through her website and her book, Walking in their Boots Joanne has brought to life Queensland’s little-known history of the Italian prisoners of war who worked on Queensland farms.

A proud Queenslander, her passion for family history and insight into social history has inspired Queenslanders and Italians from around the world, to become part of this project and share their stories.

Joanne Tapiolas’s research is comprehensive and diverse due to the project’s collection of and access to stories, letters, photographs, testimonies, artefacts, embroideries and music. Providing valuable perspective, farmers, farmers’ wives, farming children, the town kid, an Australian Army interpreter, children of Italians prisoners of war, Italian prisoners of war, a local nurse, a mother of an ex-POW have all contributed to this colourful and vibrant Queensland history.

In March 2021, Joanne received international acknowledgement from one of Italy's major daily newspapers, Corriere della Sera for her project and research into Italian prisoners of war in Australia during the Second World War. Corriere della Sera, 17 March 2021, Joanne Tapiolas, the Australian who finds Italian soldiers imprisoned...article by Amelia Esposito.

Joanne Tapiloas, John Oxley Library Award

John Oxley Library Community History Award 2020

The Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre is the 2020 recipient of the John Oxley Library Community History Award.

The award recognises 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

Herberton Museum and Mining Museum Volunteers L-R: Ivan Searston, Mary Searston, Elaine Bruce, June Bosel, Graham Greaves, John Van Grieken, Pam Egan, Deb Bisa, Arend Kaptein, Christine McCann, Johannes Philippa, Elizabeth Atkins, Kathy Kavanagh, Thelma Madrid, Norman Mann, James Lockyer, Julio Hernandez, Cliff Elms, Ted Wright, Robin Snow, Colin Purchase, Carol Purchase, Veronica Weal

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Previous John Oxley Library Award winners

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