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 2021

The recipients of the 2021 John Oxley Library Award are Tracey Olivieri and Chris Dawson for their work with the group, Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery.

Tracey Olivieri explains her association with the group:

"I founded the Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery in 2005 with two dear friends, Marilyn Paul and Roma Waldron.

The cemetery was unkempt, and I felt I had to do something to help protect this special heritage place. I grew up in the local area and used to spend a lot of time at the cemetery so it became a very special project for me.

We photographed every grave, embarked on re-mapping and compiling a database of the residents; helped family historians locate graves; recorded many known and unknown stories of the residents. This was all done along with trying to clean the cemetery. All of this is still being done on a larger scale today with Chris Dawson working equally hard alongside me. Many amazing volunteers come and clean on our “Guardian Angel” cleaning days. We share many of the stories through publications, tours, public talks, facebook and our website. We have plans for more and new things over the years ahead"

Chris Dawson explains his association with the group:

"Our historical cemetery work in recent years has included recording, mapping and maintaining graves; biographical research; writing; tour guiding; public talks; family history assistance; website and social media development; lobbying for cemetery improvements; and generally encouraging visitation and engagement with the cemetery as a heritage place. 

This is very much Public History. One of our proudest achievements has been to build a community of wonderful people around this project, people who we never knew a few years ago but who are now friends and partners in the work. This has probably been our happiest achievement because the underlying principle of everything we do is that the more people know about the place, and the more they engage with it, the more they will care about it and want to protect it into the future. What we have achieved so far has built a strong foundation for us to do even better in the future."

Tracey Olivieri and Chris Dawson, the recipients of the 2021 John Oxley Library Award. 

Tracey Olivieri talks about the work of the group Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery.

John Oxley Library Community History Award 2021

The recipient of the 2021 John Oxley Library Community History award is Montville History Group in recognition for producing their, Montville Stories Series.

The Montville Historical Group was founded in 1983 by four dedicated history enthusiasts: Steph McLennan, Jean Capper, Alan Sly and Betty Bennett. Through the group's website and Facebook page and the support of the Hinterland Times, the group began to field requests from a range of people seeking mainly the history of their family in Montville. Pressure mounted for the group to write a history of Montville. In 2019, the group decided that, instead of writing a historical tome, it would publish a series of stories on the social history of the people who contributed to the early European settlement of the district, its growth as a farming community, and its emergence as a tourist village. The group wanted to write stories based on personal memories, capturing the authentic voices of pioneers, farmers and developers in an easy-to-read style. And so, Montville Stories Series Project was born. 

To date 6 publications have been produced and with the support of the John Oxley Library Community Library Award the group can fund the last 3 books in the Montville Stories Series Project and leave a legacy for Montville and its historians to come.

Memories of the Cuthbertson Family 1953 – 1965 by Ruth Barden  recounts family life growing up in Montville in the fifties and sixties and includes a postscript by Laurie Grimwade (Ruth’s primary school) – Montville Pupil and Teacher.

2021 John Oxley Library Community History Award recipient - Montville History Group in recognition for producing their series, Montville Stories. Doug Patterson talks about the group and their project.

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