Old words, new ways Continuing the language journey

Free showcase coming soon
kuril dhagun, level 1, State Library

Old words, new ways is an upcoming showcase that continues the language journey that began with Spoken and Jarjum stories.

Australia was home to more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and 600 dialects before British arrival in 1770. Today, less than 50 of these are thriving. Only two are in Queensland. An estimated 100 ‘surviving’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are being maintained. The remaining 650 are considered ‘sleeping’.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are on a long journey to awaken languages once deemed ‘lost’. Communities are creating new knowledge to share their stories and using language in innovative ways. This showcase celebrates some of this work and the resilience of community to maintain, revive and speak their language.

Story Time

Mad Magpie by Gregg Dreise

Kamilaroi author/illustrator Gregg Dreise reads his award winning book, Mad Magpie.

Culture quest

Keep Indigenous languages alive and join us for a culture quest online. Find the animals and colour in the picture. As you go, complete the language challenge by pairing the English word with the listed First Nations language word using our online resources and tools!


Indigenous girl reading a book

Every Thursday of the school term

A free streamed session involving First Nations children’s storybooks guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.

Cultural educator outdoor weaving

Tue 29 Sep | 10:30-11:15am

Fibres, folds and languages old is a celebration of First Nations culture, language and stories featuring a number of events and activities for adults and children alike.

Learning Languages with State Library Resources

Monthly | Online event

Join us for monthly webinar sessions which will provide an overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language resources from State Library collections, including our online interactive languages map.



Early, middle and senior years

Useful information to promote community language revival programs and activities.

Library shop

Legends of Moonie Jarl

Moonie Jarl (Wilf Reeves)

The Legends of Moonie Jarl tells the stories of the Butchulla people, the Indigenous people of Fraser Island and the Fraser Coast, Queensland.

Mad Magpie

Gregg Dreise

Mad Magpie tells the story of Guluu, an angry magpie who is being teased by a gang of butcher birds.

Budburras Alphabet


Follow Budburra’s path through the alphabet and enjoy fun word play.

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Join exhibition curators Des Crump and Naomi Takeifanga as they guide you through Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages.


Cape Treasures is a collection of animations and group stories by children from four communities in Cape York.