Australian South Sea Islanders Today

More than 1000 contemporary images donated by photographer Brian Rogers to the State Library of Queensland begin to document the people and places that make up the many Australian South Sea Islander communities along Queensland's coast.

In 2000, an exhibition called Refined White was developed by the Australian Sugar Industry Museum in Mourilyan in north Queensland.  During its development, a suite of contemporary black and white images was taken to complement a selection of historical images from the John Oxley Library.  These images reflected the themes of Work, Family, Food, Religion, and Recreation.  This collection of images is the first major contribution of Australian South Sea Islander life to the State Library’s collection since the early historical images dating back to 150 years ago.

Photographer Brian Rodgers

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Railway crossing on the road heading towards Farleigh Sugar Mill, near Mackay, Queensland, 2000 Image number: 28873-0001-0002

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Percy and Roy Mooney outside their house in Habana near Mackay, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0008

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Roy Mooney holding a painting of himself when he was young in Habana, Queensland Image no: 28873-0001-0013

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Ken Backo, a machine operator for Boral Limited in Lakes Creek, Rockhampton, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0039

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Group of Australian South Sea Islander men watching the hungi pit in Lakes Creek, Rockhampton, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0049

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Children ride the merry-go-round on Recognition Day at Emmaus College, Rockhampton, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0054

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Mural of Australian South Sea Islanders painted onto the side of the IGA shopping centre in Bowen, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0097

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Bob Parter's grave at the Sandhills South Sea Islander Historical Cemetery at Joskeleigh, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0131

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Mick Parter in the workshop at Pierce Engineering Pty. Ltd. in Rockhampton, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0145

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Evelyn Parter, an Australian South Sea Islander, sitting inside her home in Joskeleigh, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0151

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Danny Tanner standing next to an Australian South Sea Islander grave at the Bundaberg Cemetery, Queensland Image number: 28873-0001-0198