Beginning our journey into Australian South Sea Islander collections and archives

by Eve Haddow and Zia Youse, Research Assistants on the Australian Research Council-funded project Archaeology, Collections and Australian South Sea Islander Lived Identities.  In January 2021, Zia Youse and Eve Haddow joined a Queensland Museum Network project as research assistants focussing on stories in Australian South Sea Islander archive and museum collections.  Archive and museum collections, both in Queensland and beyond, hold rich stories of Australian South Sea Islander … Continue reading Beginning our journey into Australian South Sea Islander collections and archives

Top 4 things to see at Brickman® Wonders of the World at Queensland Museum

If closed international borders has you down – no need to fret – you can now see 50 of the greatest wonders of the world in LEGO® brick form right here at Queensland Museum. We’ve pulled together a list of the top five wonders not to miss on your next visit. 1. Space Shuttle Any fans of Channel Nine’s LEGO Masters Australia won’t want to … Continue reading Top 4 things to see at Brickman® Wonders of the World at Queensland Museum

Top 10 LEGO® facts for kids

We’d love to share some fun facts about LEGO® with you that we’ve learnt along the way. LEGO’s founder, Mr Ole Kirk Christiansen created the name LEGO by taking the first two letters of Danish words LEG GODT meaning play well. The World’s tallest LEGO tower is 28.7 metres high and made from 550,000 bricks! Did you know six 2 x 4 LEGO bricks can … Continue reading Top 10 LEGO® facts for kids

Magic of the Minifig

We all love LEGO® Minifigures and I bet you’ve got your favourite. There really is a character for everyone. So we wanted to find out and share some of the magic surrounding LEGO’s Minifigs. The LEGO Minifigure, also known as Minifig or just fig was first introduced in 1978 and the first character was a Police Officer. Before this time, early figures had no facial … Continue reading Magic of the Minifig

5 minutes with Dr Jessica Worthington Wilmer, Research Fellow and Molecular Identities Lab Manager

What is your favourite object/species in the collection and why? My favourite species is the ghost bat (Macroderma gigas). Ghost bats are pretty special being Australia’s only mainly carnivorous bat. As well as eating invertebrates, especially locusts and grasshoppers, they have been regularly recorded catching and eating birds, mammals (rodents and other small bats), reptiles and frogs. They are a relatively large bat, weighing up … Continue reading 5 minutes with Dr Jessica Worthington Wilmer, Research Fellow and Molecular Identities Lab Manager

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 16]: Lost trades with Andrew MacDonald

There’s a good chance that as you listen to this podcast you’re sitting on a mass-produced piece of furniture – not that there’s anything wrong with that! But what if you could learn the skills to make your own? Andrew MacDonald could teach you. He’s the Factory Supervisor at Cobb+Co Museum, our Toowoomba campus, where talented and knowledgeable people like Andy are keeping traditional trades … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 16]: Lost trades with Andrew MacDonald

Creepy crab parasites: rhizocephalan barnacles

by Dr Marissa McNamara, Collection Manager of Crustaceans If you think you’re having a bad day, be thankful you’re not a crab! Sure, they have a great life (who wouldn’t want two big claws, or eyes on stalks?!) but crabs can become infected with some of the scariest parasites around: rhizocephalan barnacles. Barnacles might not sound scary, or even particularly interesting, and most people probably … Continue reading Creepy crab parasites: rhizocephalan barnacles

Help us bring Queensland’s inspiring stories to life

Since 1862, Queensland Museum Network has been collecting and caring for artefacts and specimens that illustrate Queensland’s inspiring stories.     Every year, we welcome millions of visitors to our museums in South Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Townsville.  Every day, we’re out and about across the state and beyond meeting with communities, uncovering objects, tackling ground-breaking research and sharing our stories with Queensland… and the world. At … Continue reading Help us bring Queensland’s inspiring stories to life

5 minutes with Joanne Wilkinson, Senior Fossil Preparator and Conservator

What is your favourite object/species in the collection and why? My favourite objects in the Queensland Museum Geosciences Collection are a set of fossil foot bones from Rhoetosaurus brownei, one of the largest, oldest and most complete Australian sauropod dinosaurs from Queensland. The individual bones fit together to form the foot of this gigantic animal. When I look at the size and strength of the … Continue reading 5 minutes with Joanne Wilkinson, Senior Fossil Preparator and Conservator

Of course everybody wonders what a crocodile hairball looks like! Or do they?

by Marisa Giorgi, Discovery Center Information Officer When cabinets of curiosity were fashionable, this strange looking smooth ball would be a worthy addition. In those early 16th century permutations of what would become museums, what could be more appropriate than a crocodile bezoar or hairball nestled among a collection of peculiar oddities on display? Hair, along with hooves, claws, and fingernails for that matter, is … Continue reading Of course everybody wonders what a crocodile hairball looks like! Or do they?

More than just tea towels: the migrants, makers and merchandise of Reef Productions

Queensland Museum Network’s Museum Development Officers provide vital support for regional community collections across Queensland. The Museum Development Officer program is an important partnership between the Queensland Museum and Arts Queensland. The program employs five professionally qualified Museum Development Officers, known as MDOs, who are based in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Ipswich and Toowoomba. For the last 12 months, Cairns MDO Dr Jo Wills has been working … Continue reading More than just tea towels: the migrants, makers and merchandise of Reef Productions

Connections to the land and sea

In 2021, Museum of Tropical Queensland commissioned an artwork from local Townsville Indigenous artist, Jumbo Prior. Jumbo Prior is a Bwgcolman, Birri-Gubba and Mamu man. Jumbo was born on Palm Island and grew up in Cherbourg. A self-taught artist, Jumbo has been painting for around eight years. He recently designed the Toyota Cowboys 2021 NRL Indigenous Jersey, with his work, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander … Continue reading Connections to the land and sea

How artists use our research collection

Queensland Museum Network’s mammal and bird collections are like a library of animals. Unlike a regular library of books where you go to read to take away information gathered from authors, visiting scientists and artists study the animals, generating information to fill in the gaps in our understanding of the unique fauna of Queensland.  Artists use the research collection in a number of ways: to … Continue reading How artists use our research collection

Finding dinosaur bones… from a plane?

by Joanne Wilkinson, Queensland Museum technician It sounds crazy but in 1998 that’s exactly what Queensland Museum palaeontologist Ralph Molnar did, with the assistance of Queensland Museum technician, Joanne Wilkinson. They were joined by American palaeontologists, Paul Sereno, an experienced dinosaur hunter, and his student, John Marco. Paul Sereno, Joanne Wilkinson, Jon Marco and Ralph Molnar at Plevna Down lagoon, 1998 Well, of course they … Continue reading Finding dinosaur bones… from a plane?

Meet Australotitan, Australia’s largest dinosaur!

By Rochelle Lawrence, Senior Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum  It is time to meet Australotitan cooperensis, a new species of giant sauropod from Eromanga in southwest Queensland. Australotitan, the ‘Southern Titan of the Cooper’, named from where it was found, has been scientifically described by palaeontologists and staff at Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Natural History Museum. The fossilised skeleton … Continue reading Meet Australotitan, Australia’s largest dinosaur!

Chinchilla Sand fossils

For over 150 years fossils have been collected from a variety of locations all over Queensland and are now stored in Queensland Museum Geosciences collections. In the late 1800’s staff were employed specifically to travel around Queensland and collect objects to build the state collections. Two of these employees were Kendall Broadbent and Patrick Wall who worked for the museum between 1887 and 1900. Kendall … Continue reading Chinchilla Sand fossils

The legacy of Eddie Koiki Mabo: Mabo Day

by Imelda Miller, Curator, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Indigenous Studies As we come to the end of National Reconciliation Week 2021, it is an opportunity to reflect on the significance of Mabo Day, and how it demonstrates the important ongoing connection to country for our First Nation’s communities across Queensland. Home means different things to different people. For Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders … Continue reading The legacy of Eddie Koiki Mabo: Mabo Day

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 15]: Insights into exhibition design with Alison Ross

There’s a group of unsung heroes in the museum world who work harder than anyone to bring the knowledge and vision of the curators and scientists to life in a way that excites and inspires you. We’re talking about the designers! Queensland Museum’s Senior Exhibition Designer Alison Ross gives us exclusive insight into her role at the museum, a day in the life of a … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 15]: Insights into exhibition design with Alison Ross

The role of a museum curator

by Patrick Couper, Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Queensland Museum The role of a museum curator is diverse and hugely rewarding with every day offering something new. My primary role is to oversee the museum’s frog and reptile collections, which now number around 86,000 specimens, and I undertake taxonomic research (the branch of science concerned with the classification of organisms – in my case, … Continue reading The role of a museum curator

Sweet new discovery – a new species of chocolate frog

Move over Freddo, there is a new chocolate frog in town… meet Litoria mira, a new frog species that has been recently described by Queensland Museum scientists. Compared to other tree frogs, known for their green skin, Litoria mira is brown and was given the nickname chocolate frog because of its colouring. Lead author, Dr Paul Oliver who is a joint appointment with Queensland Museum … Continue reading Sweet new discovery – a new species of chocolate frog