The dive helmet: A revolution in underwater coral reef science

Dr Sarah Hamylton, President of the Australian Coral Reef Society explains why the dive helmet used on the 1928-29 Great Barrier Reef Expedition brought the coral reef underwater environment within reach for scientists to take measurements for the first time. The exhibition Making Waves: A Century of Australian Coral Reef Science opened at Queensland Museum in August 2022. Over the last nine months Queensland Museum … Continue reading The dive helmet: A revolution in underwater coral reef science

Reflecting on the collection

Karen Kindt, Collection Manager, First Nations Cultures Today is World Rhino Day. In acknowledgement of the importance of these amazing creatures and the demise of their populations, the museum has delved into the World Cultures Collection, to showcase a rare, valuable, interesting object – a carved, rhinoceros horn libation cup. Why does the museum hold a cup made of rhinoceros horn? Most people are collectors … Continue reading Reflecting on the collection

Unboxing the mystery of the Tibetan Thangka

Written by Karen Kindt, Collection Manager First Nations Cultures Queensland Museum’s collection is built upon over a hundred years of sourcing and documenting items from Australia and around the world, many of which come into our possession through donations. Recently, the museum received a postal delivery containing a thangka (a Tibetan Buddhist painting on silk applique), however the package was missing any information of the … Continue reading Unboxing the mystery of the Tibetan Thangka

Celebrating First Nations Languages this Indigenous Literacy Day

Wednesday 7 September is Indigenous Literacy Day – a national day to raise awareness and funds to support literacy in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. It aims to improve access to educational resources for these communities, as well as create greater opportunity for First Nations voices in publishing. Lead by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), it is also a chance to celebrate the revitalisation and … Continue reading Celebrating First Nations Languages this Indigenous Literacy Day

Competitive Hedge – How a competition helped Queensland’s railway stations transform from barren to beautiful

In 1905 Queensland Railways were publicly criticised for the poor appearance of their stations. the railways acted by planting more trees. They even hired a gardener to maintain gardens at stations across Brisbane. Continue reading Competitive Hedge – How a competition helped Queensland’s railway stations transform from barren to beautiful

Top 5 photo opportunities in ‘Disney: The Magic of Animation’

Don’t forget your camera as there are plenty of places to get snap happy in Disney: The Magic of Animation at Queensland Museum. We’ve summed up the best photo opps within the exhibition for you. Before you even step foot in Disney: The Magic of Animation, there are plenty of photo opportunities along the level 3 corridor including Mickey and Friends and Snow White. Mickey … Continue reading Top 5 photo opportunities in ‘Disney: The Magic of Animation’

Collections uncovered: Taxidermy – the inside view!

Written by Steve Wilson, Information Officer Among the numerous objects and specimens on display at Queensland Museum are some with truly extraordinary stories! Today Steve Wilson from the Discovery Centre joins us to share one of his favourite specimens from the museum’s displays. ‘They look so alive!’ Countless visitors to Queensland Museum’s Discovery Centre and Wild State marvel at our wildlife collection. Fixed frozen in … Continue reading Collections uncovered: Taxidermy – the inside view!

Animal as Object – nature and culture

Written by Deb Mostert For the past five years, artist Deb Mostert has been visiting Queensland Museum weekly to draw and document the State Collection, in particular the bird and mammal collection. Her artworks from these visits form the basis of her new exhibition Animal as Object – nature and culture at the Tweed Regional Gallery. As a mid-career artist with a 35-year practice, I … Continue reading Animal as Object – nature and culture

Battling and building with nature: Alexandra Bridge, Rockhampton

Needed to cross the river. Designed to survive the river. Built using the river. The rail bridge over the Fitzroy River reveals how the forces of nature were used to overcome the challenges of the environment itself.

The Alexandra Bridge was part of the Rockhampton Junction Railway. George Willcocks was the contractor for its construction. Continue reading Battling and building with nature: Alexandra Bridge, Rockhampton

The Most Instagrammable Scenes in SparkLab

Add colour to your reels and brighten your profile with a trip to SparkLab! SparkLab is where the young and young-at-heart come to ignite their imaginations and explore the many amazing ways that science manifests in our everyday lives. A wonderful by-product of these scientific phenomena is stunning colour, light, sound and movement that make for an epic photo op. So, if you’re an Instagram … Continue reading The Most Instagrammable Scenes in SparkLab

Clothed in tradition

Written by Judith Hickson, Curator, Queensland Stories In today’s world, where increasing importance is placed on fashion, what we wear is a window into our social worlds – a kind of non-verbal, symbolic language which speaks for who we are and how we would like others to see us. Though interpretations may differ across cultures and circumstances, concepts and ideas about personality, religious affiliation, authority … Continue reading Clothed in tradition

Reimagining the Collection for Library and Information Week 2022

by Shannon Robinson, Queensland Museum Librarian Rewrite. Renew. Reimagine. This is the theme of 2022’s Library and Information Week #LIW2022, to not only celebrate Australian libraries and the stories their collections hold but to also consider the opportunities for re-telling and re-interpretation. What better place to find a collection full of material primed for this theme than the Queensland Museum Library? Our library holds items … Continue reading Reimagining the Collection for Library and Information Week 2022

A new lizard genus from the mountains of North Queensland

By Paul Oliver, Janne Torkolla, Jessica Worthington-Wilmer and Patrick Couper In the mist-shrouded mountains of Queensland’s Wet Tropics there lives a secretive and very sensitive little lizard. This species main claim to fame is that unlike your typical reptile, it is apparently intolerant of even modest temperatures. In the “bible” of Australian lizard ecology the lizard researcher Allen Greer reports that “it will perish, presumably … Continue reading A new lizard genus from the mountains of North Queensland

Avro Baby: Original or Museum Mock-Up?

By Peter Volk, Assistant Collections Manager, Queensland Museum How “real” is the Avro Baby flown by Bert Hinkler? This interesting question was raised in a recent public inquiry about one of the most significant objects in Queensland Museum’s collection. We often get inquiries at the museum that are slightly left field or cause us to think differently about our collection. This happened recently when we fielded … Continue reading Avro Baby: Original or Museum Mock-Up?

Humans of SparkLab – Alli

Alli is a science communicator with a Masters of Science Communication Outreach, a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Graduate Diploma in Communication. More recently, she finished a Certificate II in Auslan and is enjoying learning this beautiful language and being involved in the Deaf community. What first sparked your interest in science? My year three teacher had our class play with cornflour slime! I … Continue reading Humans of SparkLab – Alli

Obscure by name, obscure by nature: A cryptic insect, little known, rarely seen

By Kieran Aland & Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum Among the numerous objects and specimens on display at the Queensland Museum are some with truly extraordinary stories! Today Kieran from the Discovery Centre joins us to share one of his favourite specimens from the museum’s displays. This insect displayed in the Discovery Centre appears rather drab. It is so poorly known that it lacks a common … Continue reading Obscure by name, obscure by nature: A cryptic insect, little known, rarely seen

Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug

How one jug in Queensland Museum’s collection can lead to many histories. Tess Shingles, Acting Assistant Curator, Queensland Stories Have you ever wondered what moonshine, Queensland farming, and mascots have in common? Answer: The Beenleigh Rum Character Jug, though perhaps not at first glance. This jug, held in Queensland Museum’s collection is quite small, colourful and full of character. The “Beenleigh Rum” painted on the … Continue reading Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug

The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on

By Leitha Assan, Senior Curator, Indigenous Cultures From its inception in Townsville in 1981 to the High Court victory on 3 June 1992, 2022 marks 30 years since the historical landmark Mabo decision was handed down by the High Court of Australia. The High Court ruled that the Meriam people were entitled to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of their Islands, effectively recognising their Native Title. … Continue reading The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on

Getting Drawn into Archaeology for National Archaeology Week

Guest Blogger – Dr Emma Rehn (@BlueRehn), James Cook University and ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) Alongside the fascinating artefacts and objects in the archaeological collections at Queensland Museum, you’ll also find a range of maps and drawings. Archaeological illustrations record crucial data and come in many forms – read on to learn more about visuals in archaeology in honour … Continue reading Getting Drawn into Archaeology for National Archaeology Week

Resin: an essential piece of kit

By Marisa Giorgi, Information Officer, Queensland Museum There is nothing new about the use of adhesives and sealants. They have been a critical element in the technology of First Australians for thousands of years. Plant-based resin has been employed in the production of many traditional tools and when prepared correctly, resin can become as hard as rock. There is evidence of resin-use in toolmaking from … Continue reading Resin: an essential piece of kit