What can archaeology tell us about Australian South Sea Islanders?

by Dr James Flexner, Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology and Heritage, University of Sydney and research Leader on the Australian Research Council-funded project Archaeology, Collections and Australian South Sea Islander Lived Identities. Archaeology is an important tool for understanding Australia’s ‘hidden histories’. Australian South Sea Islanders wrote little about themselves, but traces of their history abound in Queensland’s landscapes and collections. When most people think of … Continue reading What can archaeology tell us about Australian South Sea Islanders?

Two academics walk into a bar: meditations on community-led research at an altitude of 1,365m

by Dr Helena Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Education, University of Sydney, and research team member on the Australian Research Council-funded project Archaeology, Collections and Australian South Sea Islander Lived Identities. In this personal reflection on a current research collaboration between the Queensland Museum, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, and Australian South Sea Islander communities, Dr Helena Robinson considers what it means to be … Continue reading Two academics walk into a bar: meditations on community-led research at an altitude of 1,365m

Walking across the landscape

Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator – History, Industry and Technology, Queensland Museum Network When you visit somewhere with a person who has lived there all their life, it gives you a very different understanding of that place and why it’s important to those who live there. At the moment, Queensland Museum staff are part of an amazing project that does just that. Since 2016, Queensland … Continue reading Walking across the landscape

Queensland Australian South Sea Islanders embrace 20th Anniversary

Collections: Australian South Sea Islander Kastom Collection Imelda Miller, Curator – Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Indigenous Studies, Queensland Museum Network Australian South Sea Islander history and heritage is an important part of Queensland history.  This year, 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Queensland Government’s official recognition of Australian South Sea Islanders’ continuing contributions to Queensland. 20 years ago today Early in my … Continue reading Queensland Australian South Sea Islanders embrace 20th Anniversary

The Wreck of the Foam and the Queensland Labour Trade

Written by Dr Stephen Beck,  Honorary Officer (Volunteer) with the Cultures and History Program at Queensland Museum.

The wreck of the Foam provides amazing archaeological insights into the conduct of the Queensland labour trade, the process by which it operated and the effect of contact, trade and exchange between different cultures.   The Foam has the unique status of being the only known wreck on the Great Barrier Reef of a Queensland labour vessel that was actively engaged in the labour trade at the time of its demise.   Thus, the Foam, together with its wreck site, has provided archaeological insights into life on board a labour vessel, both for the returning Islanders and the European crew, at a specific time in the Queensland labour trade.
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