Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
The Untold Story - Plantation Voices Map State's History
Currently running until Sunday 8th September 2019, the State Library of Queensland is hosting "Plantation Voices".
Plantation Voices relates the history of the trickery and kidnapping which happened to the South East Islanders, who over 150 years ago were coerced to come to Queensland for a better future and viable work. Yet, their dream ended in a life of servitude as cheap labour for Queensland cane fields.
Photo courtesy of Plantation Voices - Free Exhibition
Through photographs, rare and restricted historical papers and newly commissioned artworks, this exhibition tells the untold stories of a community that fiercely fought to call Australia home and who also played a vital role in shaping our nation.
Today they have a voice and a country to call home as Australia acknowledges their history of strength and resilience and the right for their descendants to forge their futures and reclaiming their lost past.
Their story is a sad one and one that needs to be told. After forty years of working in the cane and cotton fields of Queensland, the Commonwealth Government implemented the "White Australia Policy" and a mass legislated deportation began in the latter part of 1906, lasting until 1908. Those who chose to stay in Queensland were discriminated and exploited and prohibited to work in the sugar industry, which had been their lifeblood. Although illegal, some farmers continued to use their labour.
Photo courtesy of State Library of Queensland, Plantation Voices - Free Exhibition
I was fortunate enough to attend an educational tour and dinner a couple of years ago at the small community of Joskeleigh, approximately forty kilometres east of Rockhampton. The tour gave me a history lesson I had never heard of before, but one I will never forget as elders of the community related their ancestral heritage, handed down from generation to generation. The story told was very moving, yet these happy people welcome others to their community with open arms and generous hospitality. For a small cost per head, you receive the tour a very scrumptious meal. The Joskeleigh Community assisted in the development of this exhibition.
Photo courtesy of the State Library of Queensland - Plantation Voice - Free Exhibition
This is an exhibition not to be missed. If you would like to read more on the exhibition, please click here. This exhibition is open daily and can be viewed in the Phillip Bacon Heritage Gallery, Level 4 State Library of Queensland. There will also be free curator tours of Plantation Voices – Contemporary Conversations with Australian South Sea Islands on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. More information can be obtained by contacting the Library.
Address for the State Library of Queensland is Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, South Brisbane.