Pacific, Islanders, Queensland and Collections

Project Goal

To highlight the multiple and varied connections between Pacific peoples' identities and Queensland through Queensland Museum Collections.

Project Background

Queensland Museum's Pacific Collection totals 24,000 objects and 5000 photographs from 22 Pacific island nations.

Collections are referred to or named and labelled around the world in accordance with research on the importance or significance of the Collector, the Donor, the Institution, the Artists, etc.  However these collections were made and owned by people with their own names, identity, language, purposes and stories.  Throughout time people have travelled through what we know today as the Pacific Islands.

This project is being undertaken by staff of Pacific Island descent. We have all changed in looks, language, trade, names, habits, and spiritual behaviour.  However, like most Indigenous cultures around the world our connection to place, people and kin, remains strong.

Queensland is the home to many Pacific Islanders.  The terms 'Pacific', 'Islanders' and 'identity' have many connotations to the observer depending on their experiences, backgrounds and locality in the world.  What we aim to explore through this project is the identity of 'Pacific Islanders' living in Queensland and explore what it means to have connections to Pacific Island Nations using Museum Collections. 

Project team

Imelda Miller

Dr Kirsten McGavin

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