Share your Sunshine Coast story and help write history
  • Tuesday 08 February 2022
Historians in residence

There’s nothing quite like local knowledge and personal stories to bring our heritage alive and that’s why Sunshine Coast Council’s historians-in-residence are seeking your help during two upcoming community story sharing days.

On February 16 and 23 the local community is invited to share their local knowledge with Dr Ray Kerkhove and USC PhD student Kate Kirby, the first historians to take part in council’s pilot residency program.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Coordinator Peter Connell said the program aimed to fill the gaps in our region’s past.

“Dr Kerkhove is developing a definitive map of First Nations place names and pathways on the Sunshine Coast, including translation and their deeper significance,” Mr Connell said.

“He’ll be working closely with the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples to compile a list of place names and their meanings.

“Kate Kirby will be exploring the Sunshine Coast’s sporting history including local high-performing athletes winning on the world stage between 1901-2021.

“Ms Kirby is also keen to hear stories of the community’s contribution to the development of Sunshine Coast sports, from coaches to politicians. She will examine sporting beaches and built environments as well as memories, monuments and storytelling.

“Whether it’s information on First Nations sites, pathways and place names, or local sports and Olympic gold, our historians are keen to hear from local residents on stories that may lead to further research.”

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the program was a wonderful way to capture stories that may otherwise be lost from our region.

“Our community has shaped and continues to shape our region’s heritage,” Cr Law said.

“Everyone has a story to share, especially long-time locals or descendants of long-time Sunshine Coast families.

“These community stories will give historians some great leads to follow and may also provide the photos and documents to support them.

“This research will improve and strengthen our local cultural knowledge and help identify our regions sporting achievements.”

Residents can meet the historians at the Heritage Library in Nambour or at Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct in the Glass House Mountains.

Registration is required and timeslots are available to book a one-on-one conversation with the historian, either in person or by phone.

Ray Kerkhove – First Nations Place Names - Wednesday 16 February 2022

9.30 – 11.30am:          Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct or by phone.

1.00– 3.30pm:             Nambour Heritage Library or by phone.

Kate Kirby – sporting history - Wednesday 23 February 2022

9.30 – 11.30am:          Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct or by phone.

1.00 – 3.30pm:            Nambour Heritage Library or by phone.

Anyone unable to make the community days, can register their details for a call back on 0417 625 576 or by emailing

This project is funded by the Heritage Levy. The Levy, which is charged to every rateable property, is used to document, research, conserve, protect, promote and provide access to those tangible and intangible items, places, facilities and events that define the stories, history and values of the people, communities and culture of the Sunshine Coast.