History Talks – Historian in Residence

Sunshine Coast Council has significant cultural heritage collections, which are managed by Cultural Heritage Services and the Heritage Library.

Council’s Historians in Residence, Dr Ray Kerkhove and Kate Kirby, have been studying the Bankfoot House and Heritage Library collections as part of their 2021-2022 residency.

Earlier this year, the historians met with community members who provided additional information on the historian’s chosen topic (scroll down for background information).

Hear what the historians uncovered by the end of their residency at council’s History Talks. You will gain further insights into the people, stories and places that make up Sunshine Coast.

Both historians will speak at each location.

Location Date and Time Registration 
Bankfoot House
Historical Precinct
1998 Old Gympie Road,
Glass House Mountains.
Friday 20 May,

Heritage Library,
Level 1, Nambour Library,
Cnr Currie and Bury Streets,
(Disability access to
Level 1 in Currie Street)
Thursday 26 May,
Fully booked

Registration required. Morning tea provided.


In August 2021, historians were invited to be part of Sunshine Coast Council’s inaugural Historian in Residence Program, funded by the Cultural Heritage Levy. The program offers qualified and experienced historians the opportunity to immerse themselves in a research project that will reveal, document and showcase aspects of the region’s history and heritage.

The two historian positions are located at Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct, Glass House Mountains and the Heritage Library, Nambour.

Historian in Residence – Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct

Dr Ray Kerkhove, Historian and Consultant

Topic: A Definitive Referenced Map of First Nations place names and pathways of the Sunshine Coast, including likely translation and their deeper significance. 

Dr Kerkhove’s study will involve the mapping of Sunshine Coast First Nations sites. He will work closely with the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples to compile a list place names and their meanings. This study will link to similar work he has undertaken for the Greater Brisbane area. As Dr Kerkhove’s residency is based at Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct, he will also explore the Bankfoot House collection and the connection between the family and First Nations peoples. 

Historian in Residence - Heritage Library

Kate Kirby, PhD Student, University of the Sunshine Coast

Topic: Sunshine Coast gold 1901 - 2021: local high-performing athletes winning on the world stage.

Kate Kirby’s study will examine Sunshine Coast’s sporting history, including local high-performing athletes winning on the world stage between 1901 and 2021. Her topic examines sporting beaches and built environments, as well as memories, monuments, and storytelling. The local community and their contribution, from coaches to politicians, will also be explored.

Community involvement invitation

If you have stories or images to share on the above topics send to culturalheritage@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.