Why our historians want to read your family diaries
In July 1900, a shipment of oranges, wrapped carefully in tissue paper, left Brisbane’s shores en-route to Canada.
Those oranges, grown in Woombye and Buderim, were part of a successful test conducted by The Department of Agriculture and paved the way for the export of Queensland’s surplus seasonal fruits.
Insights like this help piece together our region’s past and today, Sunshine Coast Council’s historians in residence, are seeking community input to help them continue the fact-finding tradition.
Historians Dr Tony Brady and Brian Rough are hosting two community sessions to chat to community members who believe they have information to inform two specialist research topics:
- local farming history
- the community’s involvement during World War II.
Community sessions will be held at Glass House Mountains, Nambour and Landsborough on February 15 and 23 and the one-on-one sessions can be pre-booked at heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
Sunshine Coast Council’s Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski encouraged us all to take this opportunity to talk about our farming and WWII family history and consider making an appointment to speak with our historians.
“Lost, gone and forgotten is the default for much of our heritage, but remarkable things happen when you show a photograph, recall a story or retrieve an object that can trigger a cascade of recollections tucked away in the back of our minds,” Cr Baberowski said.
“We have the good fortune to have these two historians ready and willing to help you better understand and capture how we deal with change and challenge over time. Anyone who has artefacts, photos (particularly home movies) or diaries from family members who may have been involved in farming pre-1940 or in the local war effort during WWII, please consider sharing them.
“It’s not only a great way to preserve your family’s past, but it could also potentially provide important missing links in our regional stories.”
Dr Tony Brady said his specialist research subject, was local farming and he would like to talk to people who may have information, diaries, artefacts or photos of their family farming on the Sunshine Coast, particularly before the 1940s.
“Inevitably there are question marks in history, but every so often, a forgotten journal, artefact or footage comes to light, which provides answers and context to past events,” Dr Brady said.
“We’re hoping such things come to light during the sessions.
“Of particular interest is anyone who is a primary source of information on unusual crops that were tried, the cartage of goods to market or inspectors of fruit or meat.
“I’m also keen to hear from anyone involved in the soldier settlement scheme as well as see any photos or artefacts or from anyone who employed or worked as an indentured labourer.
“Other interest points are photos and information about anyone attending or working at the Glasshouse Tobacco settlement provisional school or the pioneer settlers of the Mellum Creek, Glasshouse, Landsborough area.”
Historian Brian Rough said he was looking for family stories, pictures and artefacts relating to people on the Sunshine Coast during World War II.
“Information could come from relatives of those who served with Home Guard during the war, or maybe 7th Division, Australia’s most experienced military force, located on the Coast during early 1942.
“I’d also like to hear from families of women who served with organisations like the Red Cross or the Country Women’s Association, providing care packages for soldiers.
“The Civil Defence Organisation in Queensland had over 50,000 volunteers at its peak in July 1943. Volunteers on the Coast were actively involved in air raid precautions, as well as fire brigade and provisions of emergency medical services.
“My own relatives have passed on information about a family member who, having served in WWI, went on to train locals in the Home Guard, and I’d love to hear more.”
Dr Tony Brady - local farming practices and markets
15 February, 9.30am at Bankfoot House and 1.30pm at Nambour Heritage Library.
Brian Rough - activities on the Sunshine Coast during WWII
23 February, 9.30am at Landsborough Museum and 1.30pm at Nambour Heritage Library.
Bookings essential. To find out more or to book your one-on-one or phone session with a historian, visit heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au contact Cultural Heritage Services on 5420 8600.
This project is supported by the Sunshine Coast Arts and 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.