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Queensland Museum facts for kids

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Queensland Museum
Queensland Museum Logo.png
Facade of Queensland Museum 02.jpg
Queensland Museum at South Brisbane
Established 1862
Location South Brisbane
Collection size 1,000,000+
Visitors 2,000,000+

The Queensland Museum is the state museum of Queensland, dedicated to natural history, cultural heritage, science and human achievement. The museum currently operates from its headquarters and general museum in South Brisbane with specialist museums located in North Ipswich in Ipswich, East Toowoomba in Toowoomba, and in Townsville City in Townsville.

The museum is funded by the Queensland Government.


Queensland Museum — 1862–1869 — The Old Windmill in Wickham Terrace (Queensland Museum's first home)
Queensland Museum — 1879–1899
cnr. William Street and Elizabeth Street, Brisbane — (opposite Queens Gardens)
Queensland Museum — 1899–1986
the Old Museum Building in Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills
Queensland Museum and Walkway
Queensland Museum (1986–present), a part of the Queensland Cultural Centre. A pedestrian bridge, linking the museum and the Queensland Art Gallery to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and also to lifts to platforms at the Cultural Centre Busway Station, can be seen on the right.

The Queensland Museum was founded by the Queensland Philosophical Society on 20 January 1862, one of the principal founders being Charles Coxen, and had several temporary homes in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The temporary homes included: The Old Windmill (1862–1869), Parliament House (1869–1873) and the General Post Office (1873–1879). The first professional curator was Karl Theodor Staiger.

The Queensland Government built a home for the Museum in William Street (later called the John Oxley State Library), with Queensland Museum moving there in 1879. The museum occupied the William Street location for 20 years.

In 1899, the Queensland Museum moved into the Exhibition Hall (now called the Old Museum), on Gregory Terrace in the Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills, remaining there for 86 years.

In 1986, the Queensland Museum moved to the Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank, where the museum is adjacent to the Queensland Art Gallery.

Museum Network

The Queensland Museum now operates at a number of locations.

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre is located at South Brisbane at the heart of Brisbane’s cultural precinct alongside the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Queensland Museum connects visitors to Queensland, its people and their stories of the past, present and future.

Popular exhibitions include travelling shows from Australia and around the world as well as fascinating exhibitions revealing the story of Queensland, including its incredible prehistoric past, the "Dandiiri Maiwar" exhibition showcasing the cultures of Queensland's Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and exhibitions revealing Queensland's unique biodiversity.

The Museum is also a world-class research facility in the fields of biodiversity, geoscience and cultural history.

Queensland Museum is home to the Sciencentre, which offers hands-on, interactive activities for kids and grown-ups alike that reveal the science behind our everyday lives.

The Workshops Rail Museum opened in August 2002 and is housed in the North Ipswich Railway Workshops. The collection includes 15 items of rolling stock and thousands of smaller items. Some operational steam locomotives from the Queensland Rail Heritage Fleet are often placed on display within the museum when not required for main line use.

Cobb & Co Museum

In 1987, when the Queensland Museum required more room to display its horse-drawn coaches and carriages, the museum opened its Cobb & Co Museum campus in Toowoomba, Queensland.

Cobb+Co Museum is home to the National Carriage Collection. The museum's collection includes examples of a vast range of vehicles from the horse-drawn era, from farm wagons and delivery carts to the Rolls Royce of Carriages, the landau.

Cobb+Co Museum run a heritage workshops program. Workshops include blacksmithing, silversmithing, leadlighting and leatherwork.

Museum of Tropical Queensland

The Museum of Tropical Queensland is located in Townsville. The star attraction is the HMS Pandora gallery. Sent to catch the famous HMS Bounty and her mutinous crew, the Pandora sank off the coast of Cape York in 1791. Hundreds of artefacts have been recovered from the wreck and are on display.

The most popular area for kids is the MindZone, an interactive science centre. Other galleries celebrate the rainforest, corals and marine creatures from the deep sea and fossil past.

Recent and Future Exhibitions

  • Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul was a major touring exhibition held 5 September 2013 - 27 January 2014, which showcased 230 priceless objects from between 2200 BC and AD 200. The exhibition provided a glimpse into the world of the ancient Silk Road and some of the most remarkable archaeological finds in all of Central Asia. Included in the exhibition were jewellery, sculpture and gold work.
  • Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb was a major exhibition of four Egyptian mummies and over 100 pieces from the British Museum, London, held from 19 April - 21 October 2012.

Queensland Museum Medal

The first Queensland Museum Medal was awarded in 1987. Recipients of the Queensland Museum Medal for research include:

  • 1987 — Professor Mike Archer
  • 1988 — Mr Jack Woods, ISO — Mr F.S. Colliver, OBE — Emeritus Prof. Syd Prentice — Mr Jack Woods, ISO — Mr Terry Tebble — Mr Don Vernon — Dr Valerie Davis
  • 1989 — Mr Leonard J. Taylor
  • 1990 — Mr J.C.H. Gill, AM MBE — Mr I.G. Morris CMG
  • 1991 — Dr Patricia Mather AO
  • 1992 — Mr R.I. (Sam) Harrison MBE — Mr Doug Traves OBE — Professor Colin Dobson
  • 1993 — Dr Robert Paterson
  • 1995 — Dr Elwyn Hegarty — Professor Don Nicklin
  • 1996 — Dr Mary Wade
  • 1997 — Mr John Lyons
  • 1999 — Mr Ian Venables
  • 2000 — Keith McDonald — Dr Alan Bartholomai
  • 2003 — Ms Jeanette Covacevich AM — Mr Steve Irwin
  • 2004 — Dr Lester Cannon — Dr Dan Robinson — Dr Robert Anderson OAM
  • 2005 — Mrs Nerolie Withnall — Mrs Rae Sheridan — Mr Bruce Campbell
  • 2006 — The Elliott Family — Mr Bill O’Brien OBE OAM
  • 2007 — Mr Bill Kitson — Dr Geoff Monteith
  • 2008 — Dr Steve Van Dyck — Mr Vince O’Rourke AM
  • 2009 — Ms Anne Jones — Dr Carden Wallace — Mr Michael Quinnell
  • 2010 — Sir David Attenborough — Dr John Hooper
  • 2011 — Professor Peter Andrews AO — Dr John Stanisic
  • 2012 — Professor Ronald J. Quinn, AM

Links to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Busway

Both a tunnel and pedestrian bridge connect the Museum and Art Gallery buildings with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Three lifts were added to the bridge in 2004 to provide access to the platforms of the Cultural Centre busway station. There is a large sculpture of a Cicada in front of the centre lift, possibly because the Cultural Centre busway station is the bus stop for the museum.

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