Region's rich history comes into focus in 'Picture Western Downs'
Published on 23 May 2023
Invaluable historic photographs will soon be available to view online by locals and history lovers alike, as the digitisation and research into hundreds of valuable regional artifacts is completed as part of Western Downs Libraries' 'Picture Western Downs' initiative.
Western Downs Libraries staff and volunteers have been working to preserve the history of the region and make it more accessible to residents by getting rare and old photographs and images out of dusty cupboards, digitising and researching the stories behind each image.
Council spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development, Councillor Kaye Maguire, said that 'Picture Western Downs' was as important as it is exciting, and digitising the stories of our region's past would give people greater access to these valuable resources.
“On the Western Downs we know that 'it's the people that make it', and that is quite literally true of those who came before us and built the vibrant, active communities that we know and love today,” Cr Maguire said.
“The history of the Western Downs is unique and valuable - it's important that current and future generations have the means to learn about the people and events that have shaped our wonderful region, and to reflect on how far we've come as we continue to look towards the future.
“One of the very best parts of 'Picture Western Downs' is the involvement of our wonderful local volunteers who are so very passionate and proud of our wonderful region. They have put in many hours of scanning, researching and uploading of documents to the to Western Downs Libraries' 'Picture Western Downs' portal to really bring this project to life.”
Western Downs Libraries volunteer, Trevor Cameron, has been involved in 'Picture Western Downs' from the start, and said he enjoys the opportunity to give back to the region in a way that supports his interest in local history as well as his health and lifestyle requirements.
“There is so little about the history of rural Australia that's been written down in hardcopy, so this project is going to be a huge benefit to anyone interested in the history of our region - they will be able to get a snapshot of how our region was,” Mr Cameron said.
“I've found that the younger generation are more likely to get information from the internet rather than finding it in a book, so having the resources online means that instead of just hearing about something, they will be able to look it up.
“It's been really interesting being a part of this process. I've learned things about life in past years of our region just through doing research on the photos, and I've had some great feedback from older members of our community who have corrected details or added context.
“This project has been a great fit for me because I have health conditions that limit my mobility. Doing this sort of volunteer project has allowed me to work where and when I want to depending on my health while still putting in my hours as a volunteer.
“Picture Western Downs is such an interesting project - I think that it's definitely worthwhile.”
Residents are invited to attend the official launch of 'Picture Western Downs' at the Miles Historical Village at 10am on Monday 29 May 2023. Morning tea will be provided.