Page menu

The legacy of Tindale explored in Chinchilla

13 May 2016

Annie Ah Sam
Annie Sibley, Palm Island, 7 November 1938, Tindale Genealogical Collection

Visitors to the Chinchilla Library will be taken on a thought-provoking journey with the legacy of the Tindale Genealogical Collection and its significance to Indigenous Australians on display in a new State Library of Queensland travelling exhibition Transforming Tindale by artist Vernon Ah Kee, from Saturday 14 May.

  • Transforming Tindale combines scientific photographs from anthropologist Norman Tindale and his 1938 expedition into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with digitised artworks by Vernon Ah Kee;
  • The exhibition brings new meaning to the genealogical information gathered about Indigenous communities from across Australia by Tindale;
  • Artist Vernon Ah Kee has drawn on photographs of his family from the Collection to produce works capturing the personalities behind the scientific images.

Western Downs Regional Council Spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development Councillor Kaye Maguire said this powerful exhibition gives unheard stories a voice.

“Ah Kee’s exploration into the legacy of an anthropological expedition to Aboriginal communities, recasting photographs of his family members into beautiful portraits is a sobering reminder of the way they’ve been viewed as scientific objects,” she said.

“Years later, these genealogies by Norman Tindale including more than 50,000 Indigenous people, as well as thousands of named photographic portraits, are both a source of contention surrounding the treatment of Aboriginal Australians, and invaluable resources for relatives today.

“Transforming Tindale takes visitors on a thought-provoking journey through the Tindale Collection and its place in Queensland’s history. I strongly encourage residents and visitors to take the time to visit the Chinchilla Library to see the exhibition.”

Transforming Tindale is on display at the Chinchilla Library from Saturday 14 May to Saturday 28 May.

If you’re unable to make it to Transforming Tindale at the Library a virtual exhibition is available to view online on the State Library of Queensland’s website, visit

— Ends —