Camps, cottages, and homes: A brief history of Indigenous housing in Queensland

27 Sep 2022

On Friday 19 August, UQ officially opened “Camps, cottages, and homes: A brief history of Indigenous housing in Queensland”, a collaboration between the School of Architecture and UQ Anthropology Museum. More than 90 guests were welcomed by the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Heather Zwicker, Associate Dean (Indigenous Engagement) Sandra Phillips and guest speaker, Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Architecture, Alexander Ackfun.

Alexander Ackfun, Sandra Phillips and
Heather Zwicker welcomed guests to
the exhibition.

The exhibition draws on 50 years of housing research and longstanding connections to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, initiated by Professor Paul Memmott and Dr Tim O'Rourke from the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre and School of Architecture respectively.

Exhibition contributors Dr Timothy
O'Rourke, Museum Curator Mandana
Mapar, and Professor Paul Memmott
of the Aboriginal Environments
Research Centre.



The first exhibition of its kind, the Indigenous housing exhibition seeks to engage a wide audience, including in industry, government, academia and the larger community to encounter the untold histories of Indigenous people and places through an architectural lens.

These remarkable stories of resistance and adaptation to the new political and physical environments are recounted in this exhibition through collections of interviews, archives, photo essays and newly commissioned artworks by renowned artist Gordon Hookey.


Communities featured include Aurukun, Acacia Ridge, Birdsville, Boulia, Cairns, Cape Bedford, Cherbourg, Cloncurry, Coopers Plains, Dajarra, Darnley Island, Dunwich, Ipswich, Inala, Mapoon, Mornington Island, Myora, Mt Isa, Normanton, Palm Island, Torres Strait Islands, Urandangi, Weipa, Woorabinda, Yarrabah and Zillmere.

Anthropology Museum Director
​​​​Michael Aird with artist
Gordon Hookey.

Director of the Anthropology Museum, Michael Aird, and Museum Curator, Mandana Mapar, carefully incorporated artefacts from private Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family collections throughout Queensland, as well as the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, Queensland State Archives, the State Library of Queensland, National Archives of Australia, and The University of Queensland's Fryer Library.


Up the hill, over the Coppermine Creek,
in Cloncurry, my childhood home, 2022.
Charcoal drawing on paper.
Courtesy of Gordon Hookey
and the Milani Gallery.










Come and experience Camps, cottages and homes for yourself until October 28. Entry is FREE!

Open Monday – Friday, 11am – 3pm
Level 1, Michie Building (9)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, Brisbane

More details are available here.