INDIVIDUALS – VOLUNTEER STAFF
Volunteer, Cassowary Coast Regional Council
Matthew is recognised for his contribution and commitment to preserving and sharing the history of Cardwell to locals and visitors to Cardwell. He has volunteered his time at the Cardwell Visitor Information & Heritage Centre since 2012, and has presented a number of displays focusing on the modern history of the region.
In January 2019, Matthew presented a display entitled Era of Crime which showcased three prominent local crime stories from the 1920s and 1930s, and highlighted the Italian gangster folklore of Far North Queensland. This project allowed Matthew to showcase his research skills and his interest in modern history, and provided an opportunity for him to present his work to the community.
In March 2019, Matthew presented a display, Here Lies A Japanese Pearl Diver, which showcased one of the local resident's kindness in restoring a grave marker on Gould Island which was set there to honour the Japanese Pearl Divers who lost their lives during the 1918 Cyclone. As part of the display, Matthew invited the local primary school children to display Japanese origami art as a gesture to the Guest of Honour, the Consul General of Japan. Matthew further developed his research and public speaking skills through working on and presenting these displays.
The success of Matthew’s displays in attracting audiences at the opening nights, in garnering media attention, and increasing numbers to the heritage precinct, has inspired other volunteers to create and curate their own displays focusing on their own topics of interest of Far North Queensland history.
Banner image: 2019 GAMAA trophies created by Queensland artist Lucy Quinn. Photo: Andrea Higgins, courtesy of M&G QLD.