Skip to main content

Community visit to Bwgcolman, Palm Island.

AIATSIS Collection Access and Family History (CAFH) staff visited Palm Island earlier this month and set up a temporary CAFH stall in the Bwgcolman Indigenous Knowledge Centre at the Palm Island Library for Community to access.  

Palm Island is home to the traditional owners, the Manbarra people (Mun-burra) and the Bwgcolman people sent to Palm Island from more than 70 different Nations from Queensland and other states, including Northern Territory and South Australia. 

Many Community members undertook family history research with the support of AIATSIS staff and received copies of numerous collection items in digital and print formats. 

The CAFH staff digitally returned over 9,500 open-access collection items. The returned collections included various materials, such as photographic images of people at schools and the mission dating back over 100 years, a corroboree dance performance for tourists from 1931, moving image collections of students undertaking cultural activities and community events, sports, and dances throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  

The community was excited to see historical collection items returned and reminisce about life growing up on Palm Island.  

The AIATSIS Collection Access Team supports cultural transmission and helps build understanding and appreciation of Australia's First Peoples' continuing and diverse cultures. The Collection includes artworks, books, films, manuscripts, maps, objects, photographs, sound recordings and videos from across Country. Contact the Collection Access team at    

Our Family History Team also supports with a wide range of resources to assist you with your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history research. Our program aims to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations survivors and their families by providing family history research assistance and access to information about their families. For more information contact the Family History Team here

Media enquiries: or SMS to 0476 843 522   


Last updated: 05 May 2023