Community Engagement

Between May and August 2018. The State Library project team visited communities close the historical 1874 trek or to towns nearby to account for migration patterns.

The project team installed pop-up exhibitions in a museum, shire building, library and a local park. The pop-up exhibitions contained an overview of the 1874 expedition with particular information about John Forrest and Aboriginal guides Tommy Windich and Tommy Pierre.

The project team engaged community members through Storylines sessions

Storylines provides for the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities and people. It is also helping to identify many of the photographs in the J.S. Battye Collection at the State Library.  Hundreds of photographs have been identified since 2013.


The Ara Irititja software which the system is based on allows objects, people, places, stories, plant, animals and technology to be tagged and linked within the system to create vast knowledge profiles which reflect the many languages, stories and perspectives of Aboriginal Western Australia. Storylines is uniquely capable of adhering to cultural protocols, and supports media types including video and audio.


Storylines will become a central point for Aboriginal people who wish to access the State Library’s extensive heritage collections, and a safe place to store records of people, place and history. Material which is identified as sensitive, secret or sacred is able to be restricted or removed in a flexible and responsive way.

To access images that are mentioned for each community session there is a link at the bottom of each image. Alternatively you can browse through the images via Storylines. If you live in Perth and would like to attend a Storylines session they are on the the last Wednesday of every month 3:30pm to 6:30pm in the Geographe Room at the State Library of WA (Perth Cultural Centre, 25 Francis Street Perth).

Communities visited:


19 May – 22 July 2018    Pop-up exhibition at the Museum of Geraldton

20 May 2018 – 22 July 2018     Display and access to Storylines – Geraldton Regional Library

21 May 2018   Storylines session at the Geraldton Regional Library



24 May – 6 June 2018    Pop-up exhibition at the old Hospital

24 May 2018  Storylines session at the Tjukurba Gallery

Storylines session at the Tjukurba Art Gallery


11 June 2018  Pop-up exhibition across from the Post Office, Augusta Street and Storylines session at the Community Resource Centre

13 June 2018  Pop-up exhibition and Storylines sessions at the William Grundt Memorial Library

Ngaanyatjarra Lands
7-10 August 2018

9 August 2018   out on Country with Blackstone Rangers

10 August 2018  Storylines session with community members at Women’s Centre