a feathery headdress from a Torres Strait Islander culture


The Waia family Torres Strait Islander Walter Waia (clan name Sagerau Zia) created SagerauGutatWerr, a traditional dhibal (headdress), for engagement and marriage ceremonies on his native Sabai Island.

The Queensland Museum Foundation funded the purchase of this intricately feathered dhibal for the State Collection. It is the only one in the State Collection used in a traditional ceremony.

a military cross medal featuring a tiger, a crown and the words "For Valour"


Paddy Bugden served in the First World War and performed many gallant acts, including rescuing wounded men from No Man's Land. Bugden was killed by shell fire during one of these rescue missions.

The letters he wrote home tell us much about him, his family and his experiences of the war. With funds raised through the Foundation, the museum was able to conserve his letters, postcards and photographs.

Paddy Bugden's Victoria Cross, as well as stories about his life and bravery are on display in the Anzac Legacy Gallery at Queensland Museum.

brightly coloured coral

Scientific Research

Marine sponges are some of the most vibrantly coloured underwater creatures. There are about 8,500 known species worldwide, and scientists estimate there to be at least that number again awaiting scientific description. Many of these unnamed marine sponges live among the corals and seabed of the Great Barrier Reef.

Lurking within many of these beautiful species are Salinispora – a marine actinobacteria with phenomenal antibiotic and anti-cancer agents. Scientists have successfully isolated a strain of Salinispora that produces anti-cancer compounds significantly less toxic than present cancer treatments.

Funds raised by Queensland Museum Foundation were used to leverage an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant enabling Queensland Museum Network sponge expert Dr John Hooper, and two marine biologists from the University of Queensland to research map the distribution, diversity and genetic structure of Salinisp.

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