Murwillumbah Museum reopens

Last days to see breastplate exhibition
Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah reopened yesterday – Tuesday 17th January, 2017, after a temporary closure as a safety precaution during repairs to the building’s air conditioning system.

The Queensland Road facility was closed last week after a piece of the air conditioner ceiling ducting became loose, prompting concerns about public safety.

A solution to secure the ducting, to protect the safety of visitors and staff, has been put in place by Monday as an interim measure until full repairs to the air conditioning system can be completed.

Breastplates exhibition ends this Saturday

Only a few days remain to see one of the Museum’s most significant and thought-provoking exhibitions – of breastplates given to Aboriginal people associated with the Northern Rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s – before the display ends this Saturday.

Current exhibitions also include some of the most beautiful butterflies from Australia, Asia and South America, featured in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February.


Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah is located at 2 Queensland Rd, Murwillumbah and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

For further information about the Museum visit or 

Photo captions:
1. Only a few days remain to see the thought-provoking Aboriginal breastplates exhibition at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah. Photo by Justin Ealand.
2. The Richmond Birdwing featured in the Beautiful Butterflies exhibition on display in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February. Photo by Trevor Worden.


New memorabilia and fashion exhibits at Tweed Regional Museum

What do a prayer desk, a hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s and an All Blacks football blazer have in common?

Not a lot – but all of these items play a part in stories significant to the Tweed, and have been recently acquired for the Tweed Regional Museum collection.

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June, with a talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers to be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

Photo:  A 1920s Handed Beaded Evening Jacket

What’s New 2, the second in a series of displays showcasing recently-acquired items, also features a collection of memorabilia associated with well-known local builder George Hanna (of Hanna and Edmed) a doll’s hat from the early 1900s and the band from a cap belonging to a HMAS Uki sailor.

Tweed Regional Museum Director Judy Kean said carrying out research on items donated to the collection was always a joy – partly a journey of discovery and partly detective work.  “Putting together this display was no exception,” Ms Kean said.

“It took us into the fascinating and sometimes poignant lives of many people and events, and spanned the decades from the early 1900s to the 1990s.

“In some instances, thanks to the work of donor families, we have been able to access detailed histories of the circumstances in which these items were used and how they survived,” she said.

Ms Kean said in other instances, there was a lot more to discover.  “The beautiful hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s made by Dorothy Thornton is the last surviving example of the skill of a gifted seamstress,” she said.

“Thanks to the research already undertaken by the Thornton family, we know much about the family’s connection to the Tweed and about Dorothy, including the early days of her marriage and the glamorous social life she and her husband Syd enjoyed in Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast in the 1920s.

“In other cases, such as for the All Blacks rugby league blazers owned by Alex Itong, player and selector for the team in the 1940s and 1950s, initial research reveals there’s a whole lot more to be recorded.

“As for the doll’s hat, the little we know is probably all we’ll ever be able to discover,” she said.

“We hope people will enjoy these wonderful stories and the glimpses they offer into our rich past and maybe even help to fill in some gaps.”

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June.

A talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers will be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

For more information, contact the Museum on (02) 6670 2493 or visit

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

Excavating Main Street, Free talk at Murwillumbah museum

For visitors to Murwillumbah late last year, it wasn’t hard to notice the major road works taking place along the length of Main Street in the historic town centre.

What they might not have noticed was the project provided an opportunity to dig into the past of the central business district and uncover a few interesting finds.

 Photo: One of the bridges uncovered during the Main Street excavations

Exhibition on until 15 July 2016

Museum Director Judy Kean said Excavating Main Street was a small display that documented the project and featured some of these finds, on exhibition until 15 July this year.

Murwillumbah-based archaeologist Cosmos Coroneos, who completed research and documentation of the historical aspects of this project, will present a free talk about his work at Tweed Regional Museum on Wednesday 17 February.

Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm with Mr Coroneos’s presentation starting at 6pm.

“We are delighted to be able to add the wealth of significant information assembled during the project to the Tweed Regional Museum’s extensive collection, particularly for an area already recognised for its heritage value,” Ms Kean said.

“The replacement of major drainage provided an opportunity to re-examine some of the early infrastructure in the area, in some cases dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.”

She said historic photos and maps already in the Museum’s collection provided important points of comparison for those working on the project.

“For example, the 1929 concrete road and associated drainage was uncovered, as well as wooden foot bridges dating back to the late 1800s,” she said.   “One of these showed clear evidence of damage caused by the great fire of 15 September 1907, which became known as Red Sunday.

“By adding this next generation of documentation, and an intriguing selection of finds to the Museum collection, we are making sure that in 100 years’ time the story of Murwillumbah Main Street drainage 2015, and the earlier story of this historic precinct, can be easily discovered.”

“Archaeology brings a crucial dimension to projects like this,” Ms Kean said.

“The process of researching historical sources such as early photos in the Museum’s collection enabled Council to anticipate what might be found during excavation and the involvement of Mr Coroneos ensured that important historical finds could be appropriately documented, preserved where appropriate, and that work could continue as quickly as possible.”

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

Jam-packed January at Tweed Regional Museum

Activities for kids, historic holiday exhibition and more opportunities to visit

Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Museum is well and truly in the school holiday spirit, kicking off special Saturday trading hours and bringing back a popular exhibition that gives a nostalgic look at the Tweed’s beach culture.

Museum Director Judy Kean said the facility usually opened on the first Saturday of each month but in January would open every Saturday.


Photo caption: View of a museum display from the mezzanine floor, © by Big Volcano Tourism

“We know that the post-Christmas and New Year period before school goes back is often a time when families and visitors are looking for something to do and somewhere to go,” Ms Kean said.

“During January we will also have a number of activities set up in the courtyard for children to enjoy, including activities related to a shipwreck exhibition and the Brick by Brick: Build your own capital interactive exhibition that has been available at Murwillumbah Library recently.

“Children can try their hands at building some local historic buildings out of LEGO, including the 1915 Shire Hall and the Fingal Lighthouse.”

Ms Kean said an exhibition about the Tweed’s beach history was back by popular demand.

“Holidays and Hokey Pokey: Tweed Beach Images features images and video footage from the collection, including some wonderful footage by Charles Simpson,” she said.

“Images include postcards dating from the early 1900s when the area first became popular as a holiday destination, crowded beaches during the 1950s and ’60s, holiday makers promenading in Tweed Street, crowded campgrounds at Tweed Heads around 1910, images of the famous Boyd brothers hauling in nets full of fish off Greenmount Beach around 1950, as well as Hokey Pokey contests and girls trying out Malibu boards at Greenmount in 1961.”

Ms Kean said the footage would be on continual loop in large format on the Keith and Norman Tong Images of the Tweed Wall throughout January.

January opening hours for Tweed Regional Museum, Murwillumbah:
•    Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm
•    Every Saturday until 30 January, 10am – 4pm

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

See also Big Volcano Amusements, Cinemas & Indoor Entertainment guide and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

Tweed Regional Museum showcases recent additions

An original record of the daily happenings at Condong’s sugar mill in 1880 is just one of the ‘old but new’ acquisitions of Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Museum, on display now.

The Museum collection includes thousands of individual items gathered over more than 50 years, but history doesn’t stop, and new items are continually being added to the collection.

Museum Director Judy Kean the exhibition, titled What’s New?, showcases these artefacts.  TRMfamily976EL50
Photograph by David Palmer

“Each new addition to the collection brings with it a glimpse into our past,” Ms Kean said.

“We’re very aware that in 20 years’ time and sooner, people will be curious about what was going on in the Tweed in 2015.

What’s New? gives us the opportunity to feature just some of the many significant donations to the Museum over the past couple of years. The oldest ‘new’ acquisition currently on display dates back to 1880, and the most recent to 2013,” she said.

“We’re particularly grateful to those who have parted with treasured items, generously donating them to the Museum so they can be preserved and shared with future generations.”

Ms Kean said the first selection for What’s New? included the original ledger recording the activities of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) mill at Condong from its establishment in 1880, alongside a model of the first 747SP (Special Performance) aircraft purchased for the QANTAS fleet in 1981, named City of Gold Coast Tweed.

“We have also included tools from the studio of well-known Stokers Siding potter Bob Connery who passed away in 2013,” she said.

“Only a small portion of the collection can be on display at any one time and a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get things ready, so we’ve put together a short sequence of images featuring objects being prepared for display.”

Behind the scenes at the Museum Store

“If visitors enjoy seeing this little bit of what goes on behind the scenes, and the diversity of the collection, they may enjoy a tour of the Museum collection store. We are often asked about where everything not currently on display is kept, and our store is something of an Aladdin’s cave.”

Free tours of the Tweed Regional Museum store are available on the third Thursday of every month at 11am. The next tour will be held on 21 January 2016.

Each tour is led by a Museum staff member and takes about an hour. Bookings are essential Tel: (02) 6670 2493 or

What’s New? is part of the summer season of displays now open at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah.

Tweed Shire Council Newsroom


See also  Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano