Life as a 19th Century prisoner explored through virtual reality

Published Friday, 22 March, 2019 at 02:16 PM

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

An innovative gaming and virtual reality exhibition depicting 19th Century prison life at Moreton Bay’s St Helena Island has officially opened today at the Queensland State Archives (QSA).


Minister for Digital Technology Mick de Brenni said the Birdcage of the Bay: St Helena Prison exhibition celebrates a two-year collaboration between QSA and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.


“For the first time, virtual reality and gaming technologies have been combined with QSA’s existing collection of historical objects from the 1800s,” Mr de Brenni said.


“Visitors are invited to step back in time and experience life as a 19th Century prisoner, providing an interactive and engaging learning opportunity.


“This innovative exhibition places QSA and Queensland on the international stage, alongside other museums, archives and galleries providing innovative collection access through virtual reality.”


Member for Stretton, Duncan Pegg said the exhibition, developed by Queensland State Archives’ Access and Engagement team, offers a new way to explore the hardships of Queensland’s penal history.


“St Helena Island features in the Queensland Year 5 curriculum and hosts hundreds of students each year as part of their studies into Queensland’s past,” he said.


“Students and the public will now have the opportunity to explore this history using exciting 21st Century technology.


“Wearing a headset, visitors to the QSA will explore a virtual reconstruction of the St Helena prison stockade.”


Over the next six months, a public program of workshops and events will be held on three sites - Queensland State Archives, St Helena Island and the Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre.


The Birdcage of the Bay: St Helena Prison exhibition is on at Queensland State Archives until 6 September 2019.


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