Of the estimated 12,000 deaths in Australia from the Spanish or pneumonic influenza in 1918-19, 1030 were Queenslanders, 315 of whom were known to be Aborigines, representing 30 per cent of the State death toll.  In Queensland, the pandemic had arrived first at the main seaports of the middle and southern coast and had then moved inland to urban and rural regions. Initially, it affected white people then began affecting Aborigines, coming for them on top of an epidemic of pneumonia.

Copyright © Gordon Briscoe, AO

Queensland possesses two Indigenous groups: Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Our cover shows masked dancers of the sivirri cult on Cape York, cover image Walkabout, July 1969. "Hero cults, cults of masked dancers of Papuan affinity, infiltrated Cape York Peninsula and established a foothold on both eastern and western seaboards. The cover photograph shows masked dancers in colour associated with the culture hero, Sivirri, in the Tjundjundji Tribe of the Lower Batavia River, western Cape York. In the foreground is the Trenna, the scared initiation ground, and in the background the Mbaga, the enclosure for the initiates." Copyright Collection of the Centre for the Government of Queensland
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