Reef Lodge Backpackers Townsville

Monday, 4 August 2014

"What can I do in Townsville?" check the work of Noel Monkman display at the MTQ

5 August 2014

New display celebrates underwater pioneer

With the "Museum of Tropical Queensland" just over the road from Reef Lodge Backpackers you would be crazy to miss it.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland is celebrating the work of Noel Monkman (1896-1968), who pioneered underwater cine-photography and recorded the life histories of microscopic life, with a new display which opens on Saturday 9 August.

Driven by a lifetime’s interest in photography, microscopes and nature, Noel Monkman’s eclectic career spanned the early decades of the Twentieth Century and saw him move from being a theatre musician to making natural history documentaries and films.

The focus of many of his films was the Great Barrier Reef.

Museum of Tropical Queensland Director Peter McLeod said Noel Monkman, along with his wife Kitty, set up a permanent base on Green Island offshore from Cairns in 1956.

Noel and Kitty Monkman established a well-equipped laboratory for marine research, cine and photomicrography on Green Island and the current research station on the island has been named after the couple,” Mr McLeod said.

Later they built the Great Barrier Reef Theatre on the island where they screened their natural history films.”

The Monkman Collection of microscopes, equipment, transparencies and commercial micro-slides was donated to James Cook University by Kitty Monkman following Noel’s death in 1968.

The collection was then donated to the museum by Mr Zoltan Florian (former Curator of Microscopes, James Cook University) and Dr Leigh Winsor (Research Fellow, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University), both of whom had restored and conserved the collection for many years and wanted to ensure the objects and their stories would be held safely for future generations.

Part of the Monkman Collection will be on display from 9 August until 14 September and one of the Monkman’s films, Australia’s Coral Wonderland (c1950), will be screened in the museum theatre twice a day while the display is open.

Visit for more information.

Through the support of their councils, locals from Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook receive free entry to the museum and locals from Townsville and the Burdekin receive half-price entry.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum Network, is open from 9.30am –
5pm daily.

Media Contact: Lorelle Schluter 4726 0603 or 0424 408 373
Stephen Wilson 4726 0604 or 0431 334 583

70 – 102 Flinders Street, Townsville, Queensland
(07) 4726 0600

 There are more free or cheap ideas of what to do in Townsville on the Reef Lodge Backpackers other blogs as well as our face book.

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