The Cairns Historical Society makes the history of Far North Queensland accessible for current and future generations. The Society is a not-for-profit Incorporated Association run and managed by volunteers, with the support of paid staff members.

We are led by an elected Management Board made up of an executive team and the voluntary managers of the Society’s collections. Our current President is Dr Clive Skarott AM HonDUniv and our vice- President is Dr Jan Wegner.

We have an active volunteer base of around 80 people, as well as a broader membership of local, national and international supporters. The Society operates the Cairns Museum, the CHS Research Centre and the History on the Move School Trailer program. It also manages a nationally significant collection of over 85,500 individual items.

The Society receives operational funding from Cairns
Regional Council to enable us to help locals and
visitors learn, appreciate and engage with Cairns’
history and heritage.

historical image of women reviewing printed plans
historical image of the street outside the Esplanade Private Hotel

Research Centre

Book an appointment to visit the Research Centre – the Collection holds more than 60,000 items covering an area from Cardwell to Bourke Shire.

historical image of man setting up camera with two kids outside

Photographic Collection

Seeing is believing - the Cairns Historical Society’s collection catalogue has been assessed as nationally significant for its extensive visual record of Far North Queensland.


Need help with research?

Enquire to:

P: (07) 4051 5582

Historical Society Memberships