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Cairns Museum is gearing up for a fun festive season with a packed summer school holiday program.

The summer holiday program for youngsters aged five to 12 years begins on December 14 with two weeks of ‘Christmas in the Tropics’ fun creating tropical Christmas decorations to take home.

Themes then change weekly for the rest of the holidays with slime making, learning about transport and making working models, creating mosaics, discovering the history of morse code and even making a device to send their own secret messages.

Running alongside the school holiday program is the Museum’s temporary exhibit ‘At Our Table: Christmas in the Tropics’ exhibition, followed by ‘Objects of Fascination’ exhibition to kick off the new year.

Suzanne Gibson, manager of Cairns Museum, said holiday fun included guided kids tours every Wednesday, as well as daily activities: Kids’ Audio Tour, the Museum Super Sleuth Challenge, Museum Photography Scavenger Hunt and the Tropical Christmas and Summer in FNQ Colouring Competition.

“The fun challenge in the colouring-in competition is to show how colourful life is in the tropics. There are Cairns Museum prize packs up for grabs and winners will be drawn every two weeks,” Ms Gibson said.

The Objects of Fascination series, which begins with ‘The Tinkerer’ from January 4 to 9, showcases the unexpected private collections in Cairns and the local people who create them.

“Probably every house in Cairns has some sort of minor collection, whether it be toys, model cars, coins, kitchen items, clocks, movie star or muso memorabilia – it is amazing what people collect and care for, and why,” she said.

“We would love to hear from collectors who are interested in having their pride and joy put on show during 2021/22.

“Cairns Museum is especially interested in hearing from collectors of particular themes, objects, eras or categories of things.”

Ms Gibson said ‘The Tinkerer’ Teddy Powell came from a line of ‘tinkerers’ (one who enjoys experimenting with and repairing machine parts).

“As a tinkerer, Teddy has the skills to bring his collection of model stationary steam engines to life. These are working engines in miniature, attached to moving accessories such as a Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round and ement mixer.

“His skills at fixing, mixing and imagining working models make this collection special.”

Mr Powell will demonstrate his working models at Cairns Museum every day from January 4 to January 9 at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm.

In between demonstrations, he will be available to chat to Museum visitors about tinkering, engines and growing up in Far North Queensland.

Local artist Theo Tremblay’s ‘Shaviology’ – his vast and eclectic collection of shavers – will be next in the Objects of Fascination series, running from January 11 to January 30.

“Shavers inspire me because of their inventiveness and good sense of design. I haven’t used them all but sometimes I think about it…,” he said.

Running throughout the latter part of January will be the Cairns Historical Society (CHS) Collections: Collections Insider series, bringing the focus of collections back on the CHS and Museum through a series of talk and show and tell.

These will include caring for books and bound collections, photographic acquisitions, caring for papers and photos and deterring mould and pests

For more information on exhibitions and activities at the Museum over the festive season, including opening times and costs, visit the Museum website or phone 4051 5582 or email

Cairns Museum is located in the School of Arts Building on the corner of Lake and Shields streets in the city. Social distancing, sanitizing and other Covid-safe requirements will be in place.

For media enquiries, images or interviews contact:

Tanya Snelling

Strategic PR

P 0417 202 663


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