Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sarah's Sandwich Seminar


This map, taken from Lynette Russell's book Roving Mariners, is commonly called The Great Circle.  The map has been the best way for me to get my head around the movements of nineteenth century Southern Ocean sealers and whalers and is one of the images I'll be using as presenter at Thursday's Friends of UWA Sandwich Seminar:
'Reimagining the Breaksea Islanders. History and Fiction on the Eve of Colonisation'.

Before West Australia was colonised, a small community of seal hunters lived on the islands around Albany, where I live now. Their origins were diverse - African American, English, Maori and several men and women indigenous to Van Diemen's Land, New South Wales and South Australia.
Pigeon or Warroba, pictured below, was one such sealer.
(John Glover, 1833, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart)

 
When Major Lockyer arrived on the Amity to found the settlement of King George Sound, he wrote that there had been 'some bad work done here' and within a fortnight he'd arrested several of the sealers with charges of murder and abduction.

Part of my PhD thesis is a fictional account of this snippet of history.  On Thursday, I'll talk history first, of the characters and events that I've found by delving into explorers' journals and reports. Then I'll go into the process of writing historical fiction based on these stories.

Here are the deets:
12.30 - 1.30 pm, August 28th
in the function room at UWA Albany.
Entry by donation.
You can ring 98 420850 to rsvp
You can bring yer lunch! And eat it too!

I hope to see any interested folk there.
Please be nice.
I'll be nervous.

15 comments:

  1. I hear that the introduction of tuberculosis is now being blamed on seals. Apparently native American Indians caught and ate some infected ones, and the disease spread via nomadic migration. Bloody seals!

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  2. That's really interesting Tom. I had no idea about that.

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    1. This is a theory that has only just been come up with, and I am not sure how tested it is.

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    2. Oh, and it was put forward after inspecting ancient human bones.

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  3. Hey, break a leg! You'll be fine Sarah - you know your subject so it will be fun once you get going. Sorry I won't be there - that is smack bang in the middle of my drawing class. XX

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    1. Yes, I know, it will be fine. Thanks Michelle x

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  4. I'd go, if I could..
    That map makes so much sense. We're so used to looking at the world from a north south perspective, so that Australia sits below Asia. Looking at it that way shows just how close South Africa, South America and Southern Australia are..

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  5. The map is fantastic, and I wish I could be there to learn more. Will just have to wait for your book and stuff. Good luck! x

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  6. looking forward to this... All the best Pranava

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    1. Thanks Pranava. I saw you and others today, listening with your eyes closed, like a true hippy or those who are about to fall asleep (not sure which). It was interesting, yes? I hope so.

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  7. Hi Jen, it went well (I think). I put the wrong slide show up which threw me a bit, but other than that, okay. Lots of people turned up.

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  8. Hi Sarah, your talk and research sounded fascinating - wish I could have been there! I found your blog searching for the pic you have here of Pigeon aka Warroba who was an Indigenous man of the Shoalhaven area south of Sydney. I am writing a book about another man of that area know as Broughton who was a guide for white explorers & settlers and go-between for his people. He was slightly younger than Warroba so may have been influenced by him as I believe Warroba was the first Indigenous man from his area to go to Sydney and then he had a very adventurous life travelling with sealers to WA and then John Batman to Tasmania & Port Phillip (Victoria). An incredible feat for that time. Can I ask how you found his picture? as I have only seen it in a local history book from the Shoalhaven although it is obviously in the Tasmanian Museum, it's not listed on their website....Best wishes with your research Annabella.

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