Saltwater Story

A man shapes a large tree trunk with an axe.
Saltwater Story
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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Upon becoming a father, award-winning author Benjamin Allmon realised he knew nothing of the Indigenous history of his home, the land of the Saltwater People, to teach his son. So he embarked on a voyage of discovery that led him further than he ever expected.

Together with Bundjalung canoe-maker Kyle Slabb, veteran paddler Mark Matthews, and the local Indigenous communities, they set out to make traditional canoes that they would then paddle from the heart of the Queensland Gold Coast to North Stradbroke Island, a journey not made for over 100 years.

What started as one man's attempt to educate himself became something far bigger: a book and a documentary film.

It is a story of connection – not just between the Saltwater People, but between generations, between black and white, between land, sky and sea.

It is a story of collaboration – whether it is made from bark or dugout, no one makes a canoe alone.

It is a story of cooperation – the paddlers must work together if they are to get anywhere in these shark- infested waters.

And it is a story of continuance – of ancient knowledge now held by just a few, of ensuring that tomorrow's Elders are brought along for the journey today.