About the Book
When award-winning Australian author Benjamin Allmon realised he knew nothing of the indigenous history of his home, the land of the Saltwater People, he embarked on a voyage of discovery that led him further than he ever expected. Together with Bundjalung canoemaker 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 Gold Coast to North Stradbroke Island. But what started as one man’s attempt to educate himself became something far bigger – The Saltwater Story, where Allmon's words are illuminated by renowned photographer David Kelly's 177 unforgettable black and white images. It is a story of connection – not just between the Bundjalung-Yugambeh people and the Quandamooka 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 co-operation – 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.