Award-winning Gold Coast author, Benjamin Allmon and Bundjalung–Yugambeh canoe maker, Kyle Slabb will soon embark on a three-day journey following an ancient First Nations maritime trade route in an effort to bring a unique story of collaboration and connection to the big screen. This 70km sea voyage has connected the Goories or Saltwater People across the water from the Gold Coast to North Stradbroke Island for thousands of years.
The early part of this journey has already taken them into the forests of the Gold Coast to make canoes and now the adventure moves from land to sea, as Benjamin and Kyle paddle in these traditional vessels to exchange bunya (nuts) for eugarie (pipis) with North Stradbroke Island.
The Saltwater Story aims to present a storyteller’s unprecedented passage into a piece of First Nations culture that is rarely offered to someone outside of the Bundjalung and Yugambeh people. Benjamin’s voyage with Kyle and his family will result in a documentary, as well as a fully illustrated book and canoe exhibition which are all to be rolled out in 2018.
The Arts Centre Gold Coast will host a Nyalangi Ceremony (Nyalangi meaning “We will see you again”) to farewell the crew on Saturday 27 January from 7.00am-9.00am at the Northern Lakeside of Evandale Park as they embark on their journey along the Nerang River.
The event will include some pre-voyage entertainment and First Nations tucker. Local seafaring nationalities including Pacific Islanders, Maori and Chinese will accompany the canoes on the first part of their journey up to the Seaway, as well as seafaring enthusiasts from the wider community in traditional waka, dragon boats and modern vessels.
Farewell the saltwater people and crafted Gundal (canoe) along the Nerang River, pre-voyage entertainment and tucker with a touch of local and Indigenous flare on Saturday 27 January 2018 from 7am – 9am at Northern Lakeside (Evandale Park).
Then join The Saltwater Journey in the Arts Cinema, immerse in the story of intrepid author Benjamin Allmon as he experiences an historical trade route. Friday 18 May 2018, Lawn Bar & Cinema, 5:30pm. Tickets $20.00.