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.
Guided by canoe maker Kyle Slabb from the Bundjalung people, veteran paddler Mark Matthews and a group of young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men build traditional canoes and embark on a 3-day sea voyage re-tracing an ancient trade route 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 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.
- Kyle Slabb - Canoemaker
Mark Matthews - Veteran Paddler
Benjamin Allmon - Paddler
Jarulah Slabb - Paddler
Kyle Matthews - Paddler
Banahm Slabb - Paddler
Bijang Slabb - Paddler
Malachi Urquart - Paddler
Brandon Matthews - Paddler
Travis Simon - Paddler
- Video/DVD release date
- 17 October 2018
- PG - Parental guidance
- Ronin Films
- Kyle Slabb, Benjamin Allmon, Corrina Bonshek
With Robert Anderson, Quandamooka Elder
Josh Walker, Quandamooka Songman
Che Walker, Quandamooka Musician
Find "The Saltwater Story" on DVD or BluRay
Explore more Aboriginal movies
Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.
Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?