Will Martin



Publication Details

McKinnon, C. "Will Martin." The First Wave Exploring early coastal contact history in Australia. Ed.D. Clode & G. Dooley. Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2019, 270-300. https://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1531&cat=12&page=14


Research Statement Research Background The European maritime explorers who first visited the bays and beaches of Australia brought with them diverse assumptions about the inhabitants of the country, most of them based on sketchy or non-existent knowledge, contemporary theories like the idea of the noble savage, and an automatic belief in the superiority of European civilisation. Mutual misunderstanding was almost universal, whether it resulted in violence or apparently friendly transactions. This research attempts to contextualise creative and scholarly work to provide deerper understanding of our colonial heritage and the early invasion and settlement of Australia. As Hall (2015, p. 283) argues: ‘Learning about these interconnections—between our human ancestors, and spirits, animals, and the cosmos—further actualizes our own creative endeavours Research Contribution This is a republished excerpt from Will Martin, previously published as part of Storyland (2017 Harper Collins) and co winner of 2015 Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project III Award, Griffith University: Brisbane. Written for a general audience, The First Wave brings together a variety of contributions from thought-provoking writers, including both original research and creative work. ‘Will Martin’ explores the dynamics of these early encounters. In this republication is situated amongst other works that examine Indigenous cosmological perspectives and the European history of ideas, and includes representations in art and literature and the role of animals, food and fire in mediating first contact encounters, and includes Indigenous agency in exploration and shipwrecks. This research asks: How can re-vision our early history for a broad audience. Research Significance Published by Wakefield Press, Adelaide, The First Wave includes Will Martin, by Catherine McKinnon alongside poetry by Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, fiction by Miles Franklin award-winning Noongar author Kim Scott and Danielle Clode, and an account of the arrival of Christian missionaries in the Torres Strait Islands by Torres Strait political leader George Mye.

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