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As Nyoongar Country morphs into Yamatji Country, off the coast of the small port town of Geraldton in Western Australia, there lies an archipelago of 122 islands and coral reefs known as Houtmans Abrohlos.

Home to Australia’s largest single species fishery, the Western Rock Lobster industry, the fishermen who drive this $500 million industry have grown their isolated community of colourful fibro shacks since the early 1900s—but times have never been harder.

In recent years, the pandemic and a shifting political landscape has decimated the industry, forcing many fishermen to empty their cray-pots back into the ocean and find alternate income streams, including continued exporting through unofficial ‘grey channels’.

Woven into the background of this contemporary geopolitical story is a history of shipwrecks, mutiny, sunken treasure and brutal survival. However before any tall ships arrived, the Yamatji and Nyoongar people told stories that go back tens of thousands of years, stories of crayfish and Country that go back to the Dreaming…

Come hear some of those stories, and learn about the past, present and future of traditional crayfishing on Sea and Country.

*Please note: this forms part of our online program. All talks are available as podcasts via our library after the premiere date. 

In collaboration with

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the Yaluk-ut Weelam as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘people of the river camp’ and is connected with the coastal land at the head of Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Werribee River to Mordialloc. The Yaluk-ut Weelam are part of the Boon Wurrung, one of the five major language groups of the greater Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.