Aussie Stem Stars
Aussie STEM Stars: Maddy McAllister: Shipwreck Detective
Paperback | Feb 2024 | Wild Dingo Press | 9781925893823 | 160pp | 198x129mm | GEN | AUD$15.99, NZD$17.99
Age range 10 to 13
Maddy spent her early years in the Northern Territory before her family moved back to Western Australia. Maddy’s love of the sea and everything in it was nurtured by her beloved grandfather who would take her fishing and snorkelling in the ocean off Busselton, south of Perth. On these trips he would regale her with his many stories of shipwrecks around the coast and share his great curiosity in the natural and human-made world.
Still only a 14-year-old teenager and already a certified SCUBA diver, her passion for maritime archaeology in particular, was sparked by a lecture she attended in Busselton where her family had finally settled. A maritime archaeologist from the Museum of Western Australia in Perth told the gathering the story of the shipwreck of a cargo ship Georgette, that occurred in 1876, south of Busselton. At great risk to themselves, two courageous young people who lived in the area, Indigenous man Sam Isaacs and 16-year-old Grace Bussell, rode their horses into the boiling surf to rescue survivors.
Dr Maddy McAllister is now the Senior Curator of Maritime Archaeology at Queensland Museum Network and is based in the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. Her PhD research was on the notorious Batavia shipwreck of 1629 in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands of Western Australia.