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news ISSUE 39 ¼ JULY 2017


welcome The Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland boasts Australia’s longest human history as it was the arrival route for the first indigenous people. Having travelled this coastline for over 20 years, Coral Expeditions is proud to have developed an itinerary that allows our guests a complete immersive experience of this stunning region. We hope you enjoy reading more about this cruise in the Kimberley and Cape York & Arnhem Land 2018 brochure included with this newsletter. In this edition of Discover News, we are pleased to announce an Early Bird Offer for our Cape York & Arnhem Land cruises departing



in March 2018. Bookings made by XX MONTH 2017 will save 10%* off their total cruise fare. Those who choose to travel on the 23 March 2018 departure on Coral Discoverer will be joined by ethnobotantist, Gerry Turpin. The cruise will be focused around Gerry’s specialist field, which studies plants that are used in traditional cultures and practices, such as bush tucker and bush medicine. We hope to see you on board this fascinating itinerary.

Mark Fifield - Group General Manager

Coral Expeditions is pleased to welcome back Mbabaram man and renowned ethnobotanist, Gerry Turpin to our 2018 Cape York & Arnhem Land voyage. Gerry leads the field of study which examines plants that are utilised in traditional cultures and practices. He manages the Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotany Centre at James Cook University’s Australian Tropical Herbarium in Cairns, and spends his days learning from Aboriginal Elders. With Gerry Turpin at the academic helm, a new depth of understanding and experience will be brought to the trip’s cultural highlights which include; visiting the remote Bathurst and Melville islands and learning about the traditional Tiwi culture, taking in the indigenous art at the Nhulunbuy art centre, and walking in James Cooks’ footsteps in historic Cooktown. Australian bush tucker will also feature in the menu throughout the cruise. Join us aboard Coral Discoverer on this remarkable expedition and immerse yourself in the culture and history of Australia’s northern coastline.


Australian bush tucker


Cape York & Arnhem Land 12-nights

> DEPARTS 2  3rd March 2018 from Cairns to Darwin. Book by XX MONTH 2017 and save 10%* off your cruise fare

Coral Expeditions tackles Coral Conservation > HOUSEHOLD VINEGAR KILLS CROWN-OF-THORNS STARFISH Coral Expeditions is the newest recruit in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s citizenscience initiative aimed at reducing the growing population of crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) harmful to coral on the Reef. A new weapon against the decline of healthy coral populations on the Great Barrier Reef has been uncovered in a joint effort by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and James Cook University. Scientists have found that the predatory starfish can be safely killed by common household vinegar when administered by injection, adding a new weapon to the Great Barrier Reefs’ conservation tool kit. The method has now been approved across the whole Indo-Pacific region after field trials on the Great Barrier Reef showed that vinegar does not affect other reef animals. COTS are endemic to Indo-Pacific coral reefs and play an important ecological role in healthy systems, balancing coral communities by feeding on the fastest growing species, and cleaning up dying and diseased corals. However, when there are COTS population outbreaks the impact they have on the reef is devastating, and they have been significant contributors to coral loss on the Great Barrier Reef since the most recent outbreak began in 2010. Sustained, small-scale control efforts to control numbers have been proven to be an effective way of saving individual Reefs, and the innovative new method has been adopted by Coral Expeditions to protect coral cover and boost reef resilience.


The Great Barrier Reef

> itinerary

3, 4 & 7-night cruises available year-round

> Brochure available Download now coralexpeditions.com/au/brochure/


> UNLOCK THE MYSTERIES OF ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S LAST FRONTIERS ABOARD A ONE-OFF ART EXPEDITION In response to demand from our loyal Xplorers, this unique immersive itinerary has been developed to introduce guests to the culturally rich and remote areas of Cape York & Arnhem Land aboard Coral Discoverer. Guests will learn how generations have passed on artistic traditions and how this important cultural legacy is being kept alive today. On board, you’ll participate in a number of bespoke workshops led by acclaimed traditional artist, Brian Robinson. Brian commenced career with Cairns Regional Gallery in 1997 as a trainee curator through the Museums Australia Curatorial Internship and the first Torres Strait Islander to be appointed through the program. Today, Brian is the founding artist of ‘triebSTUDIO’ and a renowned specialist in indigenous visual art and design – with many of his creations collected internationally. Raised among the idyllic tropical surroundings of the Torres Strait Islands, between the tip of Cape York Peninsula and Papua New Guinea, Brian gained valuable knowledge and appreciation of the culture of his people and was influenced by the myths and legends of the Torres Strait. In developing this special itinerary, Coral Expeditions spent a lot of time with Brian. Here, he shares some insight into how his culture and traditions shaped his work.

Main Image > A Tiwi Island Guide prepares for a cultural performance for Coral Expeditions guests Inset image > Brian Robinson. Image courtesy of Michael Marzik

Tell us about your cultural background and how this has influenced you in your creative career? Indigenous culture, particularly my Torres Strait heritage, has been infused within my arts practice for some time now, which I often draw upon when creating works of art. It provides the core inspiration that grounds my work but from time to time this focus shifts from Islander centric themes to a more global view of cultural ideas and objects – hybrid imagery that infuses Indigenous Australian culture with a global exchange of ideologies that reinvigorates contemporary arts practice and traditional storytelling. When and why did you start painting/creating? I often say that I was born with a pencil in my hand because I was always creating things using whatever I could find: recycled materials such as cardboard boxes through to spray paint, pencils, pens, markers, timber and old bike frames as well as flotsam and jetsam from the surrounding shoreline. No surface around the house was taboo for me - I drew on everything much to my parents’ disapproval.

Who influenced you growing up to enter the arts? I picked up my first art history textbook when I was a young primary school student on Thursday Island and I immediately became interested in the Renaissance period, particularly the Sistine Chapel’s creation story fresco, and the portrayal of the human figure captured in paint form; as well as the grand civic marble and sandstone sculptures which echoed scriptures from the bible and book of revelations. I became an avid fan of Michelangelo Buonarroti Simoni and Leonardo daVinci who were master sculptors, painters, architects, inventors and poets of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. I have a number of works that I still admire but one that stands out is a work titled Up in the Heavens the gods contemplate their next move [2012] which is the first in a series of hybrid works that combine both 2 and 3 dimensional elements together.

Just like any other kid growing up on Thursday Island, the entire Island was our playground. We were always out fishing, diving, hunting and playing sport, and some of these were seminal experiences growing up. Combined with cultural practice, learning the do’s and don’ts of my traditional heritage, I led a very exciting and active life. Even though I was a child growing up in the Torres Straits, I was still influenced by television, by comic books and other publications. I used to sit at the kitchen table for hours on end sketching from imagination and memory, comic books of Spiderman, Superman and the Phantom and even Woman’s Weekly: just anything I could get my hands on. The laid-back island lifestyle gave me ample room and time to hone my artistic skills from a young age and a space to contemplate where my imagination could run wild. Main Image > ‘Navigating Narrative’ by Brian Robinson. Linocut printed in black ink from one block Inset image > Woven Fish Sculptures by Brian Robinson, Cairns Esplanade. Image courtesy of Tourism Tropical North Queensland

^ Fabric screenprint by Bama Wear on Bathurst Island

^ Artworks from Yirrakala Art Gallery

What are your favourite parts of Cape York or Arnhem Land? The parts of northern Australia that I’m more familiar with is Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait because this is where my indigenous lineage lies and I draw from these areas when creating works. Living in that part of the world, you can’t help but be inspired by the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape and seascape, the unique cultures and the amazing food. How do you feel when you see Indigenous Rock Art sites? People often say that a picture speaks a thousand words and in the case of indigenous artworks this is so true. Creation ancestors form part of a living landscape and practices such as hunting and foraging have an important place in contemporary Aboriginal life. There remains a strong belief in the land as sentient, or that ancestral spirits imbue the landscape, creating a situation in which spiritual and physical aspects cannot be altogether separated. This intertwined connection allows the intellectual and creative spirit embodied within Indigenous peoples to manifest in the material objects that they create. This relationship with the land, through its direct physical qualities, and a mythological sense of place and time are transformed through the body and onto objects of art. This is a deep relationship and reliance on country to establish identity and belonging is paramount. Who is your favourite Indigenous artist? I am drawn to many creative people throughout history and even today but I suppose if I was asked to select one Indigenous artist whose work has excited, intrigued and mesmerised me over the years I would have say Lin Onus, a Yorta Yorta man from Melbourne who was a painter, sculptor and activist. He is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of the Aboriginal art movement in urban Australia and in many ways, was a man ahead of his time. More than an expedition, this one of a kind journey takes travellers on an artistic, intellectual, and emotional journey where Brian Robinson helps guests to discover artists who are masters of their craft and creative ambassadors of the communities that they live in.


Your own unique piece during Brian’s onboard workshops


Cape York & Arnhem Land 12-nights

> DEPARTS 2  3rd November 2017 from Darwin to Cairns

Museum & model ship images courtesy > Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne


Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration


Tasmania 7-nights

> DEPARTS J  anuary to March 2018 from Hobart

Just up from the beach at Adventure Bay on Bruny Island, sits the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration. The tiny museum houses a specialised collection relating to exploration in the South Pacific. The building was constructed in 1954 using 26,000 hand-made bricks imported from the convict kiln in Variety Bay, North Brunny Island, and the inside of the building is a testament to the bravery and adventurous spirit of the men who discovered Tasmania and explored the Pacific. On display are maps, documents, paintings and artefacts recalling the visits to Adventure Bay of explorers such as Furneaux, Cook, Bligh and others. A substantial portion of the collection is dedicated to Captain William Bligh who has the distinction of being the most frequent visitor amongst the Pacific explorers. Bligh visited Adventure Bay as a Master on Cook’s HMS Resolution in 1777, then as Captain on the infamous HMS Bounty in 1788, and finally as the Captain on the HMS Providence, in 1792. There are intricate models of the HMS Bounty to examine, portraits of Bligh to look at and his captain’s logs, written in his own handwriting, to read. John Hamilton, the son of the museum’s founder, Dr J Bruce Hamilton, says one of his favourite items is the remains of Captain Cook’s tree. Cook is said to have climbed the tree to see if there was clear water on the other side of the isthmus during his visit to Adventure Bay on the HMS Resolution. The tree managed to survive until the early 20th century, but by the 1920’s all that remained was a stump, which is now housed in the museum. Mr Hamilton also has a special fondness for a pair of matching globes made by J & W Carey (London) around 1836, representing the terrestrial and celestial worlds. The Coral Discoverer will make its maiden voyage in Tasmania on January 1st, 2018 departing Hobart.

SHARE YOUR STORIES > KATRINA, SILVER XPLORER > GREAT BARRIER REEF 4-NIGHT CRUISE “We were “blown away” with this amazing trip....The staff was hard working from early morning till evening and no matter what, they seemed pleased to be answering questions and satisfying our requests. The food was unbelievable. (They cater to different dietary needs and there was always abundant quantities!) We enjoyed the variety of stops on the trip. Definitely a trip we’d recommend!”

OUR RANGE OF EXPEDITIONS INCLUDE > Great Barrier Reef > Tasmania > The Kimberley > Cape York & Arnhem Land > Papua New Guinea > Spice Islands & Raja Ampat

Book online coralexpeditions.com FREECALL

1800 079 545


+61 7 4040 9999 outside Australia




PO Box 2093 Cairns 4870 QLD Australia

ABN 51 010 809 417

Profile for Coral Expeditions

Discover News July 2017  

Discover News July 2017