By Boronica King
rendan James Murray is a published author and fulltime high school teacher who lives on the Mornington Peninsula with his wife Greta. His most recent book, Venom – The heroic search for Australia’s deadliest snake, is about the development of a cure for the deadly taipans' bite, the life of Indigenous man George Rosendale and George’s experience with surviving a bite from Australia’s deadliest snake.
Brendan travelled up to far north Queensland to a place called Hopevale, where taipans live and where George Rosendale still resides. Brendan got to sit down with George and interview him for his book; communication was a bit tricky because George is uite deaf.
“I have always been interested in wildlife but when I was a teenager I heard a story about this young man named Kevin Budden who’d been bitten by a taipan while he was trying to catch one to help develop an anti-venom, and he died as a result of that. I always felt that was a really interesting story, thought I would want to write about it, and ended up doing so.”
Brendan talked to multiple herpetologists about the taipan snake, its behaviour and its deadly venom. He also visited a vet’s home which houses taipans; Brendan got to see, up close, the dangerous creature he was writing this book about. For more information and insight into the hunt for an anti-venom, Brendan looked to old newspapers from around the 1940’s and 50’s.
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“All the questions I asked him I typed on my laptop screen and he read them off the screen and then answered the questions, which I audio recorded.”
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Peninsula Essence July 2018