An Evening of Shipwrecks and Exploration

To celebrate the upcoming Shackleton and Journey South exhibitions at the Portland Library and Hell Ship featuring actor Michael Veitch at the Portland Arts Centre Glenelg Libraries and Portland Arts Centre are hosting a night of all things Shipwrecks and Exploration.

Featuring a panel of local maritime, immigration and Antarctic experts including Anne Grant, Marten Syme, Brendon Jarrett and Dr Pete Gill and facilitated by local Susie Lyons this will be an event not to be missed.

You could also win a signed copy of Michael Veitch's book Hell Ship or a double pass to the performance of Hell Ship - The Journey of the Ticonderoga.

Portland Library
Wednesday 5 September 2018
5.00pm – 6.30pm

FREE event, light supper provided
Bookings required, phone 5522 2265


Anne Grant

An original member of Portland’s Family History Group, Anne was born and educated in Tasmania. Anne has been a regular face at Portland’s History House since 1985 and her family background contains a strong convict heritage.

Anne will join us to speak about immigration.

Marten Syme

Marten Syme, retired and relatively recent (1976) ratepayer of Port Fairy, agrees with Noel Learmonth that the local claim of being founded in 1810 is fallacious. Pursuing this, and other nonsensical maritime claims, he embarked upon a substantial documentation of the vessels movements in all Victorian ports between 1802 and 1860.

He has written a history of the Victorian lifeboats and their crews, and three books about Port Fairy’s early history, and is currently assembling his yet to be published history of Port Fairy from 1835 to 2018. In addition to his work in these fields, he had a major interest in the reconstruction of the Port Fairy Lifeboat, is currently president of the Port Fairy Branch of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and the Friends of Griffiths Island Inc.

Martin will join us to speak about maritime and shipping history.


Brendon Jarrett

Born in Portland in 1934 from a family associated with the port’s maritime activities since 1845, he has had a lifetime interest in the town’s heritage.

A foundation member of the Portland Branch of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Brendan later became its second Branch President. He wrote the ‘Portland’ chapter for The National Trust of Australia’s Historic Places published in 1977, and was a foundation member of Glenelg Shire Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee and Council’s Maritime Heritage Advisory Committee.

Glenelg Shire Council Citizen of the Year in 1999 Brendon is now a retired farmer but history still calls and he continues to represent the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre on the Board of the Maritime Museums of Victoria.

Brendon will join us to speak about maritime history.


Dr Pete Gill

Dr Pete Gill has been involved in whale research for 35 years, studying species including humpback and southern right whales before starting long-term ecological research into endangered blue whales in the Bonney Upwelling in 1998. This led to a PhD in blue whale ecology.

His research expeditions in sailing vessels and ships have taken him around Australia, to the islands of the south-west Pacific and to Antarctica, which he has visited 13 times on private yachting expeditions, marine science voyages and as a guide on tourist vessels.

Pete is CEO of the Blue Whale Study, a small independent research institute and registered Charity. His commitment to blue whale research led him in 2001 to move from NSW to near Portland, Victoria, where he lives in the bush with his wife Susie and son Felix. His research and education programs are strongly motivated by scientific curiosity and a desire to educate and inform, but also by deep concern for the future of the blue whales and their feeding habitat off southern Australia.

Pete will join us to share his experiences of travelling to Antarctica and visiting Shackleton’s Hut.

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