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Robert Macklin - Castaway

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Castaway is the astonishing and unknown story of Narcisse Pelletier - a French cabin boy cast away in 1858 on the coast of Far North Queensland. 

In 1858 Pelletier was aboard the trader Saint-Paul when it was wrecked off the eastern tip of New Guinea. Scrambling into a longboat, Narcisse and the other survivors crossed almost 1000 kilometres of the Coral Sea before reaching the shores of Far North Queensland. If not for the local Aboriginal people, Narcisse would have perished. For seventeen years he lived with them, growing to manhood and participating fully in their Uutaalnganu world. Then, in 1875, his life was again turned upside down.

Drawing from firsthand interviews with Narcisse after his return to France and other contemporary accounts of exploration and survival, and documenting the spread of European settlement in Queensland and the brutal frontier wars that followed, Robert Macklin weaves an unforgettable tale of a young man caught between two cultures in a time of transformation and upheaval.

Tickets: $15 (includes a complimentary glass of wine or juice)


Robert Macklin was born in Queensland and educated at University of Queensland and the ANU. He has worked as a journalist at the Courier MailThe Age and The Bulletin, and was associate editor of the Canberra Times until 2003. Robert is the author of 29 books, including Dark ParadiseHamilton Hume and four works focusing on the SAS and Australia's special forces. 


Andrew Pike OAM is a film distributor, film historian, documentary film-maker and exhibitor, and former manager of Canberra’s Electric Shadows cinema 1979-2006. His films as director include The Chifleys of Busby Street and Message from Mungo (co-directed with Anna McGrath).

In 2007 Andrew was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra for his services to the film industry and community, and in 2003, he was appointed by the French government to the rank of Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He served on the Board of the National Film and Sound Archive 2008-2012, and was a member of the ACT Government’s arts policy advisory council 2008-2013. He is currently chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy's Film Fund. 

Earlier Event: July 7
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Later Event: July 28
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