Commendation – History Small Publication Award, Victorian Community History Awards 2021
They left their mark, they left things behind
The book is a largely pictorial history of the area of land in Queenscliff, Victoria known as Fisherman’s Flat. It records the social history of those who have lived on this land from the Wadawurrung People, to the many cultures that followed. Using original images from the Queenscliffe Historical Museum collection and extracts from diaries, journals and ledgers a unique portrayal of the lives of the early fishing families has been created. Descendants of these families have shared photographs and stories that have enriched the pages of the book.The families came from China, Scandinavia, British Isles, Europe and New Zealand and learnt how to live and work together. The brave acts of the fisherman who were members of the lifeboat crew and the activities of the fisherfolk women provide a glimpse into the life of the early fishing community. The discoveries of ‘left behind’ relics during the restoration of one of the early fisherman’s cottages are highlighted along with stories from the 1882 newspapers found behind the cottage walls. This publication has included photographs and stories about women previously missing from the recorded histories of this area. The women in some way have been written back into the history of the Flat.
June Negri –
Maggie Stowers’ delightful book “Dwellers of Fisherman’s Flat” is a breath of fresh air. Maggies book is not a definitive history but an engaging, well researched, snapshot into the lives of the people who lived in a unique part of Queenscliff. Set apart from the main township, this small community was occupied only by fishermen and those who serviced the fishing industry ie: sailmakers and boatbuilders and yet, this small community had a lasting impact on the history of Queenscliff as a fishing village. Each time I revisit Maggies book I find another fascinating snippet of interest which brings to life the story of the Dwellers of the Fisherman’s Flat.