Ali Drummond has had an extraordinary life, by any standards. Orphaned when young, Ali took to a life at sea aged just fourteen. Originally taken on as an apprentice, Ali applied himself to learning the skills he needed to survive and prosper in a sometimes dangerous life seeking pearl shells, trochus and beche de mer. Alert to the Japanese divers' knowledge, Ali learnt well from them and went on to become an expert diver and skipper himself.
After years on the mainland, cutting cane and roadworking, supporting his growing family, Ali returned to his beloved Torres Strait. In those years he has been a strong supporter of his community, has enjoyed playing lawn bowls competitively and has provided advice about the maritime environment he knows so well - knowledge now keenly sought by scientists and others. Now 90, Ali is one of a handful of elders able to share these stories first-hand.
About the Author
Samamtha Faulkner is a writer who shares the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia with other Australians and the international community.