Oswald Brett: Tribute to a World Renowned Marine Artist

Os aboard Endeavour

by Stan Stefaniak FASMA, President, The Australian Society of Marine Artists

Oswald (Os) Longfield Brett, 1921–2017

Born 3 April 1921 in Cheltenham, New South Wales, Oswald Longfield Brett spent much time sketching ships in Sydney Harbour and imagining the day when he could go to sea. He also drew inspiration for painting from his mother Estelle Brett (née Mutton), a talented amateur portrait and landscape artist. Both Estelle and Oswald’s sister Judith encouraged him with his painting even later in his life. Os, as he was affectionately called by his friends, knew at an early age that he would be a professional artist concentrating entirely on ships and the sea.

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Floating Prisons

Floating Prisons drwing

The transportation of thousands of men from Irish hulks to New South Wales is so crucial in the history of Ireland, Australia and the British Empire that you wonder why we’ve waited so long for the whole story of it. It illuminates much that has happened since in Australia and Ireland, as well as the mistakes, the successes and the lessons of British control, which were reflected in the subsequent conduct of the Empire.

—Matthew Richardson

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A Roundabout History

a perfect gift for those about to go caravanning around Australia

—Linda Ross, Talking Lifestyle

Across Australia, bandstands, rotundas and pavilions showcase the history and character of big cities and tiny townships. They are a testament to boom times, when gold called people from afar to share the spoils, and also to times of woe, built as monuments to the fallen in wars on distant lands.

Pavilions in Parks cover

For Alison Rose, they are windows to another time, and reveal a surprisingly rich and varied past. Her book, Pavilions in Parks, guides readers, travellers and nomads across the country, from Albany to Toogoolawah, where these little gems adorn the land.

Radio interview with Tim Webster and Linda Ross


New Maritime History of the Early Sydney Colony

The Flag’s Up

by Peter Poland

In the early days of the colony, ships from Russia, France, America and Spain anchored alongside British convict vessels in Sydney’s renowned harbour. Many famous figures sailed through the heads, such as Bligh, Bennelong, Flinders and Macquarie. The South Head Lookout Post which recorded these arrivals and departures has been manned since January 1790, making it the longest permanently manned site in Australia.

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The Great New Guinea Tsunami

The scale of the human tragedy there, especially with so many children killed, was almost beyond belief.

– ABC’s Papua New Guinea correspondent Sean Dorney


In the years before the Boxing Day Tsunami wrought havoc across the Indian ocean, and Fukushima was demolished by enormous waves, Australia was alerted to these dangers by a disaster closer to home.

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