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Welcome to the captivating world of Dr. Maddy McAllister, a renowned maritime archaeologist whose passion for adventure led her to uncover the hidden stories of shipwrecks beneath the ocean's surface. With a keen eye for detail and an insatiable curiosity, Maddy is also known as the Shipwreck Mermaid and a renowned figure in the field of underwater archaeology.

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Dr. Maddy McAllister, a prominent figure in the realm of maritime archaeology and renowned as the 'Shipwreck Mermaid,' brings a unique blend of expertise and captivating storytelling to her role as a keynote speaker, TV host, and creator of educational materials. With a deep passion for uncovering the mysteries of the deep sea, Maddy has not only made remarkable discoveries beneath the ocean's surface but has also mastered the art of sharing these fascinating insights with the world.

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Salt Water STEMinist: Hunting for shipwrecks with Dr Maddy McAllister | Grumpy Turtle Creative
Grumpy Turtle

Salt Water STEMinist: Hunting for shipwrecks with Dr Maddy McAllister | Grumpy Turtle Creative

Meet The Shipwreck Mermaid, otherwise known as Maddy McAllister. Maddy is a maritime archeologist, so she is kind of like the female, under-the-sea version of Indiana Jones. Except, instead of searching for buried treasure on sunken ships, Maddy is much more interested in preserving artefacts found on wrecks, so that the stories about the people they once belonged to can continue to be told. Maddy grew up in a tiny little coastal town in the southwest of Western Australia. Maddy decided she was going to become a maritime archeologist after she dragged her mum to a lecture on shipwrecks at her local RSL club. “We walked into this room to hear a lecture from Ross Anderson, who’s still a curator at the Fremantle Museum, and we were the only people under the age of 75”. Anderson gave a talk about the shipwrecks littering the West Australian coastline, and Maddy was so enthralled that she marched straight up to Anderson after the lecture and asked him how she could do what he did. Maddy is a firm believer in following the things that ignite your passion. She has clear memories of being told that if she opted for a career in maritime archeology she would never get a job, never make any money and that it was a terrible choice. Maddy says that with support from her mum, she instead “followed my heart in a way and went on to study underwater archaeology, and here I am today.” ________________________________________________ This video is part of the Salt Water STEMinists series. Salt Water STEMinists are a cohort of bold, intelligent, badass women who have dedicated their careers to learning as much as they can about the ocean and the life that calls it home. According to the UN, women only account for 30% of the world’s researchers. In 2016 in Australia, women comprised only 17% of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) qualified population. We’ve met countless incredible women absolutely killing it in their field, and we’ve heard their amazing stories first hand. We reckon it’s time the rest of the world did too. Salt Water STEMinists is an ongoing video series that amplifies the voices of female researchers by sharing the stories behind their tireless work in marine science and conservation. Through this series, we hope to shed light on the insightful work of female scientists around Australia, and slowly help change the status quo of STEM. FIND OUT MORE: Read our interview with Maddy: Follow us on Instagram: Tune into Facebook: Follow us on Pinterest:
#NAW2020 Scottish Prince with Dr Maddy McAllister | Museum of Tropical Queensland
Queensland Museum

#NAW2020 Scottish Prince with Dr Maddy McAllister | Museum of Tropical Queensland

This video is apart of a special series '7 Shipwrecks in 7 Days' to celebrate the annual National Archaeology Week in 2020. The 850-tonne barque, Scottish Prince was on a voyage from Scotland to Brisbane in 1887 when the captain retired for the evening, leaving the second mate in charge. Unfamiliar with the coastline, the second mate navigated the vessel to close to land and Scottish prince ran aground at the south end of Stradbroke Island. Several unsuccessful attempts were made by the steamers Tweed, Otter and Gunga to tow Scottish Prince off the bar. Within a few days, as south-easterly weather conditions deteriorated, the vessel keeled over and was abandoned. Over the following weeks the decks opened up allowing cases of cargo including sewing machines, drapery, whiskey, beer and mineral waters to be washed ashore. The shipwreck is a favourite dive site for experienced divers, often home to large schools of fish and wobbegong sharks. Featured artefact MA3058 - Whiskey bottle with contents One of the recorded cargo carried by Scottish Prince was indeed whiskey. Remarkably, this bottle survived an entire wrecking event and many decades underwater completely intact. Our conservators have added a silicon sealing at the top as extra protection for both the cork and contents. Why not drink it – it would be very well aged? Unfortunately, over many decades glass does become porous, so although this whiskey looks perfectly fine, it would have a very salty ‘sea’ flavour to it. #qldcultureathome #museumathome #museumoftropicalqld Image credits Scottish Prince - State Library of SA Scottish Prince dive site:, Gold Coast Diving Adventures, Destination Gold Coast
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