Rebels, A Wreck and (Re) Writing History with Jo Henwood
Years 5 and 6: Language and Literature
Historical stories are based on truth, but built of our imaginations. But what is truth? How do we know what happened for real? Can you guarantee the authenticity of what you write? The wreck of the ship Batavia off the coast of Western Australia in 1628 launched a riveting true story full of murder, mutiny, desertion, fierce battles, and daring rescue missions, but if each person described what happened differently, can we trust them as witnesses? If YOU came ashore on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean and a crazed villain tried to convince the survivors to turn on each other, what would you do? Would you submit and join the evil doers, would you spy and plot and escape, or would you fight back? This dramatic event gives us all the material we need to write a gripping piece of historical fiction – based on factual evidence for authenticity but with life-or-death stakes for our characters thrown in for dramatic impact as each one takes shape as truly good, terribly evil, or merely weak and lost. Will your main character survive the wreck and aftermath, and stand the test of time?
is an Accredited Storyteller with the NSW Storytelling Guild, Tour Guide in historic houses, heritage sites, and Tall Ships, Education Officer at the Australian National Maritime Museum and Schoolhouse Museum, museum theatre creative, workshop leader, public speaker, and co-founder of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. She has a Master of Cultural Heritage, and qualifications in library science, museum studies, tour guiding, and gifted education.