Experts open up on Rottnest’s tragic past November 9, 2016 Dr Glen Stasiuk’s expertise on the tragic history of Perth’s favourite island playground has played a central part in the development of the ABC Radio National documentary Rottnest Island: Black prison to white playground. Dr Stasiuk, a lecturer and Indigenous researcher at Murdoch University, was just a teenager when he first went camping with his mates on Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) in the 1980s. He went skin diving, became inexplicably sick and had to be airlifted back to the mainland. He went back a year later and again became very sick. His mum told him it was probably about time he went and spoke to his Noongar nana. "It's worra," she said. "It's worra, it's menditj. It's a sick place." Stasiuk had camped at Tentland. For years and years, Tentland was the camping area on Rottnest; the place where families and teenagers pitched their tents, had a few drinks, and threw some sausages on the barbeque. What campers didn't know was that they were sleeping on the unmarked graves of at least 373 Aboriginal men. It's the largest deaths in custody site in Australia and the largest known burial ground of Aboriginal people. "See that spot over there with the Aboriginal flag?" Dr Stasiuk points as we're walking around the burial site. "That's where they uncovered the first skeletal remains in 1971 and I reckon that's just about where I pitched my tent.” Dr Stasiuk co-wrote and produced an award winning documentary Wadjemup: Black Prison White Playground with Jeffory Asselin in 2014 to examine the penal history of the island, and how it has since been transformed into a top tourist destination. The ABC radio documentary can been heard here. Print This Post Media contact: Pepita Smyth Tel: (08) 9360 1289 | Mobile: 0417 171 551 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Film, television and digital media, School of Arts Research Tags: abc radio national, aboriginal, earshot, glen stasiuk, indigenous, rottnest island, wadjemup black prison white playground Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!