On a Floating World is a publishing and events platform focused on Australia’s east coast, specifically the beaches that stretch from Port Stephens to Lake Macquarie and the waterways that connect Newcastle with the Hunter Valley.
Combining art, science, history, community, and culture, the project aims to foster a deeper connection to our marine ecosystems and contemplate their futures.
This site will feature oral histories, site visits, and deep dives into the past. We aim to create a multi-faceted portrait of the area and spark a broader dialogue about the critical issue of water.
In addition to our local stories, we will also be sharing stories from around the world, highlighting the people, places, and projects that are leading the way for the future or preserving something essential from the past.
Wherever we go and whomever we visit, you will hear from experts and everyday people in their own voices and discover the many fascinating ways in which human life intersects with water.
On a Floating World was founded and is managed by Heath Killen — a producer, curator, and designer from Newcastle. Heath curates the content, conducts the interviews, writes the features, edits the stories, and is responsible for design and promotions.
Oceanographer of the mind, actual pirate seagull, and official project artist, Neil ‘Pipes’ McCann is a Sydney-based artist who will be illustrating all of our Seafolk interviews plus a range of other maritime treats across the site.
On a Floating World has been made possible with cultural grants from City of Newcastle and Port of Newcastle.
On a Floating World gives thanks to the extraordinary research, publishing, and archival efforts of Hunter Living Histories, State Library of NSW, NSW State Archives, Newcastle Herald, City of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie Libraries, Lost Newcastle, and TROVE.
On a Floating World acknowledges the Awabakal and Worimi peoples as the traditional custodians of the land and waters of Newcastle. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.