MEET THE LOCALS

Braden Stockham had 'Remarkable' love of boats from young age

Port Lincoln commercial fisherman Braden Stockham has had a long love affair and fascination with wooden boats since he was young.

His story is featured in a new exhibition - Remarkable - Stories of Australians and their Boats - at in the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum in Port Lincoln

For the next month people will be able to read the stories on the banners posted around the museum of different people and the connection they have with their boats, with the exhibition then hitting the road.

Mr Stockham who is currently a commercial fishing crayfishing and filling in positions with sardine fishermen, said he has a strong connection with Port Lincoln.

"I was born here and my fascination of boats started at a very young age - I actually discovered a book on wooden fishing boats by Gifford Chapman and I memorised that book from front to back," he said.

"My interest in boats just went to a whole new level."

Mr Stockham said in year 8 he was shown how to restore a boat through the Tacoma Preservation Society as he was set a task to restore a dingy.

"I restored this dingy back to its operational state and Kristine Howe she did a story on this and applied it to the maritime museum stories remarkable stories and it got in," he said

Mr Stockham said it felt amazing to have his story part of the exhibit.

"Being a part of a story that involves the town and the community and going around Australia and representing our town is just amazing...especially for the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum - it is a really hidden gem.

"Hopefully it get people down here to check out this amazing place and the volunteers work is just astronomical."

Mr Stockham became involved in the commercial fishing industry after undertaking work experience on tuna boats at 15 years old.

"I got a casual job out of that and from there worked my way up," he said. "Then got a job crayfishing and that is my permanent job - at the moment I am just filling in for sardine fishing."

Mr Stockham said he loves being out on the ocean.

"You get to see things the general public do not get to see each day...the sights and the wildlife you get to see is astronomical," he said.

The exhibition has been created by the Australian Maritime Museums Council and the Australian National Maritime Museum, sourcing the stories from over 1000 rivers and a coast that stretches for more than 36,000 kilometres.

Thirty-four stories were nominated by maritime museums and heritage institutions from around Australia, with 12 of the most compelling stories being selected to feature in the exhibition.

The project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Vision of Australia program. The story about Mr Stockham was submitted by the Tacoma Preservation Society, where Braden is closely involved.

In addition, the Museum also has a local story on display around well known fishing boat fv MAMEENA and the Gibson and Vahlberg families linked to her.

The family are descendants of Finnish windjammer sailor Lauri Vahlberg who settled in Port Lincoln in the 1920s.

Remarkable is on an 18-month national tour across regional Australia, with all 34 submitted stories available on the AMMC website in a digital archive.

Member for Flinders Sam Telfer said it was exciting to welcome the exhibit to Port Lincoln.

"The fishing industry boating is really special to us here in Port Lincoln but also the whole of Australia," Mr Telfer said.

"It is great to be able to have one of the stories from us here in the Eyre Peninsula - what Braden shared and what he spoke about was really important for us to be able to recognise."

Public Relations officer at the museum Paulene Heinonen said there we some great stories in the exhibit.

"We have those banners for a month they tell stories of Remarkable Australians who are connected to their boats, and there are some magnificent stories to see," she said.

"A favourite of mine is the former governor of South Australia who tells his story of travelling in a leaky boat and a sinking boat from Vietnam to Darwin for sanctuary and to be able to continue to live his life."

Ms Heinonen spoke about Mr Stockham's story and his journey to reach the position he is in now.

"His story is exceptional in terms of where he started as a little boy with autism and then developed into the wonderful young man he is today - active and working in the fishing industry...we are very proud of the fact that Braden is in there."