The Great Circle

The Great Circle is the journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History contains articles (often illustrated) and book reviews. The Great Circle attracts articles from both within Australia and overseas and has established a high scholarly reputation.

The Great Circle is a refereed journal and is published twice a year (June and December) by the Australian Association for Maritime History (ABN 47 244 526 977; ISSN 0156-8698).

A great circle is the intersect of a sphere and a plane going through the centre of that sphere. The shortest distance between two places on earth is represented by the great circle that links them together. Although the geographical and climatological conditions of the earth prevent shipping from following a great circle course for any long distance, the concept is of the greatest importance for ocean-going navigation. Particularly during the heyday of the sailing clippers, masters deviated as little as possible from these magic lines on their charts. As such, THE GREAT CIRCLE symbolises the significance of Australia's maritime links with overseas and indicates the aim of the association to promote the development of Maritime History. Figuratively, THE GREAT CIRCLE expresses also its second objective: to encompass all individuals and groups interested in whatever aspect of Maritime History, both in Australia and abroad.

The five diagrams on the back cover (courtesy of Rolf Krackowizer) illustrate some of the ships of significance to Australian and global maritime history: a Dutch East-Indiaman (c. 1700), the barque Parmelia (1825-39), a typical four-masted barque (c. 1900), a British battlecruiser of World War I, and the German containership Sydney Express (1970).

2021 Vol 43 No.1

Papers by:

  • Michael Lee Wittig (John Minor Maury on the Island of Nuku Hiva)
  • Jeroen Overweel (Keep Them Out! Early Nineteenth Century English/Dutch Rivalry in Eastern Indonesia and Australia and the Founding of Merkus-Oord)
  • Heather Campbell (In the Wake of the Steam Tug Escort)
  • Peter A Gunn (Chasing the Tale of the Mermaid and Other Kimberley Tales)

2020 Vol 42 No.2

Papers on pioneers and trailblazers:

  • David Carment (Obituary for Professor Alan Powell, pre-eminent maritime historian of Northern Australia),
  • Alan W Everett (Captain Cook, What Were You Thinking)
  • Trevor Kenchington (Carl August Nielsen 1849-1919 Developer of Commercial Otter Trawling)
  • Trevor Kenchington (Carl August Nielsen 1849-1919 Pioneer of the Australian and New Zealand Trawl Fisheries)
  • Adriaan de Jong (On the Discovery of The Last Will and Testament of Willem Jansz of Amsterdam, with a Detailed Overview of the Legacy of His Australian Discoveries in the Years 1606 and 1618))

2020 Vol 42 No.1

Papers from well known researchers and authors:

  • Liz Rushen (John Marshall & the Peopling of Australia),
  • Myra Stanbury (Capt Anthony Steel)
  • Mark Howard (The Melbourne sailors Home)
  • Rhys Richards (The Destruction of the Whaleship Harriet)
  • Mack McCarthy (The Walga Rock Ship Mystery)

2019 Vol 41 No.2

Papers from Peter Taylor, Peter Gifford, Ross Anderson, Rudiger Mack and Peter Ridgway

The 2018 special issue is all about Whalers and Sealers (Vol 40 Number 2)The Great Circle 2018

New research from Michael Pearson, Ross Anderson, Jane Clayton, Mark Howard, Dale Chatwin, Rhys Richards and the late Jocelyn Chisholm

In the Special French Exploration Issue The Great Circle 2017

The de Freycinet, St Alouran and Baudin expeditions, art and science, the French search for the Great Southland and much more in this issue

In the December 2016 Issue (Vol 38 No.2) of The Great Circle:

  • Gary L Sturgess, A Government Affair: Reassessing the Contractual Arrangements for Australia's First Fleet (Part 1)
  • Mark Clayton, The Ancient Mariner
  • Alecia Simmonds, Between Sentiment and Sea: The Meaning of Friendship in the Letters of Mathew Flinders

In the special Hartog Issue of The Great Circle (Vol 38 No. 1):

  • Wendy Van Duivenvoorde, Dutch Seaman Dirk Hartog (1583–1621) and his Ship Eendracht
  • Nick Burningham, The Australische Compagnie and the other Eendracht of 1616
  • Robert J. King, From Beach To Western Australia
  • Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Australia’ s Earliest European Graves
  • Adriaan De Jong, An Investigation into the Sloop Built by the Zeewijk Castaways 1727-1728
  • R (Bob) Sheppard, Towards Solving Australia’s Greatest Remaining Maritime Mystery?

hartog symbol

In the previous issue of The Great Circle:

  1. Georgy Zaytsev, Unexpected Soviet Visitor: the Trawler Van Gogh in the Gulf of Carpenteria
  2. Kenneth N Mival, Reassessing the Disappearance of the Clipper Guiding Star
  3. Jane Vickers, Disturbing Death at Sea: Mary Gordon, Civilian Casualty of the Boer War?
  4. James W Hunter III, Last Line of Defence: A Brief History of the Torpedo Boats and Torpedo Boat Support Facilities of Colonial NSW
  5. Nicolas Bigourdan, The French Connection with New Holland: An Overview of Research Studies

Dampier special issue of The Great Circle:

  • A Brief Dampier Chronology
  • M. McCarthy, 300 Years On: The Search for William Dampier and his Elusive Ship
  • R.T.Sexton, Building their Majesties’ Ship Roebuck
  • Alex George, William Dampier as a Natural Historian
  • Gary C. Williams, The Historical Context and Influence of William Dampier’s Hydrographic Science
  • Kim Ackerman, A Review of the Indigenous Watercraft of the Kimberley Region, Western Australia

Become a member to receive the Great Circle (and get the Quarterly Newsletter)

Click here to view the Index.

General Editor: Professor Erika Techera
Book Reviews Editor: Professor Erika Techera
Production Editor: Dr Ian Chambers
Editorial Board:
Steve Mullins, Central Queensland University
Stephan Petrow, University of Tasmania
Sarah Palmer, Greenwich Maritime Institute
Timothy Runyan, Program in Maritime Studies East Carolina University
Lewis R. Fischer, Department of History Memorial University of Newfoundland
David Stevens, Sea Power Centre Canberra
Mark Staniforth, Flinders University

All contributions to and correspondence about The Great Circle should be sent to the General Editor.
Professor Erika Techera
Professor of Law
University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Highway
Perth WA 6009 Australia

erika.tec[email protected]

Guidelines for Contributors:
Normal literary and typographical conventions will apply to all contributions. Prospective authors should ensure that their typescripts are in principle ready to go to press.

Any material submitted for inclusion in The Great Circle should be typed in double spacing, on an A4-size paper, with a wide margin. The maximum length of articles is normally 8,000 words, but longer articles may be accepted for publication in two parts. Major articles may conveniently be divided in sub-sections; these may be headed by Roman numerals and/or sub-titles. Contributors should email a copy of their article to [email protected] The preferred format is Microsoft Word saved as .doc or .rtf.

Footnotes must be numbered consecutively throughout the article and presented, in traditional style only, preferably at the foot of each page. In footnotes, titles of books and journals should be underlined or typed in italics. Second and further references to work already cited should be made in the form of an easily recognizable abbreviation of the first complete reference. No underlining or italics should be used for reference to manuscript material or unpublished works.

Quotations should be presented within single quotes '.....'. Foreign words and names of ships should be in italics.

Tables, graphs, maps, photographs, and other illustration material may be provided. The size of the printed page must be borne in mind, and all material should be readily reproduceable.

Authors are requested to state in writing, when forwarding articles, that, where necessary, they have permission to use copyright material and to reproduce illustrations.