Release Date: 12 October 2015
A personal look at life in the back-blocks of north-west Australia, largely the Kimberleys, and particularly Broome and Derby, this memoir starts with the author?s arrival in the Broome area as a baby and her story is inextricably tied to the story of the development of the post-war Kimberleys. From her father?s station management (and her own early links with local Aboriginal identities as an isolated station child) and later various small businesses in town, through her mother?s push for multicultural tourism after the pearl industry died, the politics of a modern Broome emerging, the author?s own station work, rodeo competition, single motherhood, riding school, work in the fledgling oil industry and her father?s business, marriage and the hardships of managing a small station, more kids, extraordinary stories of bush isolation, marriage breakup, to re-training in adult education and working in the rodeos, working on the establishment of Derby TAFE and subsequently managing it, overseeing the early emergence of art training that led to the establishment of the internationally acclaimed Mowanjum Arts movement, this is the story of an extraordinarily ordinary Australian woman in post-war north-west Australia.
In amongst this personal history lies a testament of an indomitable woman?s struggle to survive amongst the rough and tumble of the so-called man?s world of cattle stations. While there are parallels, this is not a Sara Henderson story of battling to stay at the top. Coming from the poorer end of the rural diaspora, with little education, constant upheaval and no sense of belonging, except with horses, this is an endless struggle of battling to keep her head above water, to train and re-train and re-train again, thrown in the deep end over and over, betrayed again and again, on what was the new frontier, the wild West of Australia.
Young in a Wild Place is a marvellous tale, and I hope to see it become an important book in the autobiographical rendering of Australian history.
Miles Franklin Winning Author
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