BOOK ON STATIONS
To date, this book does not have a title. Along with my small support team, I have decided to turn the book's cover design and title into a competition for the families and children of the School of the Air and other distance learning facilities around the nation. This will not actually take place until much nearer the publication date, sometime in 2013. I am in the process of trying to establish contact with a number of celebrities all of whom I am hoping will agree to help to judge the submissions. All going well, I have a politician, an author and a singer - and I am looking for others (actors, television personalities - generally, anyone who is well in the public eye) who would be interested in this,
To tell you a little about the book - as is already known I have two published titles 'out there' - in looking for another one to write, a topic about which I feel passionate - what better than the outback of this great nation; the sheep and cattle stations. I originate from one, on the edge of the outback and I always have and always will support these people, almost over and above everything and everyone else.
This enormous area, the outback, so often goes by ignored, unnoticed and desperately misunderstood. This is something that has always been a major cause of frustration for me. My natural reply to the question about my origins has so often been met with limited interest and then: 'Oh, my aunt/uncle/friend/godmother/ex-boss's son came from a farm". Even when people have tried to support me in conversations saying that they too live in the country, or know someone who does, again invariably it turns out that they live in a country town or on a farm. Then there are those who consider the first town reached after leaving the 'burbs is country enough - forget anything further out. As for the interior - er: 'Where and what is that - actually, don't worry, I'm not interested anyway.'
One more example - just one, promise - many years ago when working overseas one of my colleagues appeare to be fascinated that I came from Australia. It seemed this was one thing, but to come from the outback - huh??? And - then - 'Oh I know someone in Sydney. Perhaps you might know them'. This lady was determined to be able to pronounce the word 'Cobber' correctly - it didn't seem to matter that it's not a word most Australians used in everyday language anyway. Okkkk. One other thing - OK - I lied - there is one more thing - the misconception that we have kangaroos hopping freely through the streets of our CBDs. Actually maybe this isn't quite such a misconception - I have to admit that even I had to wonder about myself when I was working on the edge of the CBD in Canberra many years ago, looked up just in time to see a 'roo hopping by...hmmmmm.....
So - in an effort to try to help educate the world at large, along with most of my fellow Australians, I decided to write this book.
In order to write such a book obviously I need reliable information and a lot of it - from people who know what they are talking about. So, after writing many, many, many letters to landholders nationwide, I now have a final twenty stations which are participating. Over the coming eighteen or so months I will be travelling out to visit all these stations (by the way I also work full time and this has absolutely nothing to do with my job), meeting, chatting with and interviewing the owners/managers and their families, staff and some local townspeople. I will also be taking oodles of photos.
I have also begun meeting/interviewing/photographing retired pastoralists around the nation. Such wonderful people - salt of the earth with a sense of humour equal to none. I am trying to find out how they have adapted from their life of isolation in the bush, to the bright lights and convenience of the city. A further point of interest (well, I
think it is) - for many of the wives, this is the second time they have done this, only the exact opposite. So many, like my own mother and many of the people we grew up with on neighbouring stations, originate from the city and have gone the other way. And there now appear to be an increasing number who have come from foreign lands - what an adjustment they are making.
The book will cover the lives and daily 'doings' of all these people. I am NOT trying to draw tourists to the outback except for those places and stations that are tourist oriented. One chapter will be devoted to them. All I am trying do do is to raise awareness, educate, put working stations and those people on the map and let the rest of Australia and the world know that there are people out there, fighting all odds to live. That there are inhabitants in the so-called uninhabitable.
As I progress down this road and the book is gradually becoming known around the nation, I am receiving an increasing number of inquiries and suggestions to include different topics. All are considered.
A percentage of the royalties from any sales of the book will be donated to the RFDS and any other organisations to do with the outback.
I am absolutely thriving on this. As I will tell anyone who'll listen (and yes this does mean I talk to myself a lot) my life really did begin about four years ago - OK, so timing probably wasn't perfect given it was also the year of the death of my second parent. But that particular birthday I woke with an 'epiphany' - I knew I had to get my Dad's book, 'The Sawers From Pitcairn' published and 'out there' - and quickly, but I just didn't know how to go about achieving that. I have always wanted to have books published - how do you do it?? Suddenly I found myself being 'forced' into it - and haven't looked back.
So here I am, now working on my third book, meeting the most wonderful and extraordinary people along the way, making some lovely new friends and generally - thriving.