Away from the edge

On the road where stories meet

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  • Published 20211027
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-65-8
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

MY MOTHER EMIGRATED to Australia on the SS Australis in 1967 as a ten-pound Pom. I first opened my eyes at 1.42 am in the maternity ward of the Manly Hospital, Sydney, in 1974. Now, forty-five years later, Mum and I are driving west from the Gold Coast, in a pre-Covid universe, in her little red Hyundai, leaving behind the sea and the fairyland towers of Surfers Paradise, winding through the hinterland to the Southern Downs where the land flattens out. I have made a meandering map based on life stories of pioneering Queensland women, women who came to this land also on boats, or whose parents or grandparents did. Women attempting to carve out lives in a frontier land where the brutal and murderous strategies of the colonial project were often at their worst.

If Queensland has been hard on my mother and I too as women, it has been in ways we’d probably say in the local lingo are same-same different. We like to think that the trespasses against women lessen over time with each generation, but on this trip we’ll learn what has and hasn’t changed as we skate across the surface of the state.

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