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Born in Germany, Margitta Acker came to Australia in June 1962. Five weeks later, she was married at St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Reid. For her, it was a wedding among strangers. Her memories of settling in Canberra, exploring her new surroundings, finding work, making friends and raising a family give a fascinating insight into everyday life in the national capital half a century ago, when Lake Burley Griffin was non-existent, mobile phones and credit cards were unheard of, and the suburb of Curtin was out in the paddocks.
978 1 74027 833 1, 140pp, $22.50

* Margitta Acker / Meat Pies and Mumbling Blokes

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This is a story about growing up in a small racist town in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, during the Apartheid years. The author is the oldest son of the town’s mayor, a publican. He grew up between the hotel, where he was exposed at an early age to much of the town’s less salubrious goings on, and a harsh boarding school experience. Garth relishes the simple language of a story told by cronies at the bar, where he served drinks to his father’s customers in his holidays from the tender age of twelve. But the stories, some of them fabulous and more amusing or poignant for being real, are not told with nostalgia for the past. Patiently, as he pieces together his own backstory, he sees that it is a tiny fragment overlaying a much larger picture. The clash of indigenous inhabitants with a southerly expansion of Bantu tribes and the newly arrived colonists is developed as a secondary storyline, told in small vivid vignettes which run through the memoir as threads of reason. Its scope is vast but its tone is frank and disarmingly personal.
978 1 76041 034 6, 188pp, $27.50

* Garth Alperstein / The Fourpenny Axe and a Snooker Cue: eBofolo remembered

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The adventures of two ignorant innocents, both old enough to know better, travelling from London through countries as uncharted as Turkey, Persia and Iraq to Calcutta by Lambretta scooter in 1959.
1 74027 214 5, 206pp, $25.00

Ruth Bayne / Scooting Through

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Shards of Ice is about Antarctica, the death of a beloved husband and grief. Written in fragments, Shards of Ice interweaves experiences of the author’s trips to Antarctica – the first was soon after her husband died - and stories of the early explorers, in the form of snapshots rather than linear history. There is a section on the Red Desert, central Australia, another spiritual home of the author’s, contrasting with the southern white desert. And significant reflection about the four years of her husband’s decline, his death and her grief. The growing demographic of Baby Boomers will be facing dying and grief sooner than they expect. Shards of Ice provides pathways and experience, and asks questions.
978 1 76041 061 2, 198pp, $27.50

* Minnie Biggs / Shards of Ice: Antarctica - Death Survival Grief

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One of the rarely discussed aspects of the experience of soldiers in the First World War was the refusal to take prisoners during battle and in some cases the killing of prisoners in the front line. No Quarter investigates the degree to which Australian soldiers were participants in this practice both as victims and perpetrators.
'...exceptionally well-researched, objective and well-written...an essential work for any student of the Great War...' - Military History
1 74027 291 9, 76pp, $20.00

* Dale Blair / No Quarter: Unlawful Killing and Surrender in the Australian War Experience 1915-18

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The stories of Not Another Nun Story recount some of the more human side of life in a convent in the 1960s. Before Vatican II, convent life was rather like that depicted in Audrey Hepburn’s film A Nun’s Story. Margaret Breuer became a Sister of Mercy while still a teenager, and teenage behaviour surfaced occasionally, giving rise to the humorous side of some stories. No, this is not just another nun’s story, but a story of one who rather unsuccessfully struggled with the rules and regulations and the spiritual side of convent life, while making the most of the temporal side!
978 1 74027 651 1, 64pp, $18.00

* Margaret Bolton / Not Another Nun Story

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Every mother has a story, a story that is worth the telling. These are stories of courage, grit and determination. Stories that give insight into the different lives of others – so that’s what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. Stories to ring bells – yes, I have been through some of that too, different in context maybe, but with the same will and the same love. Many of these mothers have faced huge challenges. They did this full on and, in the process, became the strong women that they are today. Margaret Bolton, herself a mother of two sons (and two daughters), has also written Not Another Nun Story.
978 1 74027 771 6, 82pp, $18.00

* Margaret Bolton / Mother & Son

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Enjoy a kaleidoscope of social history and down-to-earth humour as Cops, Crooks, Courts & Spooks traces the life of Ray Clift through sickness, recovery, sadness, the discovery of the truth about his birth and many life-threatening moments as a long-serving Adelaide police officer, during which he received citations for courage. Not satisfied with a quiet retirement, he moved into a fifteen-year career as a court sheriff’s office in the northern suburbs of Adelaide. He also served some years in the Reserve forces, most of it in Army Intelligence. The book includes accounts of Ray’s contact beyond the veil with Grey Eagle, his spirit guide, who leads him in automatic writing and helps him understand his vivid dreams. Ray also describes his encounters with ghosts, which are revealing and often very funny.
978 1 74027 902 4, 178pp, $25.00

* Ray Clift / Cops, Crooks, Courts & Spooks

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It took a Caribbean cyclone, an Irish grandmother's hundredth wedding anniversary, an email from Puerto Rico, and a fireside visit from her great-great-grandfather’s cantankerous lady love to make the author realise their Hunter Valley farm lay close to land settled by her colonial forebears. Dreams and discoveries about her female ancestors mingle in this entertaining patchwork of tales told by candle light. Can the strength and courage of past lives enable us to cope with ageing, change, and loss?
'A strong sense of place and historical connectedness permeates the book.' - Grass Roots
978 1 74027 448 7, 144pp, $22.50

Pam Cole / Candlefire

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Pam Cole's magical word skills and memory for detail have cast their spell, and we are with her in a world of woodstove cookery and mustering on horseback, of bucketing bathwater from the wash-house copper at lamplit day's end, the chilly mountain air perfumed with lucerne hay and spicy apples, while firelight flickers on revived poddies snuggled on the hearth and the telephone jingles on the wall as the postmistress connects the party line...
978 1 74027 504 0, 90pp, $20.00

Pam Cole / A Drop of the Asp

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'Heneke's Sampler is a delightful read, exquisitely crafted. A little masterpiece! I'm on my fifth read at the present. It keeps drawing me back...some ineffable link to one's own, everyone’s ancestry - life, I guess. To reach the end is to find oneself at the beginning...the eternal return. To try and explain why would destroy the aesthetic experience, to tear the rose asunder to discover its source. Your Heneke's sampler is not of the world in stitches and cloth, but of the phenomenology of consciousness in words and space, little vignettes on paper that touch on an infinity of emotion, a need for discovery, delight, ecstasy, that goes on and on as all great art should do to exalt us in our being. There is no need for meaning...just existence.' - a friend and first reader
978 1 74027 863 8, 92pp, $22.00

Pam Cole / Heneke's Sampler

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An evocative patchwork of garden memories. Pam and Bill Cole live in rural Victoria since reaching their seventies,  but make frequent returns to the northern NSW country which once was home.
‘…poetic, dreamy and evocative memoir…gentle and charming.’ - Grass Roots
978 1 74027 744 0, 136pp, $22.50

Pam Cole / A Rag-planter’s Garden

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‘A spacious walking meditation on place by an attentive and courageously permeable writer who has come to love this island as intensely as those of us bound to it by birth and ancestry and who has allowed its presence to inhabit and inform the quietly assured cadences of her verse and prose. Journeys of the spirit, landscapes of the mind and heart, symphony and silence, bone and blood and leaf and stone of country - from Cockle Creek to Albert Road, Moonah, Montrose to Mount Wellington, Bicheno to Cradle Mountain and beyond - this carefully crafted collection of poetry and essays, earthed and numinous, bound by location and a particular lived experience but infinite in intimation, exhilarating and deeply restful, is a small jewel of a work.’ - Terry Whitebeach
978 1 74027 657 3, 70pp, $22.00

Anne Collins / My Friends This Landscape

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Marty Dodd, taken from his parents when he was a boy, grew up to be a successful stockman, horse trainer and opal miner.
'Highly recommended...a delight from start to finish.' - Magpies
1 74027 067 3, 104pp, $22.00

Marty Dodd / They liked me, the horses, straightaway

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‘The measure of how well a school suits your child, and consequently how successful it is in educating your child, does not come from looking up an unreliable and highly variable ranking on the internet. It comes from observing your child, being engaged in the school environment and building up a good relationship with your child’s teachers. In this way, you can work as a team to achieve the very best education for your child, not just in literacy and numeracy but in so many broad-ranging aspects of life. The connection between home and school is fundamental in each gaining an understanding of the goals of the other.’ - Linda Steadman
‘Lynne’s view of education takes readers on a thought-provoking journey of the education system. It’s effectively an appeal to the community to educate itself about the need for a quality education system and to seriously ask ourselves whether a systematic approach to funding linked to performance is the best way to deliver a quality education system.’ - Karen Warner
‘As parents, we compare our understanding of education today to our own experiences going to school in Australia and Japan respectively. However, the world is different today and memories can become imbued with nostalgia. We therefore found that Lynne’s book provided us with a very interesting insight into the education system in Australia today, including some of the real challenges for teachers, drivers for change, government responses and impacts of policy decisions.’ - Christopher and Michiyo Perry
Lynne Edwards is an early childhood-trained teacher who has taught for more than thirty years. She spent the majority of her career in the preschool sector and the last ten years in the junior primary sector. In the early 1990s she was selected to teach one of the first Early Intervention Units in Canberra, working with a team of therapy specialists. She has tutored in the Childcare Course at Canberra’s CIT, and during a sabbatical year in 2003 she was engaged as an early childhood consultant for Questacon, Canberra’s Science Centre. In this role, she conducted research, and advised and assisted the planning team with the design and creation of MiniQ, Questacon’s permanent exhibition for 0-6 year olds. In 1994 Lynne accepted an exchange teaching position in Vancouver Island, Canada. Since retiring in 2008, Lynne has remained involved in the education field. She has continued relief teaching, and was engaged as a University Liaison Officer at the University of Canberra, advising and supporting pre-service teachers in schools.
978 1 76041 040 7, 134pp, $22.50

* Lynne Edwards / How to Pass a Test: Is this the direction of Australian education today?

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The stories collected here from Tales From My Patagonia, Down by the River, It’s Still Out There, There’s a Rainbow Serpent in My Garden and Eastwards are like a running journal of discovery. There will be others, because my discoveries are not finished by any means and I always have to write things down to make them real. But with each trip out into what I now lovingly call my extended garden, I am free of angst and, while in some respects no longer the innocent child, I learn more and more why I have always felt so at home in Australia.
978 1 74027 898 0, 200pp, $25.00

* Brenda Eldridge / From Patagonia to Australia: Collected Prose

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Twenty-eight writers reflect in fiction, non-fiction and poetry on the past, present and future of Port Adelaide.
‘Port Adelaide is not so different from many country towns whose fortunes have come and gone. For all the hype about making it into something new and glitzy, I suspect the ghosts have other ideas. It is the home of people who recognise there is more to life than material ownership and still enjoy buying their vegetables from a greengrocer and stamps from cheerful ladies in the post office.’ - Brenda Eldridge
978 1 74027 711 2, 122pp, $20.00

Brenda Eldridge

Brenda Eldridge (editor) / The Heart of Port Adelaide

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Here is a book to delight all readers - a refreshingly diverse mix of poetry, fiction and non-fiction by more than forty South Australian writers. It not only explains a lot about the evergreen allure of collecting in general but also reveals much about each individual contributor and their own collections, and about different understandings of that slippery word 'collecting'.
978 1 74027 813 3, 166pp, $25.00

Brenda Eldridge (editor) / Collecting Writers

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We hope Ginninderra Press writers will enjoy reading the history of the publishing house that they are a vital part of. We also hope people from all walks of life - whether they are readers, writers, or those who love to hear the story about a person pursuing their dream - will be inspired to read about Stephen Matthews and what one person can achieve through passion and determination.
978 1 76041 143 5, 102pp, $20.00

* Joan Fenney / Rays of Light: Ginninderra Press - the first 20 years

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With the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the last of that generation who lived through it are slowly departing the stage. Otto Gaczol and his life were profoundly shaped by that war. As an ethnic German boy who grew-up in pre-war Poland, he lived through the Nazi occupation just 30 kilometres away from Auschwitz and then, in January 1945, fled west as a 14-year-old refugee when the Red Army turned the tide against the Wehrmacht and made its way to Berlin. As a young adult, he took advantage of Australia’s large-scale post-war immigration programme to come here for what he thought would be a two-year adventure. It ended up being much longer than that. His story is just one of millions of similar stories of people from that generation who lived through those extraordinary times. Nonetheless, it is a remarkable story that serves to remind us of that period of great suffering and upheaval that occurred only one human lifetime ago. His journey through pre-war and occupied Poland, post-war Germany and then eventually to Australia tells a story difficult for those of us who grew up in an era of peace and prosperity to comprehend. Plato is credited with saying ‘Only the dead will see the end of war.’ World War II may now be 70 years ago, but human conflict has not gone away. In that context, my father’s story is as relevant as ever.
978 1 74027 927 7, 150pp, $25.00

* Otto Gaczol with Andrew Gaczol / One Life, Three Countries

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Danny Gardner is a poet, novelist and freelance journalist. He was born in Tasmania but has lived in Sydney since 1983. He has published three books of poetry and has written three novels and a memoir of his father. His freelance journalism on art, sport and travel has been widely published. Pieces in this book have appeared (though not necessarily in this form) in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, Australian Playboy, Holiday and Travel, Travel Away, Panorama (Ansett Airlines), Nine to Five, Outback, Cream of the Troubadour (UK) and Southern Partners (Papua New Guinea). These are stories born on the run, Danny Gardner on assignment or pursuing an idiosyncratic sense of challenge, inhabiting various social situations and settings with literary, artistic and sporting, even culinary, references. This is travel by foot, by car alone or with family, by bus, train and plane solo and in company across five continents over thirty-five years.
'... it is a treat to see this first collection of his tales' - Susan Kurosawa, Weekend Australian
978 1 74027 885 0, 336pp, $32.50

Danny Gardner / Brains in my Feet

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Fran Harris tells the story of her childhood, progressing through her teen years and into womanhood. Her young life was blighted by an alcoholic father but enriched by friendship and care of her beloved older brother and, in turn, by their loyalty to one another and concern for their mother and four siblings. The Saint family’s life was totally dysfunctional and consequently Fran’s education suffered. However, during the small amount of schooling she did receive, she managed to acquire a beautiful copperplate hand but knew not what she wrote. Being the resourceful, intelligent person she is, she taught herself to read at the age of seventeen. In her twenties and thirties, she was making notes and writing the stories of her early life as she remembered them. In the 1980s she was accepted into an external course at the University of New England and also acquired a very basic computer. It was then that she started to set down her tale. With her brother’s earnest encouragement, she has finally completed it, alas too late for him to read..
978 1 74027 890 4, 172pp, $25.00

Frances Harris / Raising a Saint

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Antonia Hildebrand, author of The Nine Eleven Handbook, explores how the neo-liberal worldview was created and for what social, political and economic purposes it came into being. Going back to the Great Depression of the thirties, Hildebrand describes an agenda devoted to the creation of an elite which is now so insulated by its power that it is largely unaccountable and owns a large slab of the world’s wealth. In the United States at least, it controls the law, the military, the media and the banking system, leading to widespread injustice, social instability and financial collapses that are all the more threatening because they are now global. This elite now wants to rule the world and is attempting to give its tyranny the appearance of legality by creating ‘free trade agreements’ which render national governments impotent and the outcomes of elections null and void. Drawing on historical fact, Hildebrand lays bare the desire for untrammelled power that lies behind such catch cries as ‘the level playing field’, ‘workplace flexibility’ and ‘deregulation’ while exploring the ubiquitous intrusion of free market economics into every area of 21st century life. To many people the unravelling of democracy and national sovereignty may seem random, even inevitable, but in The Blind Colossus, the methodical plan to re-create a feudal system and turn the entire world into a vast labour hire firm is clarified and dissected, revealing that none of it is random. It is, rather, a carefully constructed plan to render democracy and even the rule of law irrelevant and archaic. For this elite, anything that doesn’t increase its wealth and power is to be swept into the dustbin of history.
978 1 74027 912 3, 132pp, $22.00

* Antonia Hildebrand / The Blind Colossus

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Canberra residents have little reason to know Charles Daley’s name or be aware of the details of his life in Victoria as a teacher, botanist, writer and historian. But they might be more familiar with the name of his eldest son, Charles Studdy (C.S.) Daley, whose close connection with the story of Canberra for over fifty years is the subject of this book. Father and son had much in common. Both took seriously the notion of public service as a high and honourable calling. Daley senior retired after forty-six years of zealous and effective teaching in Victorian schools, and thereafter devoted his energies to numerous voluntary cultural and educational projects. His son was to be involved with a wide range of community groups in Canberra during his working life with the Commonwealth Government and in retirement. Both men shared a schoolmasterly desire to educate others, to help their fellow Australians appreciate their country’s history and its unique but fragile environment. During his lifetime, Daley senior published a number of well-regarded books, including two that became standard references in their field. His last book, The Story of Gippsland, was published by his sons after his death. C.S. Daley, for his part, always hoped that he would be given the chance to write the official history of Canberra, whose early years he had been so closely involved with. He was disappointed in this hope, but until the end of his life he saw himself as an authentic spokesman for early Canberra and a reliable witness to those first decades when the Commonwealth’s new city was being planned and built on the Limestone Plains.
Jennifer Horsfield is a writer and historian with a special interest in the landscape and human stories of the Canberra region. This is her fifth book.
978 1 76041 038 4, 240pp, $30.00

* Jennifer Horsfield / Building a City: C.S. Daley and the story of Canberra

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In 2014, George Huitker decided to merge his love of music and service education, and convinced his band, Junk Sculpture, to undertake a life-changing tour of north-western New South Wales. This was the very region where his service learning program was introducing his urban-based students to rural communities, to gain a better understanding of life in rural Australia, particularly for Indigenous children and their families. With Midnight Oil’s influential album Diesel and Dust on heavy rotation, Huitker emulated this band’s ground-breaking Blackfella/Whitefella tour and hit the dusty, straight, corrugated roads heading northward on a journey of discovery… On the way, the travellers discovered some hard truths about themselves, their preconceptions and their country’s history, and how best to serve its disempowered and disadvantaged people with greater authenticity. In an honest, heartfelt and at times heart-breaking memoir, George Huitker shares this journey while tracing his own songlines and how they instilled his passion for singing and serving others.
978 1 76041 131 2, 230pp, $30.00

* George Huitker / Big Life

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Orphaned at four, growing up at a time when the stigma of illegitimacy was lifelong, divorce scandalous, and cruelty in the home left to take its course, my mother confessed her shameful origins to her children only when she was in her sixties. She died without knowing who her father was. But a subsequent chance meeting in her birthplace Broken Hill revealed more to her family than she ever knew. Despite hardship and tragedy, Mim lngleton had the resilience, energy, intelligence and love to raise three children, organise South Australia’s first community kindergarten, support Adelaide‘s early initiatives for young people with disabilities, and mentor international students. This is her story.
Christine lngleton’s professional career (BA, DipEd, BEd, MEd) focused on teaching and learning with high school students, community groups, adult literacy, university students, professional groups, academic staff, and evaluation. Her three children, four grandchildren, tennis, golf, travel, music and reading continually enrich her life.
978 1 76941 029 2, 116pp, $22.50

* Christine Ingleton / Mim's Story

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‘Poet and storyteller, philosopher and mystic, Lawrence Johnson is the ideal walking companion, who in Along the Way introduces us to some of the sites in a morally deep world that have meant the most to him.’ - J.M. Coetzee, 2003 Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature
Lawrence Johnson is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide.
9781740278973, 214pp, $28.00

Lawrence Johnson / Along the Way

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'Catharine Keir chose her family well. At the time of her birth there was little support for families to raise a child with Down syndrome at home, either within most families, or from the community at large. The strength, warmth and moral courage of the Keir family was just what Catharine needed. I found Edna’s story to be a delightfully warm account of family life in rural Australia, striking in its frank discussion of how her family responded to Catharine’s birth, and the diagnosis of Down syndrome, and the truly adult life they have helped her to build. Their Catholic faith sustained them through the process of accepting that Catharine belonged with them and they with her, and their commitment to her as a valued and valuable member of the family. It is an important motif throughout the family’s life. Edna has captured a real feeling of country life in NSW, by describing family life thrown into relief by the turning of the seasons, and the years. Catharine’s life is shared with a large family of brothers and sisters, whose relationships with Catharine are as important as her individuality. She highlights incidents and events that demonstrate the deep, well considered family values that inform their choices as parents and siblings. There is a real appreciation of the gifts and challenges that Catharine brings to the family as well as what the family gives to Catharine. I was particularly moved by Edna’s account of Catharine’s responses to Noel’s illness and death, and by her acknowledgement of Catharine’s importance in her mother’s life, as a much loved daughter, companion and teacher. Edna and her family have much to teach us about the difference between a child and an adult who happens to have an intellectual disability. Catharine’s move away from home, establishing a measure of independence that she is comfortable with, is reflective of one of the most significant issues any family of a person with a disability will face, and often struggle with. Edna captures the need for this move to be a thoughtful process, rather than a single event in response to a crisis. The Keir family story will be both interesting and valuable to other families, and to professionals. The openness, warmth and gentle humour of Edna’s telling have great appeal to me as the mother of a young man with Down syndrome, and as a professional in family support.' - Jill O’Connor, Down Syndrome Association of NSW Inc.
978 1 74027 222 3, 116pp, $22.50

* Edna Keir / Catharine with an A

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Many of us have envied couples who pack up and set off on the ultimate road trip - but not everyone! Due to a sad history of car travel in her youth, the author is less than enthusiastic when her husband suggests they do the same. Things do start to look up, however, when they sign up to hire a Winnebago, the Rolls Royce of motor homes. But once on their way, they are naive about the pitfalls of driving something resembling a removalist’s van around the countryside. This is a hilarious account of their experience, full of anecdotes covering everything from formulating a take-off checklist the RAAF would be proud of to working out the ablution solution of the on-board toilet affectionately named Winnie the Poo.
‘Laishley’s wry observations and dry wit…have produced a thoroughly entertaining easily digestible read.’ - Caravan World
978 1 74027 562 0, 176pp, $25.00

* Claire Laishley / Did You Know We Had a Screen Door?

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Claire Laishley wasn’t particularly concerned when she found a lump in her breast. She’d had two others removed over the years, both benign, and at the time the doctor had intimated there would probably be more. But this time things would be different. The Diary of Delores D’Lump covers the twelve-month period from the day breast cancer was diagnosed. It is a powerful story that takes the reader on an emotional journey through the harsh treatment regime which, in Claire’s case, leads to unexpected and life-threatening side effects. But although the subject matter is serious, this story also captures the author’s sense of humour and indomitable spirit. Like her previous book My Mother is my Daughter, which told the story of how dementia in her mother changed the dynamic of their relationship, the author manages to inject humour into what many would feel was yet another humourless subject. Along with the humour there is a blunt honesty in her writing; she is not afraid to detail her emotional lows, and many will relate to her story.
‘Laishley writes it all in an easy, upbeat journal style, not pulling any punches.’ - Samela Harris, The Advertiser
978 1 74027 710 5, 142pp, $22.50

* Claire Laishley / The Diary of Delores D'Lump

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One route to wealth during the 1850s and ’60s gold rushes was uncovering a nugget or glittering seam. A much more certain alternative was owning inns on roads to the goldfields. Irish Gold tells the story of two enterprising Irish settlers, Jeremiah Lehane and Miles Murphy, who adopted the second course and, with their families, led action-packed lives in the Yass-Young region of southern NSW. The book is also a celebration of those optimistic times, and of a pioneer newspaper, the Yass Courier, that recorded them with insight and humour. There was plenty of news around: Ben Hall’s gang roamed the countryside, free selection was threatening the sway of the squatters, the attempted assassination of the Duke of Edinburgh stirred sectarian passions, a great flood devastated Yass...
978 1 74027 126 4, 314pp, $30.00

* Robert Lehane / Irish Gold

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The founding Rector of St John's College, Sydney, Very Rev. Dr John Forrest, is the central character in this book, which tells a story of hopes dashed as grand dreams for St John’s succumbed to the reality of a divided Catholic Church and low student numbers.
'Lehane...tells an entertaining and rather sad story in exceptional detail, using an impressive array of contemporary sources.' - University of Sydney Gazette
'Lehane is a good writer who knows how to walk the tightrope between populism and rigorous history. His quotes are always ahort and essential; his ability to tell a story is so well honed that the narrative never flags.' - Sydney Morning Herald
'...a story full of interest and intrigue.' - Irish Echo
'...gives much insight into the Byzantine, often secretive and power-hungry ecclesiastical hierarchy...a moving story at a human level.' - Tain
'...provided great enjoyment and satisfaction...' - Irish Roots
'...deserves to be read by all those with an interest in the Irish diaspora, the history of New South Wales or the study of modern Catholicism.' - Australasian Journal of Irish Studies
1 74027 268 4, 330pp, $30.00

Robert Lehane

Robert Lehane / Forever Carnival

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Draws on a wide range of sources to reveal an unconventional, perennially popular character who made major contributions to the political, legal and literary life of NSW. While the despatch of colonial troops to Sudan in 1885 is the act he is most often remembered for today, contemporaries admired him for much more - not least the use of his remarkable oratorical power, honed in memorable court cases, to champion causes such as religious and racial harmony and a gentler form of parliamentary politics.
'...much more than the account of a fascinating and full public life. It brings to life the colony of New South Wales in the 30 years after the grant of responsible government.' - Bar News (journal of the NSW Bar Association)
'...fascinating for the insights it provides of the parliamentary system in its infancy.' - Tintain
'Lehane's biography has done ample justice to a remarkable Australian patriot who deserves to be remembered for the significant role he played...' - Sabretache
'...a very readabe, ably researched and interesting account of a figure who fully deserves the focus of a biography.' - Australian Historical Studies
'...very readable... Solidly researched and well illustrated...' - Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
'Those who read William Bede Dalley will rejoice in a rich and meaningful life and will learn about an aspect of Sydney and colonial society that better-known historians have barely glimpsed.' - Canberra Historical Journal
'Lehane...paints a rounded portrait of his subject through the vivid accumulation of detail, leaving readers to form their own impressions of Dalley. It is a very effective biographical technique... This remarkable book, with its text delightfully leavened by contemporary portraits and prints, is a colourful account, not only of the torturous permutations of colonial factional politics in NSW, but of the social history of Sydney and its environs. Robert Lehane has captured the very flavour of late-colonial society, from the bushranging days to the 1888 Centennial.' - Reviews in Australian Studies
'...a great insight into colonial Sydney...a fine biography...' - Australasian Journal of Irish Studies
'...full, readable, well-researched...' - Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society
978 1 74027 437 1, 423pp, $35.00

Robert Lehane

Robert Lehane / William Bede Dalley: Silver-tongued pride of old Sydney

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Mental Health Social Work is much more than a second edition of Mental Health Practice. In this new book, there is a much greater focus on contemporary social work interventions. The information is located in the Australian context but also draws heavily on recovery-focused practices in New Zealand. It is relevant to social work practice in Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Canada and the United States of America. This book is designed for students in social work, welfare studies and the human services generally. It is also intended for social workers and health professionals working in the community and human services sector as well as for students and workers in other disciplines and members of the general public who are in contact with people with mental illness.
978 1 74027 750 1, 322pp, $36.00

* Jennifer Martin / Mental Health Social Work

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Conflict Management is suitable for students and practitioners in conflict management and mediation as well as providing useful skills for everyday living. Areas of mediation practice discussed in this book include family, parent–adolescent, adult-elder, workplace, criminal justice, neighbourhood, planning and complex multi-party international environmental disputes.
978 1 74027 871 3, 204pp, $22.00

Jennifer Martin / Conflict Management

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An ecological philosopher's account of three friends’ journey to the source of their local creek.
978 1 74027 197 1, 54pp, $18.00

* Freya Mathews / Journey to the Source of the Merri

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In Without Animals Life Is Not Worth Living, eco-philosopher Freya Mathews livens up her theme – that the company of animals is indispensable to human existence – by way of the story of an anarchic but irresistible pig.
'In this captivating story of a pig and a philosopher, Freya takes up the narratival mode of exposition that has recently engaged philosophers. Her account of Pookie tells of a human person’s love across a huge species boundary. Few pigs have been so fondly and respectfully brought into print. Freya’s philosophical commitment to truth leads her into unfashionable conclusions: pigs are not particularly intelligent, she tells us. On the basis of life with Pookie, she finds pigs to be determined, focussed and insistent, but not demonstrably smart. Having made that point, Freya goes on to provide a vivid account of Pookie’s actual sentience: her sense of self, her joy, her determination, her later dejection, and her capacity for remembrance.' - Deborah Bird Rose
978 1 76041 092 6, 56pp, $18.00

* Freya Mathews / Without Animals Life Is Not Worth Living

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Surprising personal glimpses of the eminent and enigmatic Australian poet
‘I wonder sometimes if the literary pests are writing memoirs: “The last time I saw her she was pale and sick but smiling bravely.”’ So mused the dying Gwen Harwood in a letter written a few months before she succumbed to cancer. Nearly two decades have passed since she wrote that, but no memoir or biography of the loved and estimable poet has yet appeared. While her poems and the two published volumes of her correspondence enable us to hear her speaking about herself and her life, and people and things that mattered to her, in these pages her friends and acquaintances - no ‘literary pests’ these - tell for the first time about the Gwen Harwood they knew, woman and poet. Their recollections are warm and affectionate, and sometimes surprising. Some might even be thought shocking.
'…an engaging, informative and important book about a major Australian writer…' - Tas Weekend Magazine
'…delightful little book…' - The Examiner
‘The contributions vary in length, intimacy and literary sophistication, but together they create a vivid sense of the poet’s world - in particular, the daily textures of the life from which she made her poems. …a gallery of sketches in mixed media, a sometimes baffling, certainly incomplete, but always beguiling set of studies for a multi-faceted portrait of a complex and brilliant woman.’ - Australian Women’s Book Review
978 1 76041 020 9, 82pp, $20.00

* Robyn Mathison & Robert Cox (editors) / Behind the Masks: Gwen Harwood remembered by her friends

$20.00

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In words and photographs (many in colour), more than 100 Canberrans reveal the stories of courage, loss and optimism behind the disastrous January 2003 bushfires.
'...an object lesson to all Australians to respect the forces of nature while enjoying the lifestyle afforded to them as they live within their unique environment.' - Reviews in Australian Studies
Highly Commended, Non-fiction, ACT Publishing Awards 2004
1 74027 202 1, 192pp, $22.00

Stephen Matthews (editor) / 'How Did the Fire Know We Lived Here?'

$22.00

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Essays, selected from Voice magazine, on a diverse range of issues, from the human rights of refugees, Indigenous reconciliation and the environment, to global conflict and economic rationalism. The elegantly expressed passion of the twenty-one pieces attacks the moral vacuum of right-wing arrogance with a search for humanity.
‘The thrust of the essays is no less powerful for being pushed forward by passionate belief rather than by a cooler approach to concepts and structure.’ - Canberra Times
‘The world-weary idealism of Ian McFarlane’s thoughtful essays on the Howard years deserves to reach a wider audience. He examines everything...from writing, the media, cricket, war and refugees’ rights with a keen intellect and discerning conscience and, despite the dark nature of some of the subject matter, a quirky sense of fun.’ - Judges’ report, ACT Writing & Publishing Awards 2010
Highly commended, Non-fiction, ACT Writing & Publishing Awards 2010
978 1 74027 583 5, 72pp, $18.00

* Ian McFarlane / Of Cheese and Chutney

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McQueen uses labourers' own words to retell their battles around scaffolding and shithouses, for the safe removal of asbestos, prompt and adequate compensation, and a decent burial. The stories start in convict times and cover the six states and the ACT. The labourers' struggle for health and safety is followed into their dismantling of the framework of fear erected by the Building and Construction Commission. By tracking on-the-job experiences of demolishers, dog-men, hod-carriers and navvies, McQueen confirms the conviction of an early official of the BLF, Ben Mulvogue: 'A union constitutes a school for the working class, wherein they learn self-reliance, learn their rights, privileges, opportunities, as well as their possibilities. Every new demand for better physical protection of the workers ensures a great ideal development for a future generation.'
'...lively and impressively researched... It is the mixture of historical narrative with theory that grounds and enlivens this book...' - Journal of Occupational Health and Safety
978 1 74027 545 3, 338pp, $30.00

Humphrey McQueen / Framework of Flesh

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We Built This Country is a broad-brush look at builders’ labourers and their unions since the convict era. Builders’ labourers build this country socially and culturally as well as with concrete. McQueen pictures them as ‘improvising nomads’ who contributed to the Australian legend. We follow the membership as it shifts between ‘Weird Mobs’ of Irish and Italians. Led by Norm Gallagher and Jack Mundey, the BLF became the most controversial union to erupt out of the rebellious Sixties. Builders’ labourers rocked Australian cities with green bans and worker control. Their struggles are retold by digging into campaigns from each State. The stories are pitched against the demands of Messrs Construction Capital. The experiences of the builders’ labourers thus open a window into the making of the Australian working class.
‘…should be compulsory reading for new and old union officers and organisers…’ - Australian Options
‘…this is anything but a sterile academic work. The strength of this history is that McQueen takes a side, and you can’t miss it! Throughout, there is the unmistakable clarity that there are bosses and there are workers.’ - Freedom Socialist Organiser
978 1 74027 697 9, 364pp, $30.00

Humphrey McQueen / We Built This Country: Builders' Labourers and Their Unions

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I never knew my grandmother, Mary Ellen Kerr Peach. Then some old letters came into my possession; my paper chase began. I learnt how she epitomised the young, educated women of a century ago who sought to shatter the shibboleths of sexism by persistence and conviction. She wanted to teach, and thus guide girls and boys equally towards worthwhile adulthood. She died too young but in the time available to her I hope she was content to have made her mark, if not any headlines. I feel certain we all have a Mary Ellen in our family histories; it just needed, in my case, a little shoebox to set me on the trail.
978 1 74027 730 6, 66pp, $18.00

* Maureen Mitson / Paper Chase

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A woman sets out to walk the Camino, the ancient pilgrimage across the north of Spain. No longer young, she walks alone, leaving family and friends behind. But she also carries them with her, in the messages they’ve written on her stick. Each day she walks and each day she reads the messages, and muses on them. These are her musings, on the places she sees, the people she meets, the events she lives. They’re whimsical, witty, and wise.
978 1 74027 546 0, 76pp, $18.00

* Kerry O'Regan / The Things My Best Friends Told Me

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'Hey, Four Eyes is a delightful work on many levels. The story of Jim Paterson's first thirty-five years is disarmingly frank; it describes so well the tough times of a young bloke trying to make his way in the 1930s, 40s and 50s as a wool classer and farmer. There are many light touches about amorous adventures, falling in love and hiccups along the way. There are moments of sadness, and graphic accounts that make the reader trumpet with laughter. Jim's book throws considerable and entertaining light on how family, fellowship, fluctuating fortunes - and some friction - spawned this successful farmer, poet, raconteur and good friend to many.' - Gordon Goward
978 1 74027 829 4, 246pp, $28.00

Jim Paterson / Hey, Four Eyes

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In the 1930s, many children fled the rising menace of Nazism in Europe. This book is the story of one such who with his parents left Berlin in February 1939 to make his way to Sydney where, although welcomed by some, they attracted the hostility of many others who saw such immigrants as a threat to Australia’s relatively homogeneous culture and, during the war with Germany, distrusted them as enemy aliens. With the return of peace in 1945, this distrust morphed into a tide of anti-Semitism as Australians, whose patriotism was still at that time strongly tinged with an immense pride in their British origins, learned of the lethal attacks on British servicemen, who had fought against Hitler, by Zionist insurgents prepared to stop at nothing in their resolve to carve out a Jewish state in Palestine. Interwoven with these experiences are the unique, more personal elements of the equation, as this ill-matched and increasingly dysfunctional trio struggled to re-establish itself firstly in the alien environment of a large Australian city and then in the isolation of a Victorian country town.
978 1 74027 618 4, 218pp, $27.50

Joe Rich / Refugee: a kind of Jewish childhood

$27.50

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British-born Margaret Scott received the Australia Council’s Writers' Emeritus Award in April 2005. A few months later, when she died at the age of seventy-one, Australia lost a literary treasure and a great friend; her loss was deeply felt not only in literary circles but in many other spheres beyond her home in Tasmania. Although interest in her work had been growing at the time of her death, her prose, especially her two novels, has been under-acknowledged since. With her poetry, it forms an illustrious body of work. Changing Countries, Bridging Worlds focuses on the transition Scott made in emigrating from England to Tasmania and traces how the strangeness and displacement she felt on arrival was transformed into acceptance and affection. Scott's poetry, novels and essays illuminate the various difficulties and rewards inherent in changing countries. She bridges geographical and temporal worlds, linking Victorian and contemporary England with early colonial and contemporary Australia. In Scott's work, the real and remembered worlds are fused and imaginatively transformed through art: she recreates historical and personal past and present, and through poetry and prose explores eternal questions relating to 'truth', memory, imagination, fact and fiction. Her writing is complex, layered, thought-provoking. Janet Upcher provides a perceptive view of how, by physically changing countries, Margaret Scott imaginatively changed the literary landscape of her adopted country, Australia.
'Upcher's timely and engaging work makes a compelling case for Margaret Scott's inclusion among Tasmania's literary elite...' - Hobart Mercury
978 1 74027 853 9, 122pp, $22.50

Janet Upcher / Changing Countries, Bridging Worlds: The poetry & prose of Margaret Scott

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The tin can school of a remote Aboriginal community in outback Central Australia; the earthy, stoic people of the desert; a young, bold adventurous woman from the south set free amidst it all. What could possibly go wrong? With humour and warmth, Linda Wells captures the joy, the wonder and the hardships of life as a schoolteacher at Mount Allan community. She then describes the complexities of a cross-cultural desert relationship, complete with the good times and the bad, including alcoholism, domestic violence and co-dependency. They are all brought to life in this brave and heartfelt memoir. Kultitja: memoir of an outback schoolteacher is an honest and poetic account of a young woman from suburban Melbourne who went to see what she could find amid the desert and the desert people in the centre of Australia and came face to face with herself.
978 1 76041 125 1, 180pp, $27.50

* Linda Wells / Kultitja: memoir of an outback schoolteacher

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This is a true account of my life, an assessment validated by factual events and logical construct. It is not just a matter of opinion, of what is right or wrong, real or imagined. The story describes my experiences in the mental health system. The diagnosis is real, the medication is real, the reports are real. While my judgement can be seen as subjective, the relevance of medical objectivity is still questionable. Who has the power to control a person’s mind and who has the answers to what is right or wrong? The medical system’s attempts to do no harm have failed and the mentally ill continue to suffer. My ideas may not be substantiated by medical authorities and it is with this in mind that I have fictionalised characters. The settings and personal names cannot be applied to any one person or institution. The problem of categorising text as fiction or autobiography is inherent in this story, as I use a fictional character to represent ‘my’ reality. This novel could be seen as a fictional text trying to recreate or imagine past factualities. It has been my aim to construct a true representational autobiography. A memoir is a reflection of a life lived and therefore belongs to the author. For what is truth or reality? It is a reconstruction of ideas.
978 1 76041 156 5, 172pp, $27.50

* Jean Winter / Mindshadows

$27.50

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