Book Extract

The book contains extensive accounts by the author’s grandmother written many years ago describing life in outback Queensland.

They give a  first-hand account of life on a Selection in outback Queensland.
I was born in 1901 in outback Queensland. One feeling stands out in my memory − isolation. Our home was miles from anywhere and in the middle of the bush. We lived on a Selection, two parents and 10 kids. At the end of the day, we would sit in chairs in the open space between our home and a separate building used as the kitchen. From there we could see in all directions. The west was of no interest as it overlooked the paddocks, which had nothing left, as Dad had had all the trees ring barked. The only interesting thing to the south was the way to the nearest town of Banana, some 10 miles away. To the east, it was very different. There were huge gum trees, black butts, which seemed to reach to the sky and with the moon rising behind them they were really beautiful. To the north was the deep black outline of the Ten Mile Scrub. This went for miles. Here and there, a black butt tree threw up its lacy branches. All of this was in silhouette against the sky. I was not concerned with what might come out of the bush. This held no fears for us. The thing that concerned me most in looking at the scrub was that beyond the blackness, there was civilization. I longed for this more and more as I grew older. I just wanted to go away, meet people, and see something of the outside world. We would welcome anyone who came by, just so long so we could talk to another human being. If it was nearing nightfall, a visitor would be pressed to stay. Sometimes weeks would go by without seeing anyone from the outside world.This was my life until I was 18 years of age.