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Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope

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It was hot. There was sudden stillness in the late afternoon air and the surface of the small waterhole shone with unnatural smoothness. Fresh pig tracks at water's edge suggested pigs just gone. Two bubbles popped to the surface near the edge of the pool; just decaying vegetation, said my mind. I should have smelt crocodile! What is it about the Northern Territory that fa It was hot. There was sudden stillness in the late afternoon air and the surface of the small waterhole shone with unnatural smoothness. Fresh pig tracks at water's edge suggested pigs just gone. Two bubbles popped to the surface near the edge of the pool; just decaying vegetation, said my mind. I should have smelt crocodile! What is it about the Northern Territory that fascinates? I have only to mention it's name in conversation and people turn to listen. Why, for 180 years, has it drawn people from all over to come, stay longer than they imagined and, often, never leave? This book is a memoir of a family's life in a remote aboriginal community, in Australia's Northern Territory, something the equivalent of remote Canada or Alaska, where few people go. The place Oenpelli, (now Gunbalanya) is near Kadadu National Park, made famous in Crocodile Dundee. It tells of changing world as a missionary family and an aboriginal community become part of modern Australia This our family's story, growing amongst the people, animals and places and colours of this this strange land, alongside an aboriginal community going through its own changes; citizenship, alcohol, uranium mining, land rights, outstation development, and community self management. It is a memoir of growing up in one of the most isolated parts of Australia - in a small aboriginal missionary community in the Northern Territory, something the equivalent of the remote Canada or Alaska. It is the landscape featured in the movie Crocodile Dundee. It tells of the huge change in this place in the last half century with the coming of land rights and aboriginal self determination. It also tells of my mother and fathers lives and Christian beliefs which motivated their contribution to this change. It is a story of my memories and love for this remote and beautiful place, in which I lived as a child then worked as an adult and of many NT characters who gave me the memories.It is also the story of me working as an adult across many parts of the NT and about the hardy, outlandish characters that inhabit this place. It also tells of my own experience of surviving attack by a large crocodile in a remote swamp It also provides a foundation for my novels in the Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series. The places in these books are the places in which I lived and worked and many of the stories came little changed from people I knew. In particular my experience in surviving a crocodile attack of a large saltwater crocodile, which mauled my leg as told in this book forms part of the central role of the crocodile as a predator in this novel series. The role of my father in opening road transport including building a crossing of the East Alligator River, developing outstations for aboriginal communities, learning to fly on missionary wages and establishing an aviation service along with assisting the aboriginal peoples of this land to gain royalties from mining is a story that deserves to be told as a major part of NT history. Along with his tireless work the contribution of many others is also an essential part of the story.


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It was hot. There was sudden stillness in the late afternoon air and the surface of the small waterhole shone with unnatural smoothness. Fresh pig tracks at water's edge suggested pigs just gone. Two bubbles popped to the surface near the edge of the pool; just decaying vegetation, said my mind. I should have smelt crocodile! What is it about the Northern Territory that fa It was hot. There was sudden stillness in the late afternoon air and the surface of the small waterhole shone with unnatural smoothness. Fresh pig tracks at water's edge suggested pigs just gone. Two bubbles popped to the surface near the edge of the pool; just decaying vegetation, said my mind. I should have smelt crocodile! What is it about the Northern Territory that fascinates? I have only to mention it's name in conversation and people turn to listen. Why, for 180 years, has it drawn people from all over to come, stay longer than they imagined and, often, never leave? This book is a memoir of a family's life in a remote aboriginal community, in Australia's Northern Territory, something the equivalent of remote Canada or Alaska, where few people go. The place Oenpelli, (now Gunbalanya) is near Kadadu National Park, made famous in Crocodile Dundee. It tells of changing world as a missionary family and an aboriginal community become part of modern Australia This our family's story, growing amongst the people, animals and places and colours of this this strange land, alongside an aboriginal community going through its own changes; citizenship, alcohol, uranium mining, land rights, outstation development, and community self management. It is a memoir of growing up in one of the most isolated parts of Australia - in a small aboriginal missionary community in the Northern Territory, something the equivalent of the remote Canada or Alaska. It is the landscape featured in the movie Crocodile Dundee. It tells of the huge change in this place in the last half century with the coming of land rights and aboriginal self determination. It also tells of my mother and fathers lives and Christian beliefs which motivated their contribution to this change. It is a story of my memories and love for this remote and beautiful place, in which I lived as a child then worked as an adult and of many NT characters who gave me the memories.It is also the story of me working as an adult across many parts of the NT and about the hardy, outlandish characters that inhabit this place. It also tells of my own experience of surviving attack by a large crocodile in a remote swamp It also provides a foundation for my novels in the Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series. The places in these books are the places in which I lived and worked and many of the stories came little changed from people I knew. In particular my experience in surviving a crocodile attack of a large saltwater crocodile, which mauled my leg as told in this book forms part of the central role of the crocodile as a predator in this novel series. The role of my father in opening road transport including building a crossing of the East Alligator River, developing outstations for aboriginal communities, learning to fly on missionary wages and establishing an aviation service along with assisting the aboriginal peoples of this land to gain royalties from mining is a story that deserves to be told as a major part of NT history. Along with his tireless work the contribution of many others is also an essential part of the story.

35 review for Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jazzy Lemon

    All of Mr. Graham's books could stand to have an overhaul for typographical or syntax errors; despite this I have given this book 5 stars because it was like a letter from a good friend, a love letter to Arnhem. All of Mr. Graham's books could stand to have an overhaul for typographical or syntax errors; despite this I have given this book 5 stars because it was like a letter from a good friend, a love letter to Arnhem.

  2. 5 out of 5

    LIsa Partridge

    I very much enjoyed reading this book although I couldnt give it 5 stars as the proofreading left something to be desired. It was so interesting to read about the early days in Arnhem Land and how people lived and worked in such an environment. Further into the book the sadness for the Aboriginal people and how their lives changed with Government intervention which was meant well but couldnt succeed and is still proving a massive problem for them. Reading about Graham's childhood and working life I very much enjoyed reading this book although I couldnt give it 5 stars as the proofreading left something to be desired. It was so interesting to read about the early days in Arnhem Land and how people lived and worked in such an environment. Further into the book the sadness for the Aboriginal people and how their lives changed with Government intervention which was meant well but couldnt succeed and is still proving a massive problem for them. Reading about Graham's childhood and working life was amazing as it is so different to what we in the cities experienced growing up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lola

  4. 5 out of 5

    William Pond

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jejia Jejii

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vic

  8. 5 out of 5

    Graham Wilson

  9. 5 out of 5

    Graham Wilson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Ryan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Jane

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

  15. 4 out of 5

    Martha

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  17. 4 out of 5

    Genereams

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gene

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  24. 4 out of 5

    April Shuffler

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sayitwith Champers

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aan Krida

  27. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mitesh Jain

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Adamek

  30. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lorra

  32. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ankit Saxena

  34. 4 out of 5

    Manda

  35. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

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