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Honouring Wave Hill

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Alone on the Soaks

Fifty-five years ago today, Vincent Lingiari his fellow stockmen and other First Nations workers on the Vestey owned Wave Hill station initiated a strike action that changed Australian history. The digital streams and airwaves riffle with discussions and analyses of the implications of this event.

Fashion by Dad joins the fray with a first person story from the day, a way to pay it forward, and a “making of” yarn that reveals the self-archiving properties of paper.

Alex Kruger worked on Wave Hill

Alone on the Soaks is the story of Alec Kruger, one of those stockmen who walked off the job at Wave Hill on 23rd August 2066. It is the story of his life at the infamous Bungalow in Alice Springs, spending the three hottest months of the year in Northern Australia as an 11 year old, “alone on the soaks”, keeping the water that soaks into the sand clear, so that cattle could drink.

Your Life Your Planet - paperback

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Best way to buy the book outside Australia is to use Amazon

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“I could be out there as long as three months at a time. You didn’t get any meat or matches. You were expected to know how to keep a fire going and how to supplement your rations. I didn’t and I had a terrible time of it.”

Remember, he was eleven years old.

“Today I still dread being alone. I blame it on the isolation of much of my work at Love’s Creek,” he writes.

It is the story of his survival and growth, becoming a storyteller, an active member of his community, and author. This book is a raw and authentic document of the build up to the Wave Hill walk-off and its aftermath.

It is full of ripping yarns, such as his near death experience on a pushy mare that resulted in a three week coma. Written with Gerard Waterford it is a treat of language, authenticity and a good long look at a world that is hard to image. Read it with awe.
If audio is your thing, Listen to Geoff reading those yarns on Fashion by Dad.

Pay it forward

Getting up close and personal with a first hand account of colonisation gives a lot of us the urge to do something, but it is sometimes a bit hard to know what. Your Life Your Planet, says Pay it Forward.

#yourlifeYourPlanet says #PayItForward
Channel your charity into rebuilding First Nations culture and networks

The ethos of Your Life Your Planet is that consumption and convenience are the twin drivers of our dysfunctional relationship with our community and our environment. Diverting a few dollars away from consumption and toward good causes, helps heal those relationships. One of the best causes are those run by First Nations people to rebuild First Nations culture. This tip lists a range of organisations dedicated to that process. Find out more at Your Life Your Planet.

The power of paper

Author Gerard Waterford did some of the research for the book at the Mitchell Library in Sydney University and was the first person to read some ageing notebooks stored in a swag in the special collection. Read the story A tale of two archives here on Fashion by Dad.

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