Arnhem's Kaleidoscope Children is a remembered story of a family's life in a distant world. The place, Oenpelli, in Australia's Northern Territory, is like remote Canada or Alaska, where few others go. It is the landscape of Crocodile Dundee, myriad hues of billabongs, open grass plains, sunlit hills and purple storms, peopled by its many coloured children.
It is a story of a changing world; how a missionary family and aboriginal community became part of modern Australia over 50 years.
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 Kakadu National Park, made famous in Crocodile Dundee.
This story 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 to the making of the Northern Territory is the fabric of this story.
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About the Author
Graham Wilson lives in Sydney Australia. He has completed and published eleven separate books, and also a range of combined novel box sets. He is working on two new books Published books comprise two series, 1.The Old Balmain House Series 2.. The Crocodile Dreaming Series He has also written a family memoir. Arnhem's Kaleidoscope Children The first series starts with a novel called Little Lost Girl, based on an old a weatherboard cottage in Sydney where the author lived. Here a photo was discovered of a small girl who lived and died about 100 years ago. The book imagines the story of her life and family, based in the real Balmain, an early inner Sydney suburb, with its locations and historical events providing part of the story background. The second novel in this series, Lizzie's Tale builds on the Old Balmain House setting, It is the story of a working class teenage girl who lives in this same house in the 1950s and 1960s, It tells of how, when she becomes pregnant she is determined not to surrender her baby for adoption, and of her struggle to survive in this unforgiving society. The third novel in this series, Devil's Choice, follows the next generation of the family in Lizzie's Tale. Lizzie's daughter is faced with the awful choice of whether to seek the help of one of her mother's rapists' in trying to save the life of her own daughter who is inflicted with an incurable disease. The Crocodile Dreaming Series comprises five novels based in Outback Australia. The first novel Just Visiting.is the story of an English backpacker, Susan, who visits the Northern Territory and becomes captivated and in great danger from a man who loves crocodiles. The second book in the series, The Diary, follows the consequences of the first book based around the discovery of this man's remains and his diary and Susan, being placed on trial for murder. The third book, The Empty Place, is about Susan's struggle to retain her sanity in jail while her family and friends desperately try to find out what really happened on that fateful day before it is too late. In Lost Girls Susan vanishes and it tells the story of the search for her and four other lost girls whose passports were found in the possession of the man she killed. The final book in the series, Sunlit Shadow Dance is the story of a girl who appears in a remote aboriginal community in North Queensland, without any memory except for a name. It tells how she rebuilds her life from an empty shell and how, as fragments of the past return, with them come dark shadows that threaten to overwhelm her. Graham has also just written a two part Prequel to this Series. It tells the story of the other main character, Mark, from his own point of view and of how he became the calculating killer of this series. The book, Arnhem's Kaleidoscope Children, is the story of the author's own life in the Northern Territory. It tells of his childhood in an aboriginal community in remote Arnhem Land, one of Australia’s last frontiers. It tells of the people, danger and beauty of this place, and of its transformation over the last half century with the coming of aboriginal rights and the discovery or uranium. It also tells of his surviving an attack by a large crocodile and of his work over two decades in the outback of the NT. Books are published as ebooks by Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and other major ebook publishers. Some books are available in print through Amazon Create Space and Ingram Spark Graham is currently writing a new novel, "Risk Free'. It is a story about corporate greed and how a company restructures to avoid responsibility for the things it did and the victims it leaves in its wake. Graham is in the early stages of a memoir about his family's connections with Ireland called Memories Only Remain. He is also compiling information for a book about the early NT cattle industry, its people and its stories. Graham writes for the creative pleasure it brings him. He is particularly gratified each time an unknown person chooses to download and read something he has written and write a review - good or bad, as this gives him an insight into what readers enjoy and helps him make ongoing improvements to his writing. In his non writing life Graham is a veterinarian who work in wildlife conservation and for rural landholders. He lived a large part of his life in the Northern Territory and his books reflect this experience.
Table of Contents
Part 1 – Arnhem Land’s Children. 17
Missionaries to the NT. 17
Oenpelli for the first time. 25
Transport – a truck and a road to Oenpelli 32
To Darwin to live. 46
Return home to Oenpelli 63
Away to school in Sydney. 68
Family Life at Oenpelli 81
Teenage Adventures. 93
Living again at Oenpelli 101
Flying and Building Outstations. 108
Buffalo and Abattoirs. 125
Oenpelli and its Aboriginal People. 130
Part 2 - Oenpelli and the NT as an Adult. 155
Living Far Away. 155
Return to the NT. 171
NT Stock Inspectors. 207
Part 3 – Coming to an End. 216
Analysis - Seeking Understanding. 234
Appendix 1 – NT and Oenpelli Background. 242
Appendix 2 -Earliest record : Leichhardt’s Journal 256
About the Author. 294