The film Rabbit-Proof Fence is based on this true account of Doris Pilkington's mother, Molly, who as a young girl led her two sisters on an extraordinary 1,600 kilometre walk home. Under Western Australia's invidious removal policy of the 1930s, the girls were taken from their Aboriginal families at Jigalong on the edge of the Little Sandy Desert, and transported halfway across the state to the Native Settlement at Moore River, north of Perth. Here Aboriginal children were instructed in the ways of white society and forbidden to speak their native tongue.
The three girls - aged 8, 11, and 14 - managed to escape from the settlement's repressive conditions and brutal treatment. Barefoot, without provisions or maps, they set out to find the rabbit-proof fence, knowing it passed near their home in the north. Tracked by Native Police and search planes, they hid in terror, surviving on bush tucker, desperate to return to the world they knew.
©1996 Doris Pilkington-Nugi Garimara (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Mighty girls around the world. Horrible conditions that give insight to disturbing ignorance that continues in Australia. I pray that the Aborigine people will some day recover and given back their land, their dignity, their rights, and reparations for the horrific treatment caused by the filthy rich ignorant selfish people that are the settlers of the country.
ascinating account of the escape of three girls from forced settlements of half-white half-aboriginal children who were taken from their families by the government and schooled for service or other positions. The book includes a detailed history of the influx of white Britons into Western Australia and the various interactions between the Europeans and the aboriginals up to the 1930s, which is when the main story commences.
I knew somewhat vaguely about these sort of events, but this was still eye-opening and upsetting. It is also a fine testament of the determination of these girls to get back to their families despite the dangers and distance. The more we know about such past injustices, the most likely we are to avoid similar injustices today.
I listened to the audiobook from audible.com. The narrator was pretty good but tended to pause to breathe in the middle of a sentence at times, which is annoying.
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