The Last Wild West

The Last Wild West

The Saga of Northern Territory Cattle Stations, Racial Violence, Wild Horses and the Supernatural, A True Story

Book - 2018
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The Northern Territory in 1977 was a place shaped by disappointment, despair, frustration and anger. Amid a wide red land and under a vast sky, was crushing economic depression, where traditional livelihoods were on the line and bitterly divided communities riven by seething hostility between aboriginals and whites. Following a divorce where the story begins, the journey from the suburbs of Melbourne to the top end was intended to be a reassembling of life from its lowest point. Instead, I was thrust into a harsh world of cultures in collision. Getting work on a cattle station I met an aboriginal elder and his besieged community. The story dovetails into a shattering climax where two aboriginals and I faced death at the point of a rifle held by an enraged and unhinged station manager. This true story of a lived experience, revolving around a stockman, aboriginal elder, crusader and trouble maker Nalong 'Sno' Oodlawirra and his community, the cattle station manager, fiercely fundamentalist and darkly dangerous Kris Kenny his workers and supporters, who stridently believed the only aboriginal right was the right to be denied their right's. In the middle was me; naïve, seriously sensitive, physically and mentally unprepared for the ruthlessly harsh demands of cattle station life. You weren't taught, but brutality broken to fit into the stockman mould, where myriad moral failings, cultural clashes and abominable cruelty to animals were every day events. Taking with me the baggage of school education about blacks; primitive, unappreciative of white civilisation, at first I hated Sno and his communities pathetic story of blackness and disadvantage. But he carried his own sacks of bigotry and loathed my whiteness and privilege. I was also driven to understand why my father, a serving officer of Australia's Armed Forces became a "bounty hunter" in 1946 of black's who downed tools and went walkabout, and were hunted down and bought back in chains like slaves. A virtually unknown part of our nation's history that has remained a closed secret. The territory was a barren wasteland of hearts and minds divided strictly along racial lines where everybody had to know their place and even a moment of rebellion against injustice and inequality was a descent into a savagery from which there was no return. But it's also a story how two men, worlds apart in culture and belief's, overcame harrowing prejudice in each other and those around them to forge a deeply emotionally chaste love on a journey to rebuild both their lives. Moments of great tenderness intermingle with great pain. That journey included secret worlds of aboriginal sacred sites, prophetic dreams, and the supernatural. For good reason is was called The Last Wild West.
Publisher: Ormond, Victoria :, Hybrid Publishers,, 2018.
ISBN: 9781925272918
Characteristics: 288 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.


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