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)2002 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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"Facinating, riveting, and disturbing"
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.
"I want to see the movie..."
Written by a family member... the events recorded are incredible, but the telling is lacking the writing skills to make it great read. Narration I thought was pretty good, even with a very distracting music interlude between chapters. I very much want to see the movie after the read, but wouldn't use a full credit for the book.
Fascinating story, and an aspect of history we hear almost nothing about in the United States. I rooted for the girls each step of the way.
"What children will do to go home"
This was a very interesting story . I liked reading how the kids took care of each other and did what was necessary in order to get back to their parents.
I didn't like the ending .....I was hoping for something a little more dramatic.
being a white person sometimes I found the style of writing and the aboriginal words hard to follow. I didnt mind it though as it was emersive and refreshing for me.
I'm so grateful that Dorris shared this story.
"No Character Development."
There was no character development; in fact, there was barely any dialogue at all, and virtually no conversation among the characters.
Not at all.
The first third of the book could have been shorter.
"Captivating tale of survival"
The story is unique in its origin, but not in the desires of many; told in the first person makes for a striking contrast between what we think we can do and what humanity we are capable of drawing upon from within ourselves.
"Could have been better"
More information on the actual trip home - I hung in to get to that part otherwise I would have stopped sooner. Tired of listening to the title of each report
"Australia's Native People, Rugged & Spirited"
I listened with awe and amazement at this story of three "half-caste" (half aborigine and half white) girls who escaped from their forced imprisonment at the state ran school, and trekked back to their home at Jigalong, 1600 kilometers from the school. I was sickened that, in the 1930s, it was considered acceptable to rip these precious children from the safety and security of their homes and families and force them into a "white" ran school and society, where they were forbidden to speak their native language. Thank you, Doris Pilkington, (daughter of Molly, the oldest of the three girls who escaped) for writing this book and sharing the remarkable story with the world . . .
This was a pretty good story. I wish it had more details about the actual trek, but was still worth the time.
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