This is our regular feature in which we briefly record interesting publications and websites that have come to our attention. Inclusion of an item in this format does not preclude a possible longer review in a later issue. We welcome suggestions for inclusion. 

Outback Teacher

Sally Herzfeld has brought to our attention a book that she has co-written (as Sally Gare) and that was recently published.  Sally says:



My first teaching appointment in 1956 was to the Forrest River Mission which was up a river out of Wyndham in the far North of Western Australia. It was later known by the Aboriginal name of Umbulgurri. My Quaker upbringing and the influence of other people like Mollie Skinner helped me during those first years in a wonderful, but sometimes very challenging situation. After two years there, I returned home and joined my parents in organisations like United Nations and Aboriginal groups while teaching in a local school. In 1959 I asked for a more interesting appointment and was asked if I would go to Port Hedland where a group of Aboriginal children were going to be looked after near the town so that they could have an education. Their parents had been involved in the Pindan Strike of 1946. Our Perth Friends had helped an Aboriginal man run a bush school for that group and I still have a letter written in 1948 from the teacher thanking us for clothes and equipment. The government wouldn’t support that school because Tommy had only gone as far as 4th standard when he was a child, so after two years there was no school until I arrived there in September 59. The school was a large, rusty, old railway shed and instead of the promised 20 kids between the age of 6 and 14, there were 39 and the dentist said they were between 4 and 21. I was only 23. They couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak their language. Can you imagine the amazing, eventful, cultural and educational time that those young people, their families and I had for the next two and a third years? How did I meet a young Public Works engineer in that shed? We have now been married for 60 years. Freda Marnie, my co-author from NSW, is an ex-student of mine from a metropolitan school near Perth in the 70s. My mother kept the weekly letters that I wrote home and Freda has done a wonderful job in helping me put the most relevant information into book form.


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