Welcome to Aussie Yarns
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I’m Dave Goddard. My writing career commenced through research, when I undertook a Ph.D. That led to formal research as a career change, presenting results as often extensive reports. While I still value research, it was my experiences in research that led to writing fiction. In short, as I wrote reports, I would start to wonder “what if?”: what if x had happened instead of y and how would that have changed what I am reporting.
That has become the basis for my writing of fiction: to begin with a fact or some facts and extend it or them. Elaine Fry from The West Australian described my stories as “extensions of reality” which I think is an apt description and one I am happy to use.
As this website indicates, my novels are under the title of Aussie Yarns: stories of Australians that occurred in Australia. Essentially, the four stories to date (outlined below) are social histories developed as extensions of reality. Each takes place at a specific site in this country, with a focus on relationships. The relationships are of a social, cultural and personal natures intertwining through issues and conflict created by difference. I take pride in the fact that each story involves both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, each group being, I believe, crucial in the search for a still-to-be-defined Australian identity. As Bruce Woodley from The Seekers wrote, “we are one, but we are many”. While I believe we are now more accepting of the idea of “many”, but we are not sure of the “one” (see blog at www.aussieyarns.com 03_04_2017 for more detail)
My foray into fiction was stimulated by experiences from three decades of work with and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, organizations and communities. That work occurred in urban, rural and remote areas of Australia and I acknowledge and thank all Aboriginal/Indigenous people and traditional owners and elders whom I’ve met and worked with, including those who’ve joined their ancestors. The wit, wisdom and compassion of these people have helped me to learn a great deal about myself and about them and their ways of knowing and doing
Additionally, I acknowledge learning that’s came from non-Indigenous people in many sites. Their input has challenged and stretched my thinking, helping me to create many different alternative realities.
In each novel, the main character leaves a comfort zone and has to learn to deal with and understand cultural, social and personal differences. Below are short synopses of the three published novels and one in the throes of being written.
- Hiding Place, published in 2013, is set in 2017 in Alice Springs and a cattle station on the Tanami Track. Its focus is the potential for conflict between Indigenous/Aboriginal and non-Indigenous people unless the concept of respectful, cooperative dealing between the races is understood and implemented
- Turn on a Light, published in 2016, is set in 1974 and focuses on the trials and tribulations of a graduate teacher, posted to an Aboriginal community 60 kilometres from Kalgoorlie. He, the community members, four Catholic missionaries and a young science teacher from the Goldfields high school are confronted by a host of conservative values and individuals in the town as they seek reasons for the deaths of eleven children under five years of age in four years. The topic doesn’t seem to perturb anyone except the people in or connected with the community
- The WILUNA Solution, published in 2015, is set in Kalgoorlie and Wiluna in Western Australia’s goldfields. It begins in 2007, when a soon-to-retire Detective Inspector is sent from Kalgoorlie to Wiluna to find a missing female teacher. As he searches, he’s deliberately transported in time to 1934 and struggles to come to terms vividly different social, cultural and personal relationship differences.
- Life Sentence, due for publication in 2018, is set in 1900. It explores the consequences of the legal system imposed during the 19th century in Western Australia without regard for the consequences for people from a different culture. It takes place partly on Rottnest Island, some on a journey by three whitefellas and five blackfellas to the Pilbara, and finally, in and around Yindjibarndi country and the townships of Roebourne and Cossack to the north.
Each novel is available in different formats: paperbacks and Audio Books as outlined above by contacting me at email@example.com while ebooks are available through Amazon. To celebrate, special prices on the paperback and ausio copies are are available for a limited time: $25.00 one title, $45.00 two titles, $60.00 three title (plus postage if required).
Each novel brings many aspects into view: racial conflict, small-town politics and machinations, media power, religious control and sporting cultures affecting community life and beyond. And, reflecting life in general, there is a great deal about human relationships and the ebb and flow of what a friend of mine once referred to as ‘our perennial struggle for connectedness’.
I have also written vignettes which appear under the heading SHORT STORIES. In the last two years, over forty stories have been published on this site. Paul, our son and a voice-over artist, has recorded over twenty of them, each of which has been played on Radio 101.7’s program Capital Events and which Vision Australia Radio is currently negotiating to use (990 am). The recorded versions are also on this website.
I have been asked about questions and comments. It is possible to leave a comment on any page in the website or else use firstname.lastname@example.org as a contact email. I’d love to hear from you, whether to criticize or compliment my writing, or share thoughts on any aspect of the site.
Interpretations of things Aboriginal in these stories are mine and I am not an Aborigine. In terms of what I write about the Aboriginal world, I readily accept that only Aboriginal people can speak accurately for each one’s language group. So I don’t claim that my summaries and interpretations of Aboriginal ways of knowing and doing are accurate: only that my stories are a whitefella interpretation of what he’s come to learn about those things. And I’m happy to be told there is another way of thinking about them.