Aussie Yarns - Dave Goddard

Stories about Australia

Month: August 2016

It’s Troubling

Like everyone in Western Australia, I saw the news of riots in Kalgoorlie following the death of the young Aboriginal boy. Any loss of life is sad: both the act and the intended and unintended consequences for all families and friends involved. But today, also, I had  several contacts regarding my 2013 novel, Hiding Place. Set in Alice Spring in the year 2017, the novel depicts a race riot in the town and the imposition of martial law, which has never happened in Federated Australia. Each of the contacts were interested in knowing what made me create the situation in Alice Springs: what insight made me predict the likelihood of conflict between races causing the imposition of martial law.

My answer to them was that it lay in work I’ve been doing for nearly three decades, and more so, in work I did from 2005 in the Northern Territory, in the Pilbara, the Western Australian Goldfields and the South-West of WA and in Queensland. In that work, I felt a growing undercurrent of frustration and anger between Aboriginal people, who felt a strong sense of dislocation, disadvantage, dependence, dysfunction and premature death, and non-Aboriginal people who feel a strong sense of being blamed for the past and being the victims of continual criminal acts such as breaking and entering and stealing property.

I’m not going into who is most at fault or why. I only know that unless things are dealt with in ways that do not involve violence and conflict, we WILL face the imposition of martial law. That’s why I’m troubled: because we need to find another way to resolve what’s happening.

And let me conclude with a quote from Margo St Quintin, who reviewed Hiding Place for an on-line organisation.

Compassion and clear insight, without sugar coating, is what makes this such a relevant story and a welcome change from the norm. Even as tensions build towards a violent climax, the book doesn’t offer any easy answers or convenient scapegoats: there are no ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies’ here.

A Lot to Tell

We’ve been busy.

Since the launch another five short stories have gone up on the website, along with three outlines of the genesis of each published novel, (NOVELS heading) with pictures. Don’t forget you can click on the pictures in website documents to enlarge them We hope you enjoy these.

We’ve also been busy arranging visits to various and organisations for later this year and into next year. For example, next Tuesday we are in Caversham speaking to the Seniors’ Healthy Active Group Association, which we’re told operates under the wonderful acronym of SHAGAS. (We presented to today and had a great time with a group of about forty people.)

Early last week we returned to the Central Wheatbelt and Cunderdin to present on the three novels. Last time we visited was when the April rains came and everyone one was on tractors. So Tania Daniels, the coordinator of the Cunderdin Community Resource Centre (CRC) organised for us to return. IMG_0008

We had a great evening with lovely people like Tania Daniels, Dennis Whisson, who chairs the committee, Antoinette from the committee, Janet Whisson, who is the principal of Meckering Primary School and many others. Thanks to them all for a good night of wine, cheese and chatter.

Tania has done up a report on the evening, which is presented below. But thanks for the opportunity to be in the town, and not just because of the lovely

By that, I mean I have a little history in the region. In the afternoon, before the presentation, Karen and I walked over the road to the old pumping station, which is now a museum. At the presentation,  I skited that as a kid at Tammin Primary School, I saw the pumping station billowing smoke and still operating. That was just before it closed down in 1956. My dad was the principal of Tammin School, and mum, for some of my time at the school, was my teacher. But as well as stirring memories, the exhibits and the historical stories, both of the pipeline and of Cunderdin, were special.

And here is Tania’s report. Click on it to read it.05_08_16 Bandicoot Cunderdin DG Write up

A Lovely Article

Community News, as has occurred in the past, undertook an interview with Karen and myself regarding Aussie Yarns. The article has appeared in at least four of the regional papers under the Community News banner: Southern Gazette (Belmont), Southern Gazette (Victoria Park), Southern Gazette (South Perth) as well as Melville Times. I’m grateful to the Group for its support, and to Jaime Sturmer and Marie Nirme for their work in preparing the article.

I have copied and pasted the page containing the article below, which should be able to be enlarged. If there are difficulties in achieving that outcome, go to my website at and then to the heading BLOG. The title, A LOVELY ARTICLE is the first on the BLOG at this moment and a copy of the article can be easily enlarged by clicking04_08_16 Southern Gazette.