This is a book about the largest part of Australia. It provides written testimony to the way the people out there live, focussing on the domestic front.
Much of the content of most other books, documentaries, TV programmes and movies dealing with outback Australia focusses more on the outdoor side of life, only touching on the domestic side.
There is also a lot of history that is in danger of being lost forever. Some of this has been captured in this book.
The world needs this book.
In my book I have tried to:
• Focus on the domestic side of life;
• Show that despite huge distances, the people out there can still socialise;
• Explain the way many different aspects are coped with in such isolation;
• Also describe the feelings of those people who have made the mammoth move from life in urban Australia out to the outback;
• The reader will learn about how those people live;
• Through the images in each chapter, the reader will also see how spectacular the outback really is;
• Children will learn the reality of where meat, milk, vegetables and fruit come from;
• Readers will learn how people can survive without the convenience of shops;
• Readers will gain a bit of an idea of just how mammoth some of these stations are;
Many of the books currently on the market appear to focus on only one or two stations or only one state. None seems to have focussed on the domestic side of life.
Women of the Outback by Sue Williams (Penguin Group, 2008). Looks at the lives of 14 different women of the land, but from what I can ascertain none of the ‘nitty gritty’ has been covered;
Women of the Land by Liz Harfull (Allen & Unwin, 2012). Looks at the lives of a further eight different women, but again not a lot of that ‘nitty gritty’ is included;
Outback Stations by Evan McHugh (Penguin, 2012). This book appears to cover much of the history leading up to and including detail about life on the stations. While it does delve into some of the positives and negatives facing the women particularly, there is not a lot of detail and again it does not go into a lot of domestic detail.
Lannah Sawers-Diggins was born in 1955 in Adelaide, capital of South Australia. She enjoyed a wonderful and unique childhood on the family sheep station in the north eastern pastoral district of that state. Her primary education was provided by correspondence school and School of the Air. At 11 years of age she followed her three older brothers to boarding school in Adelaide. Life at school in those days was completely different to the ‘home-away-from-home’ that boarders enjoy today.
After leaving school in 1972 Lannah went on to hold various positions in Adelaide, before joining the Bank of Adelaide. During her years there she started travelling interstate on ‘trouble shooting’ trips. This gained her a taste of life away from Adelaide – she was never to return permanently.
Foreign lands beckoned and Lannah headed to England where she lived, worked and travelled for eleven months. Returning to Australia, she settled in Perth and six months later met and married her husband, Stuart. A couple of years later, their eldest daughter, Robyn, was born, followed by Fiona three years after. A job transfer then saw the family relocate across the nation to Sydney. Lannah was heavily involved in all aspects of the girls’ early and primary education, through their different schools in and around Sydney and Canberra before finally relocating back to Perth.
A love of writing and drawing has woven itself through Lannah’s life. Once both girls were safely esconced in secondary school, Lannah experimented in various interests and part time positions, before settling with a small, private family run publishing business which was to last for six years. This provided an insight into the publishing industry so, along with that love of writing, an avenue was paved to finally immerse herself in this passion and to produce two works of utmost personal importance. The first of these was the completed writing of her late father, Brian Sawers’, memories and experiences when settling into life in outback Australia (‘The Sawers From Pitcairn’). Secondly, ‘Bullseye’, a compilation of stories recounting the experiences of some thirty six victims and some perpetrators of bullying, a potentially physically and psychologically harmful crime (though, at the time, unrecognised by law in Australia) against anyone of any age, gender or background, that can and does take place at any time and in any place.
And now, this book about Australia’s mighty outback.
Lannah’s website will take you further into the Aussie outback. Jump on and enjoy the ride!