Book The Drover's Daughter by Patsy Kemp
Drought, flood, cold, heat, Australia is a land of contrasts and to the bushies who live off the land they would have it no other way.
Is there anything more delicious than eating chops from a freshly slaughtered lamb, grilled in a shovel held over an open fire?
Travelling through north east Australia as one of seven kids with two adults, six horses, four dogs and 3,000 sheep, The Drover's Daughter offers a fascinating insight into the life in the outback.
Drovers hold an iconic place in the Australian National identity, owing to the courage and perseverance needed to transport cattle and sheep hundreds of kilometres through rural and outback areas. But what of the women and children who travelled with them? In this 300 page memoir, Patsy Kemp shares the highs and lows of growing up on the stock routes of New South Wales and Queensland in the 1950s and 1960s.
While large families were common back then, it was unusual for a family of nine and a few workmen to live out of a small truck for months on end. She recounts the adventures she had during her ten years on the road, from riding a runaway sheep at the age of five to embarrassing tales of adolescence. Her story is full of warmth, honesty and humour, giving a unique voice to a neglected part of Australia's history.
"A lot of people know about drovers, and their lifestyle is folklore, but little is known about the life of the women and children of drovers" - Patsy Kemp