Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola

Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola

Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola

Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola

Synopsis

Nicholas Jose's report on Australia's Far North has an engagingly anecdotal air, but the easygoing surface is a cover for a disturbing story of dispossession and genocide.' J.M. Coetzee

Excerpt

Our mystery relative lived with his Aboriginal wife in an upside-down water tank in a place called Borroloola. That was about as far beyond the pale as you could go. He used to push his wife along in a wheelbarrow because she was too fat to walle

I was a child when I first heard of Roger Jose. There was a photograph of him in a magazine – an old man with a prophet’s beard and funny clothes standing outside a strange corrugated-iron dwelling in the middle of nowhere. His name provoked the laughter of grown-ups as any connection with him was dismissed out of hand. Borroloola was a wild little outpost in tropical Australia where no one had ever been, and Roger Jose was an embarrassment to the family.

Adelaide, South Australia, on the other hand, where I grew up, was a city of churches and manicured gardens with a Mediterranean climate, Athenian aspirations and a Spartan moralism. It was a whited sepulchre of a place, known for its sandstone and progressivism, and a famous arts festival. Our family was respectable. the men were doctors or professionals . . .

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