'This article compares two 'lost child' incidents from non-indigenous Australian fiction. One is from John Marsden's Tomorrow Series, the other from Mary Grant Bruce's Billabong Series. Both series feature as their central character a young girl with the surname Linton who proves herself brave, daring, and a good friend and citizen, particularly when rescuing children lost in the bush. When the two series' lost child incidents are compared, it becomes apparent that these outward resemblances are also mirrored by some deeper discursive parallels.
An analysis of the constructions of subjectivity and spatiality around the 'lost child' events reveals closely-matching discourses of mateship and settler belonging. The comparison also foregrounds the core ideologies of gender, class, nationalism and race that in turn underpin these discourses, showing how each of these texts remains inflected with textual strategies of othering and indigenisation that are fundamental to imperialism.' (Author's abstract)