'A unique and iconic part of Australian bush life, kookaburras are famous for their loud, laughing call, echoing across the countryside. But is it possible that there was a time, long ago, when they didn't laugh; or, indeed, weren't allowed to laugh?' (Publication summary)
'Convict William Thornhill, exiled from the stinking slums of early 19th century London, discovers that the penal colony offers something that he never dared to hope for before: a place of his own. A stretch of land on the Hawkesbury River is Thornhill’s for the taking.'
'As he and his family seek to establish themselves in this unfamiliar territory, they find that they are not the only ones to lay a claim to the land. The Hawkesbury is already home to a family of Dharug people, who are reluctant to leave on account of these intruders.'
As Thornhill’s attachment to the place and the dream deepens, he is driven to make a terrible decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.' (Source: Currency Press website)
Set in a small, fictional, New South Wales country town called Wandin Valley, A Country Practice focused on the staffs of the town's medical practice and local hospital and on the families of the doctors, nurses, and patients. Many of the episodes also featured guest characters (frequently patients served by the practice) through whom various social and medical problems were explored. Although often considered a soap opera, the series was not built around an open-ended narrative; instead, the two one-hour episodes screened per week formed a self-contained narrative block, though many of the storylines were developed as sub-plots for several episodes before becoming the focus of a particular week's storyline. While the focus was on topical issues such as youth unemployment, suicide, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, and terminal illness, the program did sometimes explore culturally sensitive issues, including, for example, the Aboriginal community and their place in modern Australian society.
Among the show's principal characters were Dr Terence Elliott, local policeman Sergeant Frank Gilroy, Esme Watson, Shirley Dean Gilroy, Bob Hatfield, Vernon 'Cookie' Locke, and Matron Margaret 'Maggie' Sloan. In addition to its regularly rotating cast of characters, A Country Practice also had a cast of semi-regulars who would make appearances as the storylines permitted. Interestingly, while the series initially targeted the adult and older youth demographic, it became increasingly popular with children over the years.
Dorothy Lucie Sanders was the daughter of William Joseph (a clergyman and founder of Christ Church Grammar School, Western Australia) and Ada Lucy (Walker) McClemans. She married Colsell Sanders (Professor of Education at UWA and former chairman of Tertiary Education Commission in Western Australia) in 1936 and they had three children: Jonathan William, Colin Creeth and Lucyann, the latter two being twins.
After attending Perth College for ten years and the University of Western Australia as part-time student for four years, Sanders received a Teachers' Certificate from Claremont Teachers' College in 1938. She was a member of the Western Australian State Library Board, the State Advisory Board to Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Perth Children's Court, the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (London), the Australian Society of Authors and the Fellowship of Australian Writers.