'It was hot with stillness in the late afternoon air. The billabong surface shone with unnatural stillness, Fresh tracks at water's edge told of pigs just gone. Two bubbles popped to the surface of the pool; 'just decaying vegetation ssid my mind. I should have smelt crocodile.
'What is it about the Northern Territory that fascinates? Why, for 180 years, has it drawn people to come, stay far longer than intended and, often, never leave.
'Arnhem's Kaleidoscope Children is a remembered story of a family's life in a distant world. The place, Oenpelli, in Australia's Northern Territory, is like remote Canada or Alaska, where few others go. It is the landscape of Crocodile Dundee, myriad hues of billabongs, open grass plains, sunlit hills and purple storms, peopled by its many coloured children.
'It is a story of a changing world; how a missionary family and aboriginal community became part of modern Australia over 50 years. The role of my father in opening road transport and crossing of the East Alligator River, developing aboriginal outstations, learning to fly on missionary wages and establishing an aviation service along with assisting the aboriginal peoples of this land to gain royalties from mining is a story that deserves to be told.
'It also tells of my own experience of surviving attack by a large crocodile in a remote swamp. This book and story provides a foundation for my novels in the Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series. The places in these books are the places in which I lived and worked and many of the stories came little changed from people I knew. In particular my experience in surviving a crocodile attack of a large saltwater crocodile, which mauled my leg as told in this book forms part of the central role of the crocodile as a predator in this novel series.' (Publication summary)