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y separately published work icon Craft for a Dry Lake Kim Mahood , Sydney : Anchor , 2000 Z997375 2000 single work autobiography (taught in 4 units) In Craft for a Dry Lake, Kim Mahood embarks on an extraordinary journey to her heartland - the outback of her youth. Compelled to revisit the haunts of her childhood by the tragic death of her father, Kim seeks to lay his ghost to rest, but instead finds herself faced with many of her own. Her adventures are interwoven with the echoes of childhood memories and peopled by an intriguing cast of outback characters. At times the lines between past and present become blurred as a daughter travels in the footsteps of her father, searching for a sense of place in this landscape she once called home. (Source: Trove)
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y separately published work icon Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2007 Z1434892 2007 single work novel (taught in 2 units)

'Landscape of Farewell ... is the story of Max Otto, an elderly German academic. After the death of his much-loved wife and his recognition that he will never write the great study of history that was to be his life's crowning work, Max believes his life is all but over. Everything changes, though, when his valedictory lecture is challenged by Professor Vita McLelland, a feisty young Australian Aboriginal academic visiting Germany. Their meeting and growing friendship sets Max on a journey that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short weeks earlier.

'When, at Vita's invitation, Max travels to Australia, he forms a deep friendship with her uncle, Aboriginal elder Dougald Gnapun. It is a friendship that not only gives new meaning and purpose to Max, but which teaches him the profound importance of truth-telling in reconciliation with his own and his country's past.' (Publisher's blurb)

form y separately published work icon Picnic at Hanging Rock Cliff Green , ( dir. Peter Weir ) Australia Adelaide : McElroy and McElroy , 1975 Z822342 1975 single work film/TV mystery horror (taught in 9 units)

On St Valentine's Day 1900, three schoolgirls and a teacher from an exclusive English-style boarding school go missing at the mysterious Hanging Rock in central Victoria. One of the girls is found alive a week later, but the others are never seen again. As morale within the school begins to disintegrate, the headmistress's increasingly incoherent anger is turned towards one student, leading to tragic consequences. Although the police suspect Michael Fitzhubert, a young English aristocrat, and his manservant Albert, who were in the area at the time the girls disappeared, the mystery is never solved. As Paul Byrnes (Australian Screen) notes, the suggested scenarios range from the 'banal and explicable (a crime of passion) to deeply mystical (a crime of nature).'

[Source: Australian Screen]

y separately published work icon Loaded Christos Tsiolkas , Milsons Point : Vintage Australia , 1995 Z565443 1995 single work novel (taught in 40 units)

'Families can detonate. Some families are torn apart forever by one small act, one solitary mistake. In my family it was a series of small explosions; consistent, passionate, pathetic. Cruel words, crude threats... We spurred each other on till we reached a crescendo of pain and we retired exhausted to our rooms, in tears or in fury.

'Ari is nineteen, unemployed and a poofter who doesn't want to be gay. He is looking for something - anything - to take him away from his aimless existence in suburban Melbourne. He doesn't believe in anyone or anything, except the power of music. All he wants to do is dance, take drugs, have sex and change the world.

'For Ari, all the orthodoxies of family, sex, politics and work have collapsed. Caught between the traditional Greek world of his parents and friends and the alluring, destructive world of clubs, chemicals and anonymous sex, all Ari can do is ease his pain in the only ways he knows how.

'Written in stark, uncompromising prose, Loaded is a first novel of great passion and power.' (From the publisher's website.)

y separately published work icon Harland's Half Acre David Malouf , London : Chatto and Windus Hogarth Press , 1984 Z81132 1984 single work novel (taught in 3 units)

'Born on a poor dairy farm in Queensland, Frank Harland's life is centred on his great artistic gift, his passionate love for his father and four brothers and his need to repossess, through a patch of land, his family's past. The story spans Frank's life; from before the First World War, through years as a swaggie in the Great Depression and Brisbane in the forties, to his retirement to a patch of Australian scrub where he at last takes possession of his dream. Solitude and society, possession and dispossession, the obsessive and often violent claims of family life and love, illuminate the imagination of the artist and the larger world of events. This is an ambitious novel, presented simply and poetically; the narrative is absorbing, full of incident, and peopled with characters of formidable humour and power.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Vintage reprint).


‘Seeing Australia’ is an online course which examines the way Australia has been ’seen’ over the last two centuries, in art, literature and photography. The course explores the way Australia has historically been depicted and understood, investigating some of the most fundamental cultural myths that have gone to shape Australian society. We will investigate how Australia has come to exist in the mind of its own people and those from other countries. Australia is therefore seen as the subject of many culturally disparate ‘ways of seeing’. We begin the process by analysing the concept of ‘seeing’ itself. ‘Seeing’ stands for many different ways of knowing and representing and these will be explored in a range of texts: written texts in poetic and narrative form, and visual texts of various kinds.


Online discussion - 40%

Moderation - 10%

Major Essay - 50%

Other Details

Levels: Undergraduate