'A rooky police constable is posted to a small outback town, but this time the constable is a woman of Italian ethnic background, Constable Maria Giotto. And, what is more, she is a volunteer transferee.
'Maria becomes friendly with an Aboriginal family, and finds herself caught between her loyalty to her Aboriginal friends and loyalty to her fellow police officers.
'Newcomer Maria is not the only police officer experiencing difficulty in meeting the demands of friendship and the requirements of the police bureaucracy. Sergeant Alec Ross, close to retirement, is also an old friend of Paddy, the Aboriginal man.
'The country town is torn by racial and cultural conflict, which culminates in the death in custody of Paddy's son, Paul.'
Nugent, Ann. 'Drama Set in Country Town Tackles Difficult Social Issues', Canberra Times, 30 August 1993, p.15.
The original version of Eric Greer Earley's The Custodians was a radio play (see 'Related Works'), said by Robert Macklin to have 'won an award' (not yet traced), but no production appears to have ensued. Subsequently, it appears to have been rewritten as a film script (not yet traced) and then, with the assistance of Carol Woodrow, been produced on stage in 1993. Woodrow, according to Macklin, 'has –with the author – combined the strongest elements of all the versions' for the stage play.
Macklin, Robert. 'Life ... Neither Here nor There', Canberra Times, 15 August 1993, p.27.