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* Contents derived from the St Lucia,Indooroopilly - St Lucia area,Brisbane - North West,Brisbane,Queensland,:Hecate Press,2009 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
This paper examines 'some of the ways in which white women novelists also contributed powerfully to shaping the literary imaginative landscape through which Australian readers came to "know" Indigenous people, and the nature of inter-racial contact, in the period before the publication of writing by Indigenous women began to disrupt the textual terrain' (54). The focus is on the writing of women who grew up in rural Queensland and/or used Queensland as settings. The paper concludes that women writers, though presenting themselves as sympathetic and knowledgeable observers and spokespersons for Indigenous people, were 'active participants in the ongoing colonial projects of subjugating Indigenous people and managing perceptions of that process' (68).
Despite her violent, irresponsible husband, Selma Goddard has managed by her own efforts to provide a modest home for herself and her children. All is threatened, however, when her husband returns and demands that she sell the home so he can use the money to pay his debts. When a kindly public servant sees the situation for what it really is, he intervenes on Selma's behalf to bring the law down firmly on her side.
Young Betty has always been fond of the soft, furry heads of pussywillow. After leaving school she begins an apprenticeship in a milliner's shop. Wartime shortages soon demand that the milliners become inventive with whatever materials are to hand. Betty brings in swathes of pussywillow to use, but has no idea of the disaster that it will attract.
A young woman who has been institutionalised for some time and disowned by her family, is thrilled when her older brother arrives on Christmas Eve to take her into his care for twenty-eight days. However, she quickly learns that this will not be so, and she is left to her own devices. Less than twenty-four hours later, she finds herself returned to the institution having experienced an odd, but enjoyable, respite.
Sandra, a busy young mother living on an outback station, has guests staying and has painstakingly prepared a fancy dessert for their dinner. When her husband's partner from the neighbouring property arrives, with guests of his own, the dessert becomes the focus of a disturbing encounter.
Jackie's life swings uneasily between her daytime clerical job and her role as a member of a local rock band. These two dimensions of her life are further complicated by her interactions and relationships with work colleagues and band members.
'Divorced, fortyish, two children, a dog, and a thesis begun some years ago', a Brisbane woman's initial response to an invitation to Jury service is to decline - an option only available to her because she is a woman. However, she resists succumbing to such a gender-biased option and accepts, and is distressed when confronted with the casualties of a society in which male power and abuse seem rife.