130 x 200 x 31mm
In 1894 twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. But as drought bites deep her father has turned swaggie, member of the Shearers' Union. He's wanted by the troopers for burning down a shearing shed, and his daughter has to watch as the terrifying events by the billabong unfold. You'll never take me alive, said he.
With the enigmatic brown-skinned Auntie Love, eccentric shearers, and the autocratic Mr Drinkwater, Matilda fights to live her father's dream: to breed the best sheep in the district, while a nation is created from a collection of colonies at the bottom of the world.
Set against drought, flood, bushfire, war and jubilation, this is a story rooted in the words of our most famous national song, Waltzing Matilda. It is a love-song to a land and to a nation, told from the points of view of those who had no vote in 1901: the women, the Indigenous people, the Chinese market-gardeners, the Afghan traders. It is the story of how we became Australia.