With the influx first of white raiders and pirates and then "peaceful" English settlers, there was a multitude of half-English children. The government considered these children a step above full-blooded Aborigine children and felt obliged to take them to schools where they could be educated. These youngsters were unceremoniously snatched from their families and carted off to these settlements.
Molly, at fourteen, was the eldest of the three girls who are at the heart of the story. She, along with her relatives Gracie, eleven, and Daisy, just eight years old, were dismayed and frightened by their fate. Molly, a free-spirited girl and natural leader, decided on the evening before the first day of school that she and her two friends would control their own destiny.
In the morning, she announced to the other two girls that they would be escaping. They were running the risk of being recaptured and punished. Anyone who tried to escape was placed in the "boob" jail , beaten with a strap, had their heads shaved and were given only bread and water for a week. Molly was told that no one had ever successfully escaped.
But Molly was undeterred. She was determined that she and her little friends would return to the people who loved and cared about them. Molly's father was a white man who was the inspector of the rabbit-proof fence. The purpose of the fence was to keep the over-population of rabbits in the eastern Australian regions from coming into Western Australia.
Molly learned from her father that the fence was installed from north to south for almost the entire length of the country. She knew that once she and the girls found the fence that it would lead them home. The girls set off with only bread crumbs in their calico bags. They walked barefooted through thick forests and wide heathlands. They faced ferocious animals, hunger, rough terrain, rain storms and oppressive heat and, worse of all, the constant threat of being recaptured by the patrols that had been sent out looking for them.
They became very savvy—asking for food from farmers and then taking off in the wrong direction and then doubling back in case they were reported. They supplemented what food they were given by trapping wild animals and eating whatever bush tuck they could find. Molly had learned how to navigate through the countryside from her father, always keeping an eye on the position of the sun.
The girls make it home to their families who, though stunned that they came so far, were very happy to have their daughters back home. The trek across Australia is one of the longest in the recorded history of the country and certainly the longest that was accomplished barefooted.
Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Copyrights Rabbit-proof Fence from BookRags. All rights reserved. Not long after arriving, Molly knows she mu This story is set in Western Australia during the 's. Not long after arriving, Molly knows she must find a way to escape.
The girls are distraught and desperately want to be back home with their families. It doesn't take long for Molly to find that escape route and before they know it the girls on their way and trying to find their way home. Of course they had no idea how far or how long this would take.
They will trek over miles and with each day they push themselves even though they are exhausted, hungry, and in a lot of pain. Along the way they will meet other Aborigines who help them by giving them a few things such as meat and matches. In the first few chapters we are given the history and background of the Aboriginal culture which I found quite interesting.
This is an amazing story of survival, determination, and courage which I found very inspiring. I really enjoyed this book and I have no hesitation in recommending it. View all 7 comments. Shelves: read , australia , audible , bio , history , kids. As a description of the persecution of Aborigines in Australia, this is an important book to have read. An interesting and clear presentation of the facts. The book is about three half-caste aboriginal girls placed in the Moore River Native Settlement outside Perth.
They were taken against both the wishes of the girls themselves and their families. This was a common practice, not at all a onetime exception. Half castes, children of aboriginal mothers and white fathers, that being most usually th As a description of the persecution of Aborigines in Australia, this is an important book to have read. Half castes, children of aboriginal mothers and white fathers, that being most usually the case, were considered "smarter" than pure Aborigines.
But why? So that they could be shaped into more useful servants for the British settlers. The three girls, aging from nine to fifteen, run away from the settlement where they had been imprisoned. There were bars on the windows and completely fenced in. These three girls escaped and ran home.
How is this possible, walking alone, barefoot without the simplest equipment, without food, with all Australia searching for them? This walk took almost nine weeks and is the longest walk in the history of the Australian Outback. This is not fiction. It is history. And it is shocking. A brief history of the foreign settlement of Australia is given.
Information is given also about the "Rabbit-Proof Fence", originally constructed in to stop the invasion of rabbits into Western Australia from the East. Molly, the oldest of the three girls lives in a station in charge of the supervision of said fence in the northwestern desert area of Western Australia. So the idea was to follow that fence homeward. Documented police files are quoted. The statements are shocking in their total nonchalance for the three girls.
They are things to be possessed and used, not human beings. This is the history that must be acknowledged by all. The book is straightforward and clear. It presents information that should be known. The landscape is described by naming vegetation and fauna specific for the terrain, but such flora and fauna are foreign to me so I could not picture its beauty. I was not enthralled with the audiobook's narration by Rachael Mazza.
The narration is fast, the exciting parts even more so, perhaps in an effort particularly to increase the melodrama of the events. I feel the events speak for themselves. I don't appreciate the added drama. Maybe others do. I found the Australian dialect difficult to follow, and some of the aboriginal terms are not fully explained.
View all 25 comments. Sep 21, Emily rated it did not like it. At the risk of sounding like one of "those people," the movie was better. I saw it when it came out years ago and liked it enough to get excited when I found the book it was based on at my local library.
It seemed to me that Doris Pilkington couldn't decide if she wanted to write a history of her mother's walk or if she wanted to write a fictionalized version of the true events that would allow her to, as she puts it, "call on [her] skills as writer" to fill in details probably forgotten by her At the risk of sounding like one of "those people," the movie was better.
It seemed to me that Doris Pilkington couldn't decide if she wanted to write a history of her mother's walk or if she wanted to write a fictionalized version of the true events that would allow her to, as she puts it, "call on [her] skills as writer" to fill in details probably forgotten by her mother and auntie in the decades since their trek.
Manhunt by James Swanson and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson both accomplish this delicate balance between history and narrative beautifully, and that, or something like it, is what I wanted from Rabbit Proof Fence. Instead, the writing seemed choppy and awkward in places, and I was frequently jarred out of the flow of the story by Aboriginal words that I needed to flip to the back of the book to translate. Again, I have seen the use of foreign words integrated beautifully into English texts, where the author takes time to introduce words that will be used frequently, first pairing them with the English and then trusting the reader to remember those few key words or phrases.
Pilkington does not take the time to do this, or in my opinion, to really take the time to tell what should be an incredible story. Instead, she takes the months-long, harrowing, and epic journey that her mother and aunties completed, and makes it feel like it took about a week and was relatively easy. The end notes that explain what happened to each of the girls is equally unsatisfying and vaguely confusing.
This is one of the only books I've read where my final verdict is "just see the movie. View all 3 comments. This is the sad yet beautiful, poignant true story of three Aboriginal girls who were taken from their families and tribe during the Australian government's policy of removing children, educating them to be servants and working towards a goal of assimilation by wiping out their genes — the entire race, eventually — through inter-racial marriage.
They had found that within three generations of breeding with whites, the children are blond and blue-eyed. Today these children are known as the Stolen This is the sad yet beautiful, poignant true story of three Aboriginal girls who were taken from their families and tribe during the Australian government's policy of removing children, educating them to be servants and working towards a goal of assimilation by wiping out their genes — the entire race, eventually — through inter-racial marriage.
Today these children are known as the Stolen Generation. Set in Western Australia in the s, the story is about three cousins — Molly, 14; Daisy, 11; and Gracie, 8 — who are forcibly taken from their tribe and home at Jigalong in the north-west to the Moore River Native Settlement just north of Perth.
In Western Australia are two rabbit-proof fences that run north-south, and east of Perth, to keep the rabbits out of the farmland Europeans deliberately introduced rabbits to Australia, where they have been a plague ever since. They escape the school and, barefoot and without provisions, undertake to walk 1, kilometres home by following the rabbit-proof fence, which runs past Jigalong.
White men and black trackers follow them and planes search for them from above while they hid and trekked through scrub, rock and salt plains. The girls made the historic journey only to be taken back to the settlement. The first five chapters give background and historical context for the story, as well as an understanding of Aboriginal culture and their thoughts and feelings.
Either the book or the movie would be great to use. Written by Molly's daughter Nugi Garimara, whose "white" name is Doris Pilkington, the movie is also a must-see - the breath-taking cinemetagraphy helps balance out the sadness, and the young actors are excellent.
It's yet another painful chapter in Australia's history, but one that shouldn't be ignored. View all 4 comments. Mar 06, MichelleG rated it liked it Shelves: aussie-readsbookclub , books-read. Beautiful, beautiful story, I understand the hype around this book, and would highly recommend people read this book. The "Rabbit-Proof Fence" tells the incredibly real and true story of 3 young aboriginal girls, who as part of the stolen generation are removed from their families and taken to a "boarding school" across the country.
The girls make the decision to escape after witnessing the horrors of the "school" and embark on the epic journey back to their families and home, by following the ra Beautiful, beautiful story, I understand the hype around this book, and would highly recommend people read this book.
The girls make the decision to escape after witnessing the horrors of the "school" and embark on the epic journey back to their families and home, by following the rabbit proof fence, which bisects the 2 states and will eventually lead them home, The epic 1, mile trip takes over a month, they are barely clothed and barefoot and yet manage to survive using nothing but their hunting skills, and a bit of kindness later on from strangers who offer food and clothing.
The girls are relentlessly pursued by Aboriginal trackers and the authorities, but somehow they manage to avoid them - due in part to rain and in part due to their innate ability to anticipate the actions of the police and in hiding. Apr 02, Kirstin rated it did not like it Shelves: non-fiction. I saw the movie based on this book when it came out in and really enjoyed it but the book turned out to be very-poorly written and a big disappointment.
For a journey that must have been such a brave and scary and tough thing to do it came off as very dull. The book teeters back and forth between a simple no-frills narrative they ate, they slept, they walked over and over and over again and extremely awkward made-up dialogue with odd descriptions of flowers and random snippets of source material thrown in. It is severely lacking in details and often repeats the same phrases sometimes even within the same paragraph.
We get to know little about the personality of the girls or their motivations so it is hard to ever really make any connection with them. The author also throws in a lot of words in her native language. I usually enjoy this in other books but it is done very poorly in this one. Instead of providing a translation when a word is first used or making it so that it can easily be guessed from the context they are really just thrown out there.
Facey As a young boy he moved with his siblings and grandmother to Western Australia in search of his mother. Life was tough for him because his mother had already started a new family and he was immediately put to heavy labor work to support the family. Now this memoir by Doris Pilkington aka Nugi Garimara is based on the life of her mother Molly in Western Australia and how she ran away in from the Moore River Native Settlement to get back to her family.
An amazing accomplishment! It's the first time that I read a book from the perspective of an Aboriginal. It's a very short book and the writing isn't fancy; it gets straight to the point and is deeply honest. The book starts off with a short introduction to Australian history from the aboriginal perspective; how the white people arrived and just claimed the land for themselves.
How they placed a flag on the land and declared it theirs, it looked strange to the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginals had to observe and were forced to follow the ways of the white people. Molly, Gracie and Daisy. The girls were all half-caste daughters of Aboriginal women and white fathers. They were teased by full-blooded aboriginal children for standing out with their lighter skin color, but at the same time they were loved by their aboriginal family.
Despite having white fathers, the girls were forced to be separated from their families and placed in government-run settlements, where they would receive schooling and health care. Molly was a very strong-willed girl and knew from day one that she wanted to return back to her family.
She followed the rabbit-proof fence to find her way back to her family. The description of nature was fascinating, she could name so many trees. How she and the two other girls survived is remarkable and shows what a vast knowledge they had of the land and how to survive in that land.
The memoir is interspersed with official government texts regarding the three half-caste girls. How government officials spoke about their escape with authorities across the state. How the officials communicated to each other regarding the girls' whereabouts and what should be done to them. Who gives them the right to decide what's best for the girls if all they want is to be with their family? The government wants to raise aboriginal children to become productive workers for society by separating them from their families and their culture.
In the settlements, they were only allowed to speak English. Aboriginal culture was deemed unfit for the building of the Australian nation. It reminds me of the Uighur children who are separated from their parents and sent to dormitory schools along the coast with the pretext that they can integrate better into Chinese society. And governments are never held accountable for the pain they inflict on families. This was essential and important to read. Australia has a turbulent and atrocious history of the treatment of our traditional land owners, the Indigenous communities that have endured at the mercy of white European settlement.
The late Doris Pilkington has created a narration of her mother's story, born to an Indigenous mother and white English father, deprived of her community when removed from her land to be placed into government custody along with her younger sister and cousin.
Throughout the introduction, the author discusses the h Australia has a turbulent and atrocious history of the treatment of our traditional land owners, the Indigenous communities that have endured at the mercy of white European settlement. Throughout the introduction, the author discusses the history of white settlement, communities slaughtered and indigenous women taken and used as sexual servants.
Isolated from their communities, the government introduced a policy allowing land to be claimed by white, European farming families. Land that belonged to Indigenous Australians. The Moore River Native Settlement is a regimented encampment, housing Indigenous children born to white fathers, taken from their communities under the belief that partially white children are superior and can therefore become disciplined servants for white families.
Molly is a free spirited young lady and along with Gracie and Daisy, is determined to return to her elders and Jigalong community, the distance spanning over a thousand miles by following the Rabbit Proof fence. The Rabbit Proof Fence was constructed in the early nineteen hundreds to subdue the migration of rabbits into Western Australia from the eastern states and now becomes a beacon of hope and home.
Throughout the narrative, transcripts and newspaper articles are included about the girls disappearance, only further verifying that the young Indigenous girls are little more than a commodity. Although the journey is harrowing and confronting, the terrain is breathtaking as the girls navigate the parched spiritual land. One of the loveliest aspects about Follow The Rabbit Proof Fence is the sense of family throughout our Indigenous communities and the respect for elders that is instilled in their children.
Follow The Rabbit Proof Fence is an integral aspect of Australian history, placing the importance upon the continuing treatment of our Indigenous communities and the destruction brought by white European settlement. A horrific historical narrative that is beautifully written and illustrates the strength and determination of three remarkable young girls. Apr 15, Carolyn rated it really liked it Shelves: australian-author , biography-autobiography-memoir. This is the story of three Aboriginal half caste girls removed from their families in Western Australia by government officials who sent them miles away to a 'residential school', more like a prison than a boarding school, where they were incarcerated and expected to learn to read and write and speak English before being sent off to be servants.
The author, Doris Pilkington Aboriginal name Nugi Garimara is the daughter of the eldest girl, Molly and she retells their story in simple, straig This is the story of three Aboriginal half caste girls removed from their families in Western Australia by government officials who sent them miles away to a 'residential school', more like a prison than a boarding school, where they were incarcerated and expected to learn to read and write and speak English before being sent off to be servants.
The author, Doris Pilkington Aboriginal name Nugi Garimara is the daughter of the eldest girl, Molly and she retells their story in simple, straightforward language. Molly and the two younger girls, sisters Daisy and Gracie run away from the school within days of arriving with only the clothes on their backs and no provisions. They amazingly manage to survive using their native skills in hunting and finding clean water and later strangers who give them food and clothing.
Somehow, partly due to the rain and partly to their skills at hiding they manage to evade the police and the trackers sent to find them. Molly is familiar with the rabbit proof fence that runs the length of the state and knows if she can find that then they will just need to follow it home. Although told simply, this incredible story of tenacity and survival is powerful in portraying the devastation of white settlement on Australia's Aboriginal communities, first by depriving them of their land and the ability to feed themselves and then by allowing a paternalistic government to deprive them of their mixed race children.
Mar 17, Richard rated it really liked it. This is all with government approval because the girls are part white and part native. The oldest girl is determined not to stay and to get back to her home. They run away from the school-prison and find the rabbit proof fence that runs the length of Australia and walk home, eating rabbits, beetles, what ever they could find. Pilkington, whose native name is Nugi Garimara, writes her mothers memoir who was the oldest girl.
We wonder how blind sighted the whites were in Australia, America, South America where such unjust treatment because of the color of the skin. I liked this book. I would recommend it. View 2 comments. Aug 04, Gemma rated it it was amazing. This has blown my mind and broken my heart at once. The true story of these three girls lives and incredible journey will stay with me. Unfortunately so will the history it covered with regards to Australia, America and Britain. How the aborigines were treated was truly shocking.
The fight for life these children had and bonds to their family that thousands of kms could not break is incredible. There was parts where the text didn't flow too well but it didn't take away from the overall book. I'm This has blown my mind and broken my heart at once. I'm glad I got to read the book before watching the movie. Jun 20, Tina rated it it was ok.
The premise of the book is good; but the actuality the book was poorly written, at times grammar incorrect, and thus very disappointing. Their very Lil insight from the girl perspective and the 1st fifty pages were disorganized telling of European colonization.
The 1st half of book jumped around all over the place with little to no transition btw completely new subjects. Quick read but was hard to read quickly. This book is a true story. It tells of the British invading Western Australia in the early 's. People took land that didn't belong to them.
They built homes and created a government on land that belonged to the aboriginal people. By a well established white government was in place. This government made a decision to build the rabbit proof fence because of the overwhelming number of rabbits.
Stations were set up by white people along the fence line to maintain it. Station masters would emp This book is a true story. Station masters would employ aboriginal people and pay them in food for their family. Some station masters built up good repores with the families and even had children with some of the women.
These children are known as half-castes. This book follows one particular aboriginal family that had three half-caste children and while the other children ridiculed them for their light skin, the government decided half-caste children were smarter than other aboriginal children so wanted to educate them before giving them to homes where they would work as slaves.
These children are known as the stolen generation. This page book broke my heart. To think children could be treated in such a poor manner and families are still suffering to this day. This book has led me to research more about the stolen generation and I realized I didn't know enough.
Schools aren't teaching enough about Australia's aboriginal heritage and that needs to change. I urge all Australians to read this book. I found the book to be a great narrative of the situation in Australia in those times and I learned a lot. It would be good if we could have learned more about the characters if the girls- their personalities, what they were feeling, etc.
Sep 10, Amy rated it really liked it. Okay the whole history and premise of this book is very intriguing. It should get a 5 for that! I am usually one who doesn't like flowery, fluffy prose. I don't need pages and pages of detail to enjoy a story. This book is quick, to the point and almost too short. It is almost written as a direct translation of a related oral story. There is no embellishment. At times I found it a bit rushed.
The girls were ages Nine weeks! I've read no Okay the whole history and premise of this book is very intriguing. I do have to give the author some leniency because the stories were told so much later in life, after the girls were elderly women. So, if the author's intent was simply to document their story, she succeeded. But it would have been nice to read more about their adventure in detail. Even the history in the beginning was quite truncated. But it was, in fact, a fascinating story.
One of white-British ignorance and their fancy of making the Aborigines not only dependent on them, but then making them become like them. Is there anywhere, in the world, where white people haven't completely taken over and ingratiated themselves into native lands thinking they know better than the indigenous people who have lived there for eons? The amazing thing about this story is that it isn't of violent uprising or planned rebellion.
It's about these three little girls longing for home and making the life-threatening, yet life-preserving decision to go home. It makes me weep to think of how attached they were and how loved they were. It is an inspiring story which exploits a very, very ugly time in Australian history. I would recommend it to anyone. Mar 08, Philip rated it it was ok Shelves: young-adult , possible-ss-7th-grade , non-fiction , memoirs. I'm not sure why it was. The book was only pages, and it wasn't a particularly challenging read.
I feel like I'm betraying the author - especially given that she died less than a year ago. The link there, is worth clicking. The story fits into my curriculum well, and I don't spend enough time teaching about Australia. It deals with colonialism, indigenous peoples, ethnocentrism, Australian geography. It should be a shoo-in, right? I'd never read the book, or seen the movie.
I thought as teachers often do that I could have the students read the book, and then we could compare it to the movie But I just couldn't get into it. Of course, that doesn't mean that my students won't. So, maybe it's worth a shot. Or maybe I could have a couple students read it, and tell me what they think.
I've heard from several people that the movie is good. And I've read several reviews that have said the same thing. I'll probably check that out either way. It is a good story, even if I didn't appreciate it as completely as it deserved. It's difficult to look back through history at all of the well-intentioned policies that were in place, knowing how horrifying they were when put into practice. It makes me wonder where we're going wrong today. May 29, Ebony rated it did not like it.
Very disappointed in this book The struggle of the girls was sad, and that was the only chapter I enjoyed.. So glad that's over Apr 24, Jim rated it liked it. I read this short book after watching the Philip Noyce movie adaptation. As is so often the case, the book was better than the movie. As in many places colonized by the English Ireland, Canada, US and in this story Australia , land was stolen from the native people and the native families and culture was systematically and brutally attacked.
Unlike the movie, Pilkington's book provides background to the story.
The book is written by Doris Pilkington, daughter of Molly. What followed was a barefoot journey of km with no supplies, no tents, no adults, no coats. Molly, aged just 15, knew that if she could find the rabbit proof fence, they could follow it all the way back to their family at Jigalong. The book begins by explaining some of the back story and providing context for how aboriginal people eneded up being driven off the land they had previously wandered at will.
I found this fascinating — not only for the story but for the insight into aboriginal culture. I think this part of Australian history is not really talked about much. This is a truly amazing story that was made into a film in In my opinion, the book is better than the film, in that it provides more details — and the story in the film is a bit more dramatised than the book. NB: This post contain affiliate links. If you click a link and go on to make a purchase, I may be compensated.
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Doris Pilkington had spent much of her early life from the age of four at the Moore River Native Settlement in Western Australia , the same facility the book chronicles her mother, aunt's and cousin's escape from as children. After reuniting with her family 21 years later, Pilkington says she did not talk to her mother much, and she was not aware of her mother's captivity at Moore River nor the story of her escape, until her Aunt Daisy told her the story.
Repeating the story at an Aboriginal family history event in Perth , one of the attendees told Pilkington he was aware of the story and that the case was fairly well-documented. He gave her some documents and clippings which formed the factual backbone of the story on which Pilkington based a first draft. Pilkington submitted the draft to a publisher in but was told it was too much like an academic paper and that she should try her hand at writing fiction.
Pilkington then rewrote and filled out Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence following several years of interviewing her mother and aunt, and it was published in Molly, her half-sister Daisy and their cousin Gracie are taken to Moore River for schooling to become more like a white person and to eventually be taken to a more rural part of Western Australia.
The girls escaped from the Settlement and took the 1, km mi walk home along the rabbit-proof fence. Shortly after the book's publication, the film rights were obtained by scriptwriter Christine Olsen, who wrote the script and was persistent in her pitching of the film to Hollywood -based Australian director Phillip Noyce. Noyce agreed to direct the film, which was released in and starred Everlyn Sampi as Molly, and British actor Kenneth Branagh as A.
Neville , the Chief Protector of Aborigines. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Rabbit-Proof Fence film.