Book Recommendation: Follow the Rabbit -Proof Fence

Updated: Jan 30

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence Paperback – October 1, 2013

by Doris Pilkington (Author)

This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food. Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment. The girls were not even allowed to speak their language. Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.

Doris Pilkington’s traditional name is Nugi Garimara. She was born in 1937 on Balfour Downs Station in the homeland of her Mardu ancestors. As a toddler she was removed by authorities from her home at the station and committed to Moore River Native Settlement, from which she escaped. She is the author of Home to Mother and Under the Wintamarra Tree.

Personal Note: The Rabbit-Proof Fence is one of my favorite films of all-time. I learned so much from watching it, and I’m sure the book will be much better than the film. Please read about this important part of history to see how it affected Aboriginal children.

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