For 40,000 years the Central NSW area of Wellington was Aboriginal – Wiradjuri – land. Following the arrival of white men, it became a penal settlement, mission station, gold-mining town and farming centre with a history of white comfort and black marginalisation. In the late 20th century, it was also the subject of the first post-Mabo Native Title claim, bringing new hope – and new controversy – to the area and its people.
Wiradjuri land is also where author Patti Miller was born and, mid-life, it begins to exert a compelling emotional pull, demanding her return. Post-children, having lived a dream life in Paris, it is hard for her to understand, or ignore, and so she is drawn into the story at the heart of Australian identity – who are we in relation to our beloved but stolen country?
Patti Miller was raised on a farm in central western NSW and has worked teaching writing for over twenty years. She has written many books and has also been widely recognised for her very successful ‘Life Stories’ workshops, which she presents at universities, writers centres and overseas writers retreats, as well as for migrant and Aboriginal communities. She currently teaches at the Faber Academy in Sydney.