Introduction

Beginnings

I had decided to become a primary school teacher. David, my older brother, had graduated from teachers’ college and begun teaching at Smithtown Primary School, near the resort town of South West Rocks in the state of New South Wales, happy in the service. But his joy was short-lived when he was transferred after three weeks to become teacher-in-charge of a one-teacher school in Lower Creek, a tiny, isolated hamlet in rugged terrain halfway between Kempsey and Armidale. David telephoned home soon after arriving at Lower Creek and, with great feeling, said something like “don’t let them do to you what they have done to me”. David survived the experience of teaching children aged 5 to 16 and went on to a fulfilling career ...

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