Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time

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Miamax, Nov 20, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages
Following an Australian government edict in 1931, black aboriginal children and children of mixed marriages were gathered up and taken to settlements to be institutionally assimilated. In Rabbit-Proof Fence, award-wining author Doris Pilkington traces the story of her mother, Molly, one of three young girls uprooted from their community in Southwestern Australia and taken to the Moore River Native Settlement. There, Molly and her relatives Gracie and Daisy were forbidden to speak their native language, forced to abandon their heritage, and taught to be culturally white. After regular stays in solitary confinement, the three girls planned and executed a daring escape from the grim camp.

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The First Military Post
The Swan River Colony
The Decline of Aboriginal Society

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About the author (2002)

Australian author Doris Pilkington was born Nugi Garimara on the Balfour Downs Station near Jigalong in 1937. When she was about four years old, she was taken from her mother by the government and raised at the Moore River Native Settlement, which was an internment camp for cross-breed Aboriginal children. She was transferred to a Christian mission where she was educated, but also taught that her Aboriginal culture was evil. She grew up believing that her mother deliberately abandoned her, but finally reunited with her mother at the age of 25. She enrolled in the nursing aide training program at Royal Perth Hosptial. She later studied journalism at Curtin University. She has also worked as a nursing aide, a documentary film-maker, and a journalist. She is married and has six children and twenty-nine grandchildren. Her book, Caprice: A Stockman's Daughter, won the 1990 David Unaipon Award for unpublished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, which was published in 1991. Her 1996 book, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, is the story of her mother and two other Aboriginal girls who escaped from the Moore River Native Settlement and traveled for nine weeks to return to their family. It was later made into a 2002 film called Rabbit-Proof Fence. The sequel, Under the Windamarra Tree, continues her mother's story into adulthood.

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