Great Australian Bush Funeral Stories

Cover Great Australian Bush Funeral Stories

We're nearing the end of the service and so I step closer in to do the last 'ashes to ashes and dust to dust' bit. Just as I get to the edge of the grave, the soil gives away and in I go. Well, they reckon I was like a kangaroo. I hardly missed a beat. I went down into the grave like that, hit the coffin and I bounded back out in one big leap. And I'm now standing back up beside the grave, trying not to shake, while I continue with the service: 'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust'.

Death doesn't mean the end of memorable stories from the bush. In fact, often it's just the beginning.

These tales from police officers, nurses, funeral directors, priests, gravediggers and those left behind, show that bush ingenuity comes to the fore when coping with corpses that won't cooperate or can't be found, bodies that don't stay buried, and weather and wildlife trying to sabotage the best-planned funerals. This memorable and eye-opening collection of real-life accounts of passing away and saying goodbye in the Australian bush is by turns, poignant, bizarre, heartbreaking and hilarious.

The Victor Harbor Times—'This memorable and eye-opening collection of real-life accounts of passing away and saying goodbye in the Australian bush, is poignant, bizarre, heartbreaking and hilarious.'—Michael Simmons

Weekend Notes—'Here is one book you should add to your bucket list to read before you die, from one of Australia's favourite storytellers.'—Hayden Radford

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HarperCollinsPublishers (AU) (Pbk/ MP3)
Booktopia (Pbk/ MP3)
Dymocks (Pbk)

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Great Australian Outback Nurses Stories

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With hearts as big as the outback, rural and remote nurses are a dedicated and gutsy bunch who work selflessly to care for their communities, often in isolated and inhospitable conditions, with few resources but plenty experience, courage and care. Outback nurses deal with it all: broken limbs, labour pains, snake bites, sunburnt backpackers, lost explorers, vaccinations, defribrillations—even the occasional crook cattle dog. One thing they are never short of is stories to tell.

I've been a trained nurse for almost sixty years now and I've never once gone to work thinking, I don't want to do this. In fact, I've always said how it's been a privilege to be a nurse in areas where there were no counsellors, no psychologists, nothing—just me.

Country Home Review—'This memorable and eye-opening collection of real-life accounts from nurses in the Australian bush is by turns inspiring, poignant, hearbreaking and hilarious.'

The Weekly Times—'More than forty outback, rural and remote nurses tell their engaging stories in Great Australian Outback Nurses Stories. Some will make you laugh; others leave you wondering, but all will leave you in awe of such dedication to duty and care for humanity.'—Sue Wallace

'He's a legend. Thank God these Australian stories are being collected and recorded for us for now and for ever after'—Cherry Axel

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ABC Shop online (Pbk/MP3/CD) or Booktopia

Great Australian Outback Teaching Stories

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From Back o' Bourke to the Australian Alps, in schools on stations, missions, mines, and over the air, it takes a special kind of person to be an outback teacher.

Back then, not only did we have to teach the three Rs but also sewing, arts and craft, music, physical education—you name it. Plus there were the duties of gardener, cleaner, nurse, registrar, office administrator, free milk dispenser, librarian and, on occasions, school bus driver. Oh, and in one school I was even responsible for 'mother craft'. And being male and just nineteen, you might imagine my surprise when a young girl asked me, 'Sir, what's the best milk for babies?'

The Weekly Times—'At first glance I thought this would be one for the chalkies only, but as I read through each short story I was lured in. Marsh is known for capturing the essence of outback Australia and Great Australian Teaching Stories will not disappoint. Here he has put together another great collection in his ever expanding "Great Australian Outback" series.'—Edwina Hall

The Book Club—'Great Australian Outback Teaching Stories is a memorable collection.'

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ABC Shop online (Pbk/MP3/CD) or Booktopia

Great Australian Outback Police Stories

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Boasting the biggest beats in the world—some as large as France—Australia's outback police have seen it all: natural disasters, incredible acts of selflessness, unspeakable crimes and daring rescues, just to name a few. And they've met some unforgettable characters along the way: the murderer who stuffed his victims's bodies down wombat holes, the policeman who arrested his own wife, the prisoner who risked his life to rescue his own captor from certain death.

'I can tell you, you meet some strange characters in this game.'

Gold Coast Bulletin—'Cops who march to a different beat. Marsh knows how to spin a yarn and in this book he has collected first-hand accounts of Outback cops from across the country. It's fascinating reading and fun to boot.'—Vanessa Jones

The Weekly Times—'Great Australian Outback Police Stories are well worth a read. They capture a diverse collection of anecdotes that recognise the officers and their families, who settled in some of the most remote and trying locations in this country, facing tough days more often than not to serve and protect their communities.'—Edwina Hall

SA Life—'Great Australian Outback Police Stories is a memorable collection of real-life stories about those serving in the heart of Australia.'

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ABC Shop online (Pbk/MP3/CD) or Booktopia

Amazing Grace /
Great Australian Bush Priests Stories

—Stories of faith and friendship from outback Australia

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Priests, pastors, and preachers play a vital part in the lives of people in remote and regional Australia. Often from the city, they are posted to places they have never even heard of to provide spritual care for communities over areas larger than they could ever imagine. No matter their religion, they are all committed to helping people in the busy—whatever way they can! They shear sheep, put up fences, travel hundreds of kilometers to visit their parishioners, act as counsellors, set up schools and programs, and advocate for Aboriginal and asylum seeker rights.

Cover Great Australian Bush Priests Stories

The term 'Bible bashing' took on new meaning in our household…Mum used to suffer from bunions; that is until she started bashing them with the heavy family Bible, believing the Lord's weight behind the Lord's word could move anything from mountains to bunions.

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Great Australian Outback School Stories

Cover Great Austrlian Outback School Stories

This collection perfectly captures the experience of life growing up in the outback. Whether you loved school or not, these stories will bring a smile to your face and maybe even a tear to your eye, as students and teachers alike share their yarns and memories of a time gone by.

…this little kid, he spun around at me and he snapped, 'Piss off, Miss.'
Of course, I immediately replied with, 'Excuse me. In this school we always use our best manners when we talk to teachers and adults. So what should we say then?'
And this little kid, well, he looked up at me all sheepish and he said, 'Well then, Miss, piss off, PLEASE.'

'To gain an understanding fo what underpins true, blue, fair dinkum, Aussie culture relax with Bill Swampy Marsh's Great Australian Outback School Stories. Childhood student experiences replete with vivid descriptions provide coluorful vignettes whilst teachers and parents add anecdotes and poignant memories. The pages teem with life and crackle with vibrant Aussie humour.'—Hazel Menehira

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The Complete Book of Australian Flying Doctor Stories

Cover Complete Book of Australian Flying Doctor Stories

Since its establishment in 1928 by the Reverend John Flynn, the Royal Flying Doctor Service has been providing essential medical care to people in remote and regional Australia. Tough, brave and passionate, the Flying Doctors have become an enduring symbol of what it means to be Australian. Bill 'Swampy' Marsh has spent many years travelling the outback, collecting stories and yarns from the doctors, nurses and pilots, as well as the people whose lives they have touched. Collected in one edition for the first time, The Complete Book of Australian Flying Doctor Stories features more that 180 stories of adventure and comedy, sadness and courage, that vividly bring to life the heart and soul of outback Australia.

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ABC Shop online or Booktopia

HarperCollinsPublishers (US)

Old Favourites

Great Australian Flying Doctor Stories

Great Australian Stories


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