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Great Australian Volunteer Firies Stories

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The devastating 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires threw the importance of our volunteer firefighters into sharp focus. But these brave men and women don't just step up to protect life and property in fires; they are also there to help in road accidents, plane crashes, natural disasters like cyclones and floods - and, yes, they even rescue pets that have got themselves into strife.

In this collection of first-hand stories, ranging from the 1880s to 2020, our courageous volunteer firies take us right up to the frontlines and reveal the stark realities of the dangers they face to keep our communities safe.

This book serves as a tribute to the thousands of volunteer firies across Australia who roll up their sleeves and selflessly put their lives on the line to assist their fellow human beings.

'Dear Bill, I am really enjoying the Firies anecdotes. I thought you did a really good job with my story considering all the bullsh*t you were presented with in the first place.'

Great Australian Volunteer Firies Stories was released in 2021.

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Great Australian Volunteer Firies Stories

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Great Australian Outback Yarns Volume 1

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A collection of the funniest yarns and most colourful characters from the bestselling 'Great Australian Stories' series from beloved storyteller Bill 'Swampy' Marsh.

When he'd finished playing, a solemn silence fell as Brian and the gravediggers stared down into that three-quarter-filled hole. 'I must apologise,' Brian said to the two men, 'this's the first time I've played at a pauper's funeral, and I'm a bit emotional.'

'Well,' said one of the diggers, sniffling back the tears, 'it's the first time we've ever had a piper play at one of our septic tank installations.'

The Australian Outback can be harsh, but it's the kind of place where you either learn to laugh off your troubles or fold under the pressure.

Bill 'Swampy' Marsh has a deep affection and respect for people living in the Australian Bush, and he's spent more than twenty years travelling to every corner of our wide brown land, talking to people from all walks of life, collecting their memories and stories.

Great Australian Outback Yarns captures the funniest tales from Swampy's many books in one volume. The colourful characters in these pages are full of generosity, humour and a larrikin Aussie spirit. These true stories of life in remote and regional Australia from Australia's master storyteller will leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Victor Times—'Bill is one of the literary geniuses on the Fleurieu Peninsula and captures the heart and meaning of the bush with every stroke of his pen. These true stories of life in remote and regional Australia, from Australia's master storyteller, will leave you grinning from ear to ear.'—Michael Simmons

2GB 873AM—'It's a collection of great Aussie tales. Some of them are tall, well they're meant to be all true stories, but you never know with great Aussie storytellers! Full of characters who are colourful, and they do capture the Aussie spirit...It's a wonderful book!'—Deborah Knight

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Great Australian Outback Trucking Stories

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Big Rigs Newspaper—'What a brilliant collection of stories. I'm in awe of the work that must have gone into pulling it all together.'—James Graham, Editor

Gold Coast Bulletin—'Marsh knows how to spin a yarn'

Whether they're carting produce, stock, fuel, or even (unbeknown to them) dead bodies, there's one thing that can be said about outback truckies—they're a colourful bunch.

Meet the outback truckies who brave interminable distances, searing heat, raging floodwaters and foot-deep bulldust to transport goods and livestock all across this vast land, serving as lifelines not just to those in the bush but those in cities as well.

From the truckie who found a creative means of transporting penguins, to the one who refused to 'abandon ship' as his truck sank into a river, these real-life accounts show the lengths to which these enterprising and resourceful men and women will go to ensure their load arrives safely at their destination.

Bill 'Swampy' Marsh is an award-winning writer and performer of stories, songs and plays. He spent most of his youth in rural south-western NSW and now lives in Adelaide. Swampy is one of ABC Books' bestselling authors of Australian stories; this is his nineteenth book.

'Many, many, thanks. You made a great job of my small contribution. I'm in awe of the understanding you gleaned from our chat.'—Ted Beggs

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HarperCollins Publishers (AU) (Pbk/ Ebk)
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Great Australian Outback Trucking Stories

Sample audio

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Great Australian Bush Funeral Stories

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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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Booktopia (Pbk/ Ebk)
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Apple Books (Ebk)

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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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Collins Booksellers (Pbk)

Sample audio

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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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Collins Bookseller (Pbk )

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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.'

Order from
Dymocks (Pbk/ Ebk/ CD)
Booktopia (Pbk/ Ebk/ CD)

Sample audio

Audiobook
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Old Favourites

Great Australian Flying Doctor Stories

Great Australian Stories

Novels


If you would like to order personally signed
books or CDs then
contact Bill 'Swampy' Marsh.

 

Email Swampy