This new book is a collection of life accounts from residents of Burnside Children's Homes in Sydney. This brave and stubbornly hopeful book was compiled by Kate Shayler, author of the award-winning The Long Way Home and its sequel, A Tuesday Thing.
Find out more about Kate and Burnished: click here.
Amber JohnsonHighgate Hill, Queensland
Two starry eyed travellers ventured ‘cross the pacific tides,
From the season’s fall in Nevada, to the blooms in Sydney-side.
They stepped off the plane at Mascot and took a train down to the Quay;
Their pupils dilated in wonder at the foreign sights they’d see.
The ‘Land Down Under,’ they regarded as an exotic grand motif,
With the splendours of the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef,
The Opera House was a substantial architectural feat.
Mouth-watering fantasies were had of the peculiar delicacies they’d eat.
Snickered to himself, and distributed spiked metal caps.
‘Sir, why must we wear these?’ Asked the wanderer with red hair
‘To protect yourself, Ma’am,’ he scoffed, ‘From those nasty drop-bears.’
The tourists were confused; the guide, as serious as a heart attack,
Said ‘The lion is the king of the jungle - the drop-bear; king of the Outback.
Such vicious little critters that launch on unsuspecting prey,
The only other repel known to man is to piss in ya boot, they say.’
The pair were reluctant, yet convinced the guide was sincere,
And as the laughing stock of locals, strutted, caps and all, down to the pier.
‘Oi, you bloody touro’s!’ Called a grinning man with a wave;
The wife gasped at the man’s crudeness, as he called the tour guide a knave.
‘He’s pullin’ ya leg!’ he scoffed and introduced himself as Mike
‘C’mon, I’ll show you,’ he insisted, ‘what us tru-blu Aussies are like.’
He took them to a pub, where everyone was loud, boisterous and rowdy.
These were men who bought ‘shouts’ of drinks, and drove Holden utes, not Audis.
The red-haired woman seemed uncomfortable at being called a ‘ranga sheila’
When she heard them order some ‘tucker’, she feared that they might be dealers.
The room roared with laughter at her concern, men enquired ‘fair dinkum?’
‘Bloody oath, they are!’ yelled Mike, ‘Crack a tinnie and let ‘em sink them.’
The travellers were bewildered by all these strange, foreign terms.
A can of beer was thrust forth; the odour made stomachs churn;
‘Is this what you call a ‘tinnie’?’ The husband asked his Aussie peers.
The response received was a surge of ‘Scull it!’ shouts and cheers.
‘I am afraid we must be leaving!’ the tourists said as they backed towards the door
Fleeing in a quickstep, Audrey gasped ‘Australian men are such boars!’
‘We may not be to your liking,’ They yelled at the Americans, rather loud
‘But we all have a fair go ‘cause we’re Aussies and we’re fuckin’ proud!’