THE BOOKS

 

I am a research author specialising in the history, heritage and contribution of the Australian Afghan Cameleers ( 1860 - 1930), regularly collaborating with Afghan Cameleer descendants across Australia.  Although my research is founded on a range of secondary sources ( eg archives, news papers,), it is enriched by conversations with descendants across Australia.

 

IN THE TRACKS OF THE CAMELMEN

ISBN- 1740083598

In the Tracks of the Camelmen describes how, for over fifty years, camels acted as a lifeline for the inland regions. With their Indian and Afghan drivers, they forged new paths across the heart of Australia. Camel strings brought stores, mail, building materials and fodder to the isolated settlement and returned to the coast with produce for local and overseas markets. 

Many camelmen were Moslems, so they built mosques, they prepared their meat in the way their religion required and they kept their wives out of sight. This way of life, so alien to most Australians, was an integral part of outback life in years gone by.This is the first book to trace the history of the Afghan and Indian camel drivers in Australia. It paints a vivid picture of the camelmen, their families and communities, their way of life and, of course, their camels. And it records their crucial contribution to the opening up of this continent and to Australia's growth, development and prosperity.

Linden Girl

ISBN-13:9781875560257 / ISBN-10:1875560254

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In 1926, Aboriginal elders gave permission for Lallie Matbar, a young woman of the 'Linden mob', to marry Jack Akbar, an Afghan cameleer. Under the Aboriginal Act of 1905, however, their relationship was illegal. From 1926 to 1928, Jack, armed with character references attesting to his reliable standing in the community, repeatedly petitioned the Western Australian government for permission to marry the woman he loved. Despite Jack's efforts, the government t only denied that permission, but sought to hunt the couple down and separate them forever. Linden Girl is the astonishing true story of two outlawed lives - a tale of escape from persecution in the hands of misguided, over-zealous government authorities, providing a chilling reminder of a shameful chapter in the social and political history of Australia. Institutional internment, flight to South Australia, arrest and extradition, deplicity and harassment; suffering a lifetime of scrutiny, the file on the irrepressible Lallie Matbar was only closed by her death in 1970

Beltana and beyond 

ISBN- 9780646588292 / 064658829X

The far north of South Australia between Parachilna and Marree was serviced by Beltana in 1870s before the birth of the northern rail towns in 1881. The history of Beltana and its pastoral district of the northern Flinders Rangers is one of immigrants building pastoral empires and transport and mining companies, making hard-earned opportunities to reconstruct lives and careers in an alien, harsh land and to establish roots for new families. In those years of travelling with several small children, the remoteness tested characters and cost lives as some never made it to their original destination. Most found happiness and satisfaction they may not have achieved in their mother countries. What can we in the twenty-first century learn from all the voices of the past?" 

 

2015 -INCLUDES UPDATED & PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN RESEARCH ON CAMELEERS