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The Road from Coorain By Jill Ker Conway. The Plot Her childhood on a remote sheep station Her teenage years in a suburb of Sydney Her education at the.

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Presentation on theme: "The Road from Coorain By Jill Ker Conway. The Plot Her childhood on a remote sheep station Her teenage years in a suburb of Sydney Her education at the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road from Coorain By Jill Ker Conway

2 The Plot Her childhood on a remote sheep station Her teenage years in a suburb of Sydney Her education at the University of Sydney Her decision to become a historian and to leave Australia taking the route of America

3 Chapters The West Coorain Childhood Drought Schooling Finding the Southern Cross The Nardoo Stones Recharting the Globe The Right Country


5 Jill Ker Conway Born in Hillston, new South Wales, Australia in 1934 Her father is a sheep rancher Her mother was a nurse and now she is a homemaker She has two brothers, Bob and Barry

6 The West Descriptive image of Western Plains of New South Wales Vegetation and animals such as kangaroos, emus, wild dogs, parrots Major occupation: grazing flocks of sheep and cattle British based culture Habits for men (drinking, gambling) and for women (“worked over wood stoves and heated water for laundry”) In 1919 land was the traditional source of wealth. Ownership of land was also the principal source of status.

7 Coorain Mom- educated herself through reading. She never went to school. Father- scottish, orphan, grew up with his aunt and he started to work at the age of 16. Robert - older brother. He is born on the third year of their marriage Barry is born - second son. In 1930-take up a soldier settler’s block on the West Plain, which they called Coorain. Mom gets sick (benign uterine growth) and she is told to terminate the pregnancy, but she never did. Jill is born-unwanted and a risk for her mom. More assets-garage, shed, telephone line.

8 Childhood Became wealthy selling wool, which brought new comfort – water in their own yard Boys are sent to King’s School in Sydney She was alone-worked harder and longer She was educating herself reading everything within reach She became her father’s station hand-mustering sheep, check the state of fences, clean watering troughs Inquisitive-asking a lot of questions Childhood full of stimulation and interest Her contribution to the work mattered-her capacity was valued.

9 Drought Great rain in 1939 and no rain after that-made her father a different person (sad) Inadequate nourishment of the sheep – low income Death of her father – he was a poor swimmer and he drowned After his death, Jill’s mom denies selling Coorain (which was everybody’s expectation) She hires someone to take care of the place and run the business They move to Sydney in August 1945

10 Father’s Words “If anything happens to me, promise you will take care of your mother. Make her sell this place. Work hard Jill, don’t just waste time. MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF. Get a real education and get away from this damn country for good.”

11 Schooling Her mom rents a graceful house in the seaside suburb of Mosman She enrolls as a day student at Queenwood school She is shy, doesn’t know how to begin a conversation She has to obey certain rules Jill starts reading detective stories competing with her mom They move to the a different suburb and Jill goes to school where children make fun of her accent She goes to Abbotsleigh private school Bob dies in a car accident

12 Finding the Southern Cross Affected by his brother’s death Did well in school-vice president of her class Books were an escape for her Go in an eight-week cruise for Christmas- Ceylon Island Visits the Buddhist temples and sees Hindu wedding She loves poetry- Shakespeare sonnets Interested in reading and finding more about Australia’s history She decides to continue her studies “How could I tell this woman who lived for me that I did not want to live for her?”

13 The Nardoo Stones The Nardoo Stones 1959 enrolls to University of Sydney It was too overwhelming and she drops out and she gets a job She re-enters the University of Sydney and on her first year she finishes the first in History, earns distinction in English She asked questions nobody could answer She applies as a candidate for admission into the junior ranks of the Australian Department of External Affairs. She is denied because of her gender. She becomes a real professional historian and realizes that there is “no way to earn my freedom through merit.”

14 Recharting the Globe She wants to article as a law clerk, but she is rejected Jill and her mom travel to Europe where they visit England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy

15 The Right Country She takes a teaching assistantship in the History Department at the University of Sydney in Australian history Gives tutorials in European and British history She decides to leave Australia, therefore she goes to Coorain for the last time She is considered a “ real anomaly in the Sydney of the 1950’s” “no one of my generation knew what to make of me”



18 Presented by Andreea Amariei Thank you!

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