The Weilmoringle Kid is a city youth just out of college dispatched at the whim of government to Weilmoringle, a drought-and-fly-ridden sheep station in the Australian Outback.
Overwhelmed by the heat, dust and flies and the prospect of enduring three years in the desolate environment, the kid strives to give the pioneer assignment a ‘fair go’. His first task is to build a school! Seventeen students appear on opening day, mostly Aboriginal children with no previous learning. There are no desks, book, blackboards, chalk, paper or supplies of any kind. There has never been electricity – and it hasn’t rained at Weilmoringle for two years. Within weeks, the enrolment swells to fifty-seven, children from five years in age to fifteen.
This is an autobiography that reads like an adventure novel, an inspiring story of resiliency with a good dose of Aussie humour at work; a story of a young man’s efforts to gain a surer sense of identity and independence. The characters are unconventional, from the postman who masterminds the advent of public education to the twelve-year-old Aboriginal boy in school for the first time and determined to depart some lessons of his own to induce the teacher to stay.
“Pettit has a fine sense of shape and prose style as fresh and strong as anyone could hope for. I expect to worry about those kids for awhile.” Jack Hodgins.
“A gem of a book, one written with all the humour and wit of a Stephen Leacock novel.” The Saanich News.