A charming story of a time long-gone and the struggles of a young man with his first teaching assignment in a village at the back of beyond.
- Allen & Unwin
- Publish Date
- August 2020
In 1960, newly minted teacher Peter O'Brien started work as the only teacher at a bush school in Weabonga, two days' travel by train and mail car from Armidale. Peter was only 20 years old and had never lived away from his home in Sydney. He had had some teaching experience, but nothing to prepare him for the monumental challenge of being solely responsible for the education of 18 students, ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old. With few lesson plans, scant teaching materials, a wide range of curious minds and ages to prepare for, Peter was daunted by the enormity of the task ahead. Because of Weabonga's remoteness, the students were already at a disadvantage, but they were keen and receptive and had been blessed with an enthusiastic and committed teacher. Indeed it was the children and their thirst for learning who kept Peter afloat during the early days of shockingly inadequate living conditions, a deficient diet and the terrible loneliness he felt being isolated so far from family, friends and his burgeoning romance.