The wide red country round Bourke on the Darling is Paul’s patch and even though he’s explored it for forty years or more, it still surprises him. That’s mostly because it’s story-rich. And it’s not just local yarns either – there are stories there that will knock your socks off. Explorers, poets, bushrangers, cameleers, riverboat captains, and a host of plain folk are ready to tell us extraordinary things about our own country that we would never have realised.
Join Paul as he takes a group of travellers on a journey of a lifetime in their own backyard. #D2B2020
‘What’s your story?’ I asked Rob over the evening meal of pork and vegetables. He stared at me for a moment and then replied, ‘I haven't got one.’ Then he added after a pause, ‘Or rather, I don't get asked!’
Later, our husky Tongan host Bruno, told the tour group that one of the reasons he began Tradies Insight was precisely to help his Australian mates that he worked with in Dubbo, to open up, not to tell just yarns, but stories about the stuff that's tearing them and their families apart. As the tour group listened to Bruno and and his wife Jo spell out the moving narrative of their own journey, they knew this was storytelling with grunt.
And so our pilgrimage to Bourke began. Wiradjuri elder and poet Frank Doolan had already opened the eyes and the hearts of our visitors to the untold story of pioneer civil rights campaigner Bill Ferguson. His new bronze statue stands in the city centre, challenging all comers to stand up for justice in this country. Frank echoed his call with tears and passionate poetry. We did more than take a selfie - we stood side by side with Bill, proud of his faith and courage.
The rain didn't spoil our communion. Homegrown stories are already knitting our group together. We already have new heroes - Australian men and women of faith.
Join The Outback Historian, Paul Roe, on an unforgettable journey into Australia's Past as he follows the footprints of the Master Storyteller and uncovers unknown treasures of the nation.