The Arts

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Seven Seasons in Aurukun

A well-crafted memoir of a young woman who spends two years teaching at the school at Aurukun in Cape York paints a colourful picture of life in a remote Aboriginal community in the sweltering tropics.


‘There is so much I still don’t know, won’t ever understand. Things that mystify, astound, inspire and appal me about this place. But it’s under my skin now.’

Arriving in a tiny Aboriginal community in far north Queensland, Paula had little idea what to expect. Seven Seasons in Aurukun is her very personal story of teaching at the local school and making a life for herself in a challenging new world.

In the unrelenting tropical heat, she discovers there’s an immediacy and intensity in everything. From the mischievous children in her bilingual classroom to the local politics, nothing is quite what it seems.

“Seven Seasons in Aurukun is a must read for teachers, those committed to improving the state of Indigenous education in Australia, and for anyone who is interested in understanding the complexities of life in remote Australia.”

Professor Martin Mills, School of Education, The University of Queensland

About the Author

Paula Shaw has taught in schools in Brisbane, Sydney, Aurukun. She continues to work with indigenous youth issues.

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