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Ronnie Tasmanian Songman

Musician, storyteller and craftsman, Ronnie Summers recalls the freedom of growing up on Cape Barren Island and how the island’s music shaped his life. He draws on a childhood working the muttonbird islands, a ‘kangaroo court’ prison term as a bewildered teenager, and then turning to alcohol after the death of his baby son. Born an ‘Islander’—not Aboriginal, not white—Ronnie Summers was without race. This story documents his struggle for a place in his own country and echoes that of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. Includes a CD featuring Cape Barren Island music—a unique blend of Cajun, blues, country and folk.

Helen Gee

Helen Gee is an author and editor, and a founding member of The Wilderness Society in Tasmania. She spent her childhood at Westbury, and is widely recognised as one of Tasmania's leading conservationists and activists since the campaign to save...

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Ronnie Summers

Ronnie Summers is a descendant of the Trawl-wool-way and Palawa people of north east Tasmania. Born in 1944, he grew up on Cape Barren Island, one of the largest islands in the Furneaux Group in eastern Bass Strait. Like many...

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