While it is not a particularly great sign, I do like the perspective of this photograph, and it means something.


The Rabbit Proof Fence, the State Vermin Fence, and the Emu Fence, is a pest exclusion fence constructed between 1901 and 1907 to keep rabbits and other agricultural pests, from the east, out of Western Australia pastoral areas.  As part of three fences, it stretches for 2023 miles, the longest one being 1,139 miles, the longest unbroken fence in the world in 1907.

Why it interested me, was it was also featured in a book called Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence1996) which was made into a film in 2002. It is based on a true story concerning the author’s mother, as well as two other mixed race Aboriginal girls, who ran away from the Moore River Native Settlement, north of Perth, Western Australia, to return to their Aboriginal families, after having been placed there in 1931. The film follows the Aboriginal girls as they walk for nine weeks along 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of the Australian rabbit-proof fence to return to their community at Jigalong, while being pursued by white law enforcement authorities and an Aboriginal tracker. (Wikipedia)

The land in Australia is so flat at certain points, including where I took the picture, that it looks like the fence extends to the end of the earth, it disappears into the horizon as far as your eyes can see.


The stories of the Stolen Generations are very sad and you can still see a lot of pain in the faces of many Australian Aboriginals.  It sometimes broke my heart to look at their faces. To my eyes, many of them still appear to be lost.  Our towns, cities and societies seem alien to them.  They still appear to carry the suffering of their ancestors, who were at best forced to work for white men, at worst raped or killed, or their children taken away to so-called Christian settlements.  Many of these people have no sense of identity, they have not really been taught their traditional tribal identity, they are not largely accepted or feel that they can be accepted into white Australian identities, they struggle with language, many of them have drug, alcohol and violence issues.  This is not true of all of them, there are many who have become very successful, there are many strong, respected elders who are trying to preserve their native histories and customs.  I hope they find themselves again, and that their culture and traditions survive, as well as their blood lines.




Signs: The Rabbit Proof Fence

3 thoughts on “Signs: The Rabbit Proof Fence

  1. Pingback: Playground to classroom, via Kathmandu and Bethlehem! | readsbyredriverbanks

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