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OUTLAWS OF THE LEOPOLDS

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North West Australia - in the Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges, formerly known as the King Leopold Ranges between 1879 and 2020, is the setting for the story of Aboriginal leader Jandamarra and his fight again white invasion of his country. As the Sydney Morning Herald wrote in 1952:Jandamarra, who was also known as Pigeon, had been a blacktracker of great prowess in the Kimberleys before he suddenly turned against the whites. The tribes in his territory were classed as outstanding aboriginal types, and the gang he raised after killing a mounted constable in 1894 was formidable not only in numbers but in cunning and resourcefulness... (his) brilliant strategy, his coldly calculated opportunism, his use of interlocking cave-systems in the Leopolds for getaways, his courage and, above all, his remarkable ability to control his fellow-natives, presented threats beyond the capacity of local patrols to handle. Idriess suggests that if Jandamarra had had just a little more time in the early stages of his campaign to organise his forces, he might have succeeded in driving white men out of the Kimberleys altogether.
Ion Idriess (1889—1979) is one of Australia's best-loved writers, with fifty-six books to his credit and millions of copies sold. When he returned from the First World War he wrote The Desert Column, about his experiences with the 5th Light Horse. Prospecting for Gold was his first major successful work; it immediately sold out and was reprinted constantly in the following years, as were many of his books. Idriess spent much of his life travelling throughout Australia, collecting material for his true-life stories, including Flynn of the Inland, The Red Chief and Nemarluk. He was awarded the O.B.E. in 1968 for his contribution to Australian literature.
* A great story of the Western Australian Aboriginal leader Jandamarra and the Nor-West Mounted police a hundred years ago. * Fully illustrated.
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