It's the summer of 1969 and young Willie's life revolves around the idyllic old pearling port Broome, northern Western Australia – fishing, hanging out with his mates and, when he can, his girl Rosie. However, his mother Theresa has great hopes for him and sends him back to the religious mission in Perth for further schooling. After being punished by Father Benedictus for an act of youthful rebellion, Willie runs away from the mission. But to where – he's too ashamed to go home, it will break his mother's heart. Down on his luck, he meets an old fella whom he calls 'Uncle' Tadpole, and together they con a couple of hippies, Annie and Slippery, into taking them on the 2500 km journey back to Broome. Willie learns the hard and funny lessons he needs to get home, all the while pursued by Father Benedictus. Arriving back in Broome, Willie wins the girl, convinces his mother that Broome is the place he should be and discovers that the father he never knew he had is his companion all along – Uncle Tadpole.
This study guide is aimed at middle and upper secondary school levels, with relevance to English, Media Studies, Drama, Music, Indigenous Studies, History, SOSE/HSIE, Personal and Interpersonal Development, and Cultural Studies.
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