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In accordance with Aboriginal custom and protocol, I pay respect to the Elders and descendants both past and present who are custodians of the Australian lands on which I have lived and worked.
Naturally, an Australian story like this requires that I talk to the people who live on the country of this story, and I am deeply indebted to those who spoke to me and helped me. My profound thanks to Catherine Faulkner, a woman of the Anaiwan Nation, for her expert guidance on birthing practices, and for her help in ensuring respect for traditional knowledge and cultural practices. My thanks also to Cleonie Quayle, a Maljangapa woman of the Pooncarie Paakantj nation, and to Lorina Barker, a descendant of the Wangkumara and Muruwari people of Bourke, Weilmoringle and Brewarrina in north-western NSW. I salute Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert, a woman of the Wiradjuri Nation, from whom I have learnt so much, and thank her from the bottom of my heart for her cultural guidance, her gentle suggestions and her keen eye.