Billabong Dreaming

An Australian Adventure

Brian Jones

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ISBN: 0-942444-05-1, 96 pages, paper, 4.25 x 7, $4.99

The story in Billabong Dreaming is fiction but could easily have occurred in modern-day Australia. It is the story of a young man in search of his true calling. On his journey, Billy meets an old man who teaches him the ways of ancient Aboriginal Dreamtime.

A Dreaming is a native totem that people are born into. Each Dreaming has a story that goes with it that is sung into a Songline. By following the directions within the song, a person can make their way through some of the harshest environments on earth.

Billy discovers that his personal Dreaming is that of a billabong, an estuary from which water emerges. He learns that his thoughts can flow like the water issuing forth from the billabong. Gaining the courage to follow his dream, Billy takes bold new steps toward a brilliant future.


In the mid 1970s a woman named Rebecca Rollins moved from Sydney, Australia to a small town called Kuranda, which is on the same continent but more than a thousand miles to the north, in Queensland. At that time Rebecca had just graduated from the university in Sydney with a degree in psychology and an emphasis on the behavioral studies of Australian Aborigines. As Kuranda was close to the tribal territories of the Tjapukai, and with money she obtained through federal grants, she went north to write an essay on the behavior of the Tjapukai.

Twenty years later, in 1994, Rebecca Rollins had long since written that essay for the appreciation of a nearly nonexistent audience. She had applied for more grant money but had not even received a reply from the school board. It didn't matter much to Rebecca, because she had been so taken in by the Tjapukai that she hardly needed the government money to get by. She was young and beautiful, and she disregarded her professional ethics by falling in love with a handsome but older tribal member named Jim. Jim was a popular name for aborigine men of Jim's age.

Jim and Rebecca had a son named Douglas. In 1994 Doug was seventeen years old. Doug grew up in Kuranda, and Kuranda grew up with Doug. The small village that Rebecca had moved to when she graduated had become a boutique-town, a high-priced outlet for the tourist attraction that the aborigine culture had become.

It was a pretty comfortable life for Rebecca, Jim, and Doug. She had a private practice as a therapist and family counselor, but she also had a profitable secondhand store. Strange and rare antique clothing and jewelry made its way in and out of Kuranda, and a lot of it went through Rebecca's store. Jim had taken on more and more of the tribal responsibilities over the years and had become a community leader.

The tourist industry was not altogether bad for Kuranda. It brought a lot of revenue to the area, and it afforded an exchange of cultures. The Tjapukai built a dance theater where they showcased their traditional tribal dances in an attempt to convey their mythology of Dreamtime to the masses that arrived daily on tour buses. Douglas had started dancing for the theater when he was very young and had evolved to become one of their most prominent luminaries.

Around noon on a warm day in January, 1994, Doug was hanging around outside of the theater, already dressed for his performance. He liked to mingle with the audience and feel their appreciation and admiration. Doug noticed a young, white boy who didn't look like he belonged with the tourist crowd. The boy had the look of a hobo about him, a rather hand-to-mouth appearance that spoke of the outback - like one who travels the bushman's fabled tucker track in a perpetual search for the next meal.

Pelican Pond Publishing (an imprint of Blue Dolphin Publishing), 1996

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