Wakefield Press is an independent book publishing company based in Adelaide, South Australia.


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Behind the Wall

The Women of the Destitute Asylum Adelaide, 1852-1918

Mary Geyer

Behind the Wall is a compelling social history, which provides an insight into Adelaide's Destitute Asylum and the women who experienced life behind its walls. ...
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Servants Depots in Colonial South Australia

Marie Steiner

Marie Steiner's Servants Depots in Colonial South Australia is a fascinating account of a little-known period in South Australian history.

In 1855 the colony of South Australia experienced 'excessive female immigration', with large numbers of single females arriving from the British Isles to work as servants. When an economic downturn led to a shortage of domestic help positions, the Colonial Government was moved to establish servants' depots around South Australia to house them. The book details the day-to-day running of these depots, and reveals much about the attitudes towards women in colonial South Australia. ...
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Memoirs of Mixed Fortunes

Samuel Joseph Stuckey, a pioneer of the north and south east of South Australia, 1837-1912

Mary Louise Simpson

In 1837, mere months after proclamation, Samuel Joseph Stuckey was born in the state of South Australia. Despite evidence to the contrary, he would claim to be the first native-born South Australian for the rest of his life, and his fortunes would mirror those of the fledgling state. ...
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Memoirs of Mixed Fortunes
The Fierce Country

True stories from Australia's unsettled heart, 1830 to today

Stephen Orr

The open spaces and isolated places outside Australia's cities have unsettled us from first European settlement to today - often with very good reason.

In this nail-biting book combining the notorious and little-known, acclaimed author Stephen Orr has collected true stories that have shaped and continue to haunt the Australian psyche: mysteries, disappearances, mistreatment and murder.

Fatal conflicts between an Aboriginal tracker and the police employers hunting his community. An itinerant conman picking up tips for the perfect murder from a famous novelist around a campfire on the Rabbit-Proof Fence. And that fateful day when Peter Falconio pulled over beside a desert highway. ...
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The Fierce Country
Those Wild Rabbits

How they shaped Australia

Bruce Munday

A century ago Australia was home to 10 billion rabbits, thriving in their adopted home. Storyteller Bruce Munday finds the rabbit saga irresistible - the naive hopes of the early settlers, the frustration, environmental damage, cost to agriculture, dreams shattered, and the lessons learned and ignored. ...
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Dear Grandpa, Why?

Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima

John L. Read

Edward Tompson Mobsby, father of twin baby girls, volunteered for war service and was shot down by the Japanese in New Guinea in 1942. John Read's quest for an apology for the death of his grandfather took him and his family from suburban Australia to a startling discovery in the mighty Owen Stanley Ranges, and on to Hiroshima.

John learned about Miyuki, a Japanese woman who had also taken her mother to New Guinea to answer questions about her grandfather's death. When they eventually met in Osaka, their long conversations brought understanding, reconciliation and, almost, forgiveness. And, critically, revealed the value of cross-cultural dialogue in helping spare future generations from the despair and waste of international conflict.
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Dear Grandpa, Why?
The People's Poet Transformed

Geoff Goodfellow, Rebecca Bond

'The People's Poet Transformed is a gem of a book positioned beautifully to engage young people with language so that they see how powerful literature can be created out of everyday life, deeply and sensitively observed. Road-tested by teachers, it encourages students to become creators of ideas and texts and to use language to transform both texts and their own view of themselves as people with stories worth hearing.' - Garry Costello, Former secondary principal, English teacher and Chief Education Officer for DECD, South Australia
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The People's Poet Transformed
Master of Stillness

Jeffrey Smart

Barry Pearce

Master of Stillness illuminates the vision of the most celebrated of Australian expatriate artists, from his beginnings in Adelaide until his last major composition painted in Italy, where he lived for five decades until his death in 2013. ...
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Bush Mechanics

From Yuendumu to the world

Mandy Paul, Michelangelo Bolognese

Cars are a central feature of life in remote Aboriginal communities. Far from spare parts and sophisticated tools, bush mechanics keep cars running with what is available in the bush, including mulga wood, spinifex and sand. And while the increasing complexity of modern cars poses a challenge, even today the best tool available to travellers in Central Australia is the ingenuity of the bush mechanic. ...
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Bush Mechanics
And My Heart Crumples Like a Coke Can

Ali Whitelock

Raw and beautiful and completely devoid of pretension, Ali Whitelock's poems will speak to anyone who's ever messed up, been confused, wished they'd done things differently; to anyone who's had an affair and regretted it, who's been loved completely but was too blind to see it. ...
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And My Heart Crumples Like a Coke Can
Port Lincoln's Bartolomeo (Bob) Puglisi

Celebrating 50 Years of Prawn Fishing in South Australia

Bartolomeo Puglisi, Musharella Puglisi, Rhondda Harris

Here is a truly Australian celebration of establishing a new prawn industry in South Australia.

It is a story of hardship and survival, of a man who strove to get ahead, to look after his families and to succeed.
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Port Lincoln's Bartolomeo (Bob) Puglisi
Images of the Interior

Seven Central Australian photographers

Philip Jones

During the half-century from the 1890s to the 1940s, the theme of the 'bush' emerged as a formative element in a new Australian identity. Assumptions about the Central Australian frontier and its people - black and white - then hardened into stereotypes that still affect our perceptions of this country. The photographs in this book, from the rich collections of the South Australian Museum, take us behind those stereotypes, to the reality of the frontier itself. ...

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Images of the Interior