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


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Bush Mechanics

Edited by Mandy Paul and 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.

Bush Mechanics first screened on the ABC in 2001, starring young Warlpiri men, rusty old cars and the Australian outback. It was a hit. Funny, ingenious and sometimes confronting, Bush Mechanics was filmed in and around Yuendumu, one of the largest Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. The stories centred around cars, but provided broader insights into contemporary Aboriginal life and culture.

This book explores the history and the continuing appeal of Bush Mechanics.

Mandy Paul is the director of the Migration Museum, a museum of the History Trust of South Australia, and has previously worked in museums around Australia and in the United Kingdom. She has a long history of working in Aboriginal Australia, which began when she was native title historian at the Central Land Council, Alice Springs.

Michelangelo Bolognese is a senior curator at the National Motor Museum, and has previously worked at the British Museum and London Fire Brigade Museum.

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Close to the Flame

Richard Davis

Stuart Challender was the most talented Australian conductor of his generation, acclaimed in his homeland and beginning to build an international career in Europe and America when he died at the age of forty-four.
After twelve years of study and work in European opera houses, he returned home to join Opera Australia. He was taken up by the ABC and appointed artistic director and chief conductor of our leading orchestra, the Sydney Symphony. He was also a great champion of the music of contemporary Australian composers and responsible for the premieres of many important Australian works. Just as invitations to conduct renowned international orchestras began to flow in, Stuart was diagnosed with AIDS.
His final years, as he struggled to continue to make glorious music while disease ravaged his body, and his decision to become Australiaís first celebrity to go public about his condition bring Stuartís story to a moving conclusion. It is an inspiring story of courage in adversity.

Richard Davis is an internationally acclaimed writer specialising in biographies. Close to the Flame: The life of Stuart Challender is the latest in a series devoted to the lives of famous Australian musicians. Previous titles include Wotanís Daughter: The life of Marjorie Lawrence, published by Wakefield Press, and biographies of pianists Geoffrey Parsons and Eileen Joyce. These have enjoyed international critical success and earned Richard the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Award for the Arts. Richard is also the author of some lighter books including the popular Great Australian Ghost Stories. He also teaches creative writing.

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Those Dry-stone Walls

Bruce Munday with photos by Kristin Munday

Beautiful stone was nature's gift to South Australia, and an irresistible building material for early settlers. Many stone walls, without mortar or with no more than mud as glue, have defied gravity and the elements all these years. Or did gravity combine with deft balance to sustain them?

Join Bruce and Kristin Munday as they traverse South Australia in search of these walls, finding historic masterpieces and insights into rural life in the years following settlement. Those Dry-stone Walls is rich with beautiful imagery of these walls, the stories behind them, and advice to inspire you to follow in the footsteps of our early settlers and start building your own.

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