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Paula Shaw recounts her experiences of two years teaching at the school at Aurukun in Cape York. She paints a colourful picture of life in a remote Aboriginal community in the sweltering tropics. With the place itself as much of a character as her colleagues, the traditional owners and the eccentric whitefellas who congregate in faraway places, it is a taste of the intensity of relationships in a small community.

Seven Seasons in Aurukun also offers an insight into the everyday realities of alcoholism, violence and welfare dependency in Aboriginal communities, and the struggle to make a difference in the face of such chronic problems. Yet we also see the persistence efforts of community leaders to improve their circumstances and maintain culture, and the small achievements that make the difference between survival and going under.

Seven Seasons in Aurukun is the runner up to the 2007 Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues.

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