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Downside Up

"You must treat your men as men, not as creatures of a lower grade. You must not be afraid to be unpopular. I would sooner command a hundred men with their tails up than a thousand men with their tails down." Major General Leslie Morshead, Australian Infantry Forces, 1947 As the country's largest form of government income, mining revenue is keeping Australia out of international debt. So, it's catastrophic when Australia's biggest mining company, Arangnulla, announces its impending financial collapse. There are two potential mine sites that could prevent receivership, both located in unknown territories near Aboriginal and African indigenous tribes. The ventures are a huge gamble, the risks astronomical and the cost gigantic. But the company's board has no choice but to move forward with the projects, and quickly. Arangnulla chair Shayne Ballantine has not led on projects of this scale before. He trusts his instincts when, despite receiving contrary advice, he decides to train and employ indigenous people to work the mines. This pays dividends, and not just for Arangnulla. Shayne's faith in these people plays a significant role in dispelling a millennium of hatred and mistrust between indigenous and white people, both in Australia and overseas.
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About the Author

Ron Prehn Palmer was born in Port Lincoln, South Australia. He gained a medical degree at the University of Melbourne and served an internship at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania, and later achieved a specialist qualification from Flinders University, Adelaide, in 1994. Ron is married to Dianne and they reside at Cashmere, outer suburb of Brisbane, Queensland. They have two children: Zane, a Quantity Surveyor and Lauren, a Podiatrist. Ron's early medical career involved research, helping to develop the initial antivenin for Cubomedusae Fleckeri with Dr Jack Barnes; he became the first to administer this treatment in a patient. With Dr Barnes, he discovered Irukandji, Cubomedusae Barnesi, the world's most toxic creature. During working on the Bass Strait offshore oil fields in Victoria, he was the first person to use `Oxygen Washout Therapy' for the diver's bends. He has published 76 medical papers and was editor of three international medical journals, the first published book was a medical text, Guidelines to Neurological Rehabilitation. Ron lectured at Brisbane University and Flinders University, and was elected as vice-president to the International Federation of Musculoskeletal/Manual Medicine in 1998, and as Secretary/General in 2002. He retired from active medicine in 2006. Current activities include yachting, golf, hunting and writing. Ron has competed in five Brisbane/Gladstone yacht races. He is also a former Himalayan mountaineer and marathon competitor, achieving second three times in the Gold Coast Marathon veteran division.

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