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Michael Chambers arrived by boat from New Zealand in 1969. He started as a jackaroo on outback NSW station Mount Manara, and his experiences over the next few years provided the background for the Tom Duncan story in the book. A fight with a Brahman bull in western Queensland (which he lost) provoked a new career with BHP merchandising companies in NSW. In 1989 he packed his wife, five kids and a dog into a truck and van and headed for the Northern Territory. He was State Operations Manager until a lifetime love of Aboriginal people culminated in a four years relationship with the Yolgnu people of Arnhemland. He took a group of thirty Elcho Islanders on a memorable trip to Egypt and Israel. For fifteen years he owned and ran the iconic fishing and camping shops, HAPPY MICKS OUTDOOR TERRITORY. The name was chosen by kids from the island. He was a successful internet entrepreneur in the early years of the century. On selling out in 2010, the whole family moved to Mildura, on the picturesque Murray River. (That's five kids and eleven grandchildren!) WALKING AMONG THE STARS was conceived while on a long walk after a nostalgic trip to Ivanhoe NSW following a forty years absence. Michael lives in Mildura, surrounded by his large family. He and wife Aileen both retired at age seventy, she from over twenty-five years in aged and palliative care, Michael from a long stint in retail.
I read this book on Australia Day, it was a wet day and with all
the debate in our media about Australia Day I was a little down.
Because of the disruption of Covid19 in our lives I had not read a
book for nearly 12 months, I picked up Walking Among the Stars and
started to read, and could not put it down, I cried, I laughed and
I cried. Prior to Covid19 I was an avid reader and have purchased
and read over 3000 books on my Kindle. Walking Among the Stars is
an important book and should be on every reading list in every
school. It tells the real story of this great country without any
political bias, I understand this is Michaels first book, it is not
perfect, some part were a little slow and I still could not put it
down, Australia Day was the perfect day to read Walking Among the
StarsDavid Langworthy, Melbourne
.I am very impressed with this book. It takes me back to when I was a young man. Many of the stories told here are either mine or from my people. This book needs to be widely read, so that both young and old will realise what this country is all about. I believe it will explain a lot about what happened.Roy Kennedy, Ngiyampaa Elder Ivanhoe NSW "A Thorn Birds-esque type story of generations and what tied them together, images perfectly painted of the harsh Australian land and the people connected to it. I felt the sadness and the struggles as well as the triumphs. A wonderful depiction of outback life. A thoroughly enjoyable read that I could not put down." Lauren Droffelaar, from Mildura, Victoria.
"A magnificent historical novel for anyone who enjoys early histories in the Australian outback, a terrific read." Adrienne Spencer, from Perth, Western Australia