Some Light reading
COMO self-published author Dave Goddard has just released his latest novel, Turn on a Light, about nine Aboriginal children who mysteriously die at the site of a former gold-mining town.
COMO author Dave Goddard recently made the leap from teacher and researcher to novelist, selfpublishing three books in three years.
The latest publication hit the stands a couple of weeks ago, titled Turn on a Light.
It features nine Aboriginal children under the age of five who mysteriously die in a small community on the site of a former gold-mining town.
This statistic seemed to bother only the Catholic missionaries who supported the community.
Robbie Fairfax, a road-train driver turned teacher, walks into the eye of a political storm when his efforts in 1974 to uncover the cause of these deaths put him at odds with the government, regional Catholics, local media and his education superiors.
All three of Goddard’s books take snippets of his own background as a teacher in remote communities and transposes these experiences into different decades and places across WA.
The value of his work to build understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people is apparent now perhaps more than ever, in light of the Royal Commission in the Northern Territory and the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
Goddard established publishing company Piccadilly Press for his latest book, and runs a change management business heavily reliant on a “Walk Together” model.
“The fear that people have is a fear created by difference but underneath they are the same as you; they may have different priorities,” he said, using the example of family trumping school if there is an urgent need in an Aboriginal community.
His first book, Hiding Place, is set in the future – in 2017 – and is about a fictitious riot in Alice Springs.
Goddard realised his focus on research was constraining his desire for flair when his PhD supervisor said he was not a “normal” PhD student.
He set out to write Life on a Ferris Wheel, which has still not been published because it was perhaps too close to home, and could identify too many people.
Vignettes of this book have been published as short stories on his website.
The Goddard family is not short on creativity, with wife Karen working closely with Dave to edit the books. Her cousin mentored Goddard as he made the transition to author.
Mrs Goddard operates a speech and drama school from their home, their son Drew is a guitarist for Perth band Karnivool and son Paul is an actor and voice-over specialist.
Copies of Turn on a Light are available from The Well in Applecross, The Millpoint Caffe Bookshop in South Perth, and Loose Produce in Como. Visit www.aussieyarns.com. eBooks are available through Amazon.
Author Dave Goddard with his wife Karen. Picture: Marie Nirme