Coming events cast shadows before
SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia
íT is the sunset of life gives me mystical
And coming events cast their shadows before.
- Thomas Campbell, Scottish poet (1777-1844).
Chapter 1 (c. 1890)
Arthur Hoey Davis (1868-1935), who had dropped out of Emu Creek School in
outback Queensland at the age of 12, wrote a series of skits about rowing,
published in the Brisbane Chronicle, using the pen-name Steele Rudder,
later shortened to Steele Rudd.
Chapter 2 (1895)
The Sydney Bulletin, which was Australiaís top literary magazine,
published the first of many accounts by Davis of life on his dadís outback
property, under the heading On Our Selection. The sketches, written
originally about different families, were presented as the experiences of the
Rudd family, by Steele Rudd.
The stories became so popular that in 1899 The Bulletin published an
illustrated collection, On Our Selection, followed by Our New
Selection in 1903.
In later years, Davis wrote 24 books and six plays and lived to see three
silent and four sound-film adaptations of his stories about Dad Rudd.
Chapter 3 (1940)
The Sydney film company Cinesound released one of a series of comedies about
the Rudd family, entitled Dad Rudd. M.P. [Member of Parliament].
Here's a review from
Your Movies website:
Dad Rudd M.P. - The final of the Cinesound 'Dad and Dave' series. Dad
Rudd decides to run for Parliament to protest the sitting M.P. who is using
his influence to control the water supply to the local farmers. However
Dad's daughter Ann Rudd is in love with the M.P.'s son, causing friction in
the Rudd household. Along the way there are laughs galore when Dave and the
rather delicate Mr Entwistle form their own volunteer fire brigade, and
devise some original strategies to counter their opponent who is out to
undermine Dad Rudd's election campaign.
Fast forward 66 years, to...
Chapter 4 (2006-2007)
The man widely tipped to become Prime Minister of Australia at this yearís
Federal election claimed that his mother had been evicted from the family farm
in Queensland after his dad died. Like the character in the 1940 film, today's
leading politician has made many speeches about Australia's water supply
By a mind-blowing one-in-a-zillion coincidence, showing how coming events
cast their shadows before, and that real life sometimes copies art, the
politicianís name is (drum roll, please) ... Kevin Rudd, M.P. He's Leader
of the Opposition and Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party... And
he's a Dad!
Kevin Rudd's father was a battling share-farmer in Eumundi, Queensland.
Kevin described his early days in a revealing Sunday Profile interview with
the ABC's Julia Baird, aired in March 2006.
Here are a few edited excerpts:
You grew up poor in the back blocks of Queensland. Whereabouts was
A little place called Eumundi. If you've ever drunk a brew called
Eumundi Lager, that's where I come from, Black Snake country it's
called... it's probably about 15 kilometres inland from Noosa. We had a
farm there, my father was a share farmer. We didn't own the property,
but as a kid growing up we had 500 acres to roam on, I had a horse, my
job was to go and get the cattle and I would toddle off to school. I
don't recall wearing shoes often, and that was an idyllic childhood
right to the end of my primary school days.
From observing you, a lot of people have said, "You'd never be able
to tell that you came from kind of outback Queensland." There's not as
much of the bushie about you ..... where did that rough and tumble go?
For people listening in Queensland they would probably not think
Eumundi is outback Queensland, it's only an hour and a half from Brissy
[Brisbane]. When I finished school I decided I wanted to go to
University. That was a bit unusual in those days from where I came from.
Your father was a dairy farmer who didn't finish primary school, your
mother never finished secondary school and it seems that your father was
hoping that you would stay on the land.
Yes, I remember actually sitting with my father on a horse one day...
I was sitting at the gate of the property and looking down the road
coming in from town and he said, "Well Kev, have you made up your mind
Like I'm about ten years old at this stage and I thought, "I'm not
sure what you mean Dad", and he said, "Well you're coming to that fork
in the road", and as a ten year old you look down the road and you see
no fork, you don't know what the hell he's talking about. He said, "No,
have you made up your mind - the big choices in life, is it going to be
beef or is it going to be dairy?"
Were you close to your father? I mean he died when you were only
eleven as you have said, it was because of a car crash and an infection
that developed some weeks later... that must have been difficult?
I think my father's death was difficult at an early age. Being
evicted actually was the harder bit. Because we were share farmers, we
didn't own the property, so bury Dad one day and get tossed off the
property virtually the next with nowhere to go and no assets, because
you don't own a house if you're a share farmer either.
My mother had been a nurse during the war in Brisbane and then in the
early 70s had to retrain as a nurse to bring us up, so she has semi-hero
status in my life.
You can read or listen to the whole of that very interesting interview by