Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) is inviting all residents to join local author Deborah Wheeler as she introduces her new children’s book My Pop was a Kangaroo Anzac at Warwick Library on Friday 2 November.

At the event, Deborah will discuss how she came to write the book with Southern Downs residents. The Regional Arts Development Fund helped fund the project which tells the story of William James Wheeler as he participated in the Kangaroo March, a journey many young men undertook in 1915 to enlist in World War 1.

Starting in Wagga Wagga and ending in Sydney, the march spanned more than 550 kilometres through hot sun, drenching rain and sleeping rough along the way. Councillor for Finance, Governance and the Arts, Jo McNally, said the event provides local residents the chance to learn about Australian history as well as how authors get inspired to write stories. “The Kangaroo March is a remarkable part of Australian history, and Ms Wheeler can add a personal touch to the story thanks to her family connection to the march,” said Councillor McNally. “’My Pop was a Kangaroo Anzac’ tells the story of not only the march but also the war’s lasting effect on the soldiers and their families after the war ended. Aiming this snapshot of early Australian history at children will also help them appreciate some of the things they may take for granted today.”

Researcher and author Deborah Wheeler has published several books on the history and stories of the Southern Downs including the book ‘I remember in 2015’ which is a collection of stories from Killarney residents.

The free event will begin at 10:30am in the Warwick Library meeting room, and SDRC asks anyone interested in the event to register for catering purposes.

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