Activity 4

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

Going Bush

©Caitlin Smith (10 years old)

I used to belong to a gang of bushrangers. We didn’t kill people but we burned and robbed lots of places. It was fun when we were doing those things but now we’ve been captured we are just trying to escape from the gaol. My story started like this. After me and my brother moved out from England we were so poor that my brother had to go and steal some food. He was caught but he was released about a year later. When I met him he told me about some people called bushrangers he had heard about in the gaol. They robbed people to get money and food and most of them were successful. He thought it would be a good idea and so did I. That is how we became bushrangers. A few of our friends thought it was a good idea too and we ended up with a gang of five with my brother as the leader. The first people we robbed from were a really annoying snobby family who lived in the big house on top of the hill. After we had been there no food was left in the cupboards and no blankets were left on the beds. We also took some other things to make our hideout more comfortable. The next thing we did was to choose a place for our hideout. As I was the only female member of our gang I usually stayed at the hideout getting the food ready and protecting the things that we had stolen. When I occasionally did go out and steal I dressed as a male so no one knew I was a girl. These are most of my memories but my favourite one was the memory of when we broke into the stables and stole five speedy racehorses to ride. I called mine Beauty and she was a chestnut. I always cry when I think of her because she got shot by two of the policemen when they caught us. I don’t really like telling people about it so I think that I’ll keep it to myself for as long as I can. You might be wondering how I got these pieces of paper and this pen to write with while I’m in the gaol. They didn’t check what we brought in so I snuck these in. I always hide my writing when the policemen walk past and no one except me knows about this. It’s very boring.


I’m down to the end of my page so bye.

Turning Bush
© Prue Buckland (11 years old)


The country was whizzing past me as I galloped down deeper into the bush but they were getting closer to me by the minute. I needed to think quickly to escape so I swung myself up into a passing tree with my emergency rope letting my horse go on without me. The police went underneath the tree following the rider less horse. I stayed in the tree until my faithful horse Starlight came back to me signalling that she had lost the police. I climbed down the tree back to her I said to her:
“That was really close, come on we better get out of here.” Starlight galloped away into another sunset bank to our tree that held our belongings. The day’s sunset meant I had survived another day but how many more do I have to live?

The next day I got up and heard someone shouting help in the distance I knew it may be a trap like last time but it could be someone that really needs help. So I ran to Starlight and together we galloped off in the direction of the noise. It was not a trap but someone who was caught in a thorn filled tree. I helped the person out and it turns out this little girl was an orphan who could not find any food. She looked so scared and helpless that I decided to let her ride with me. We only steal from the rich and we only give to the poor. The reason we are bushrangers is because were not treated well by the police. We decided to become bushrangers to fight for our rights. We may die but at least we are going down fighting, peacefully. Most nights we do not have anything to eat but sometimes the poor settlers give us food because they see us as people who are fighting for their rights and people who were mistreated by social injustice. My life has been full of many dangerous attempts to get enough food to survive.

The little girl was shivering as we rode back to our tree. She slept until early afternoon then we went and tried to collect what we could for dinner such as berries, fruit and fresh water. Suddenly Starlight neighed loudly and I heard the distant sound of hooves on the ground coming closer by the minute. I whisked all of the food and the little girl on to Starlight then I got on and we rode away. The police were hot on our trail but we lost them and because Starlight was panting heavily we stopped and rested. I gathered our scattered belongings and then we rode back to the tree “house.” The little girl was fighting to breathe. She must have had a weak heart and the police chase was too much for her. That night I kept vigil over her but sadly she died in the dead of the night. I was heartbroken. Slowly the police were winning the battle and slowly our chance of getting our rights were slipping away. I have decided to leave this tree “house” because the police know our whereabouts and one day I know they will catch me out. I climbed down the tree “house” back to her I said to her:
“That was really close, come on we need to leave here for good.” So as Starlight galloped away into another sunset away from our tree “house” I thought to myself:
“I had survived another day but how many more do I have to live?”



CJ's Road to being a Bushranger
©Jessica Carlson-Jones  (11 years old)

One fine sunny summer’s day C-J was in her really hot cell waiting to get out of gaol and be free. C-J had been in gaol for five years now and today was her freedom day. A guard came in and said,
“You are allowed to go out of gaol now and be free and live in the bush.” C-J was really happy but she had heard of Rocky Rawson and how she was really scary and you don’t want to see her or else she would kill you. C-J was really scared and didn’t want to go out in the bush. The tall guard led C-J outside of her cell where she was freed. She was walking around when she heard a woman scream. C-J was really scared and looked down and where she looked she saw a gun that still had bullets in it. C-J picked it up and wanted to test it. She pulled the trigger and a big loud bang happened. C-J looked up and heard a scream. C-J jumped. She felt safer now and went for a walk in the bush. She didn’t like walking too much.. As she was walking C-J saw a man lying on the ground dead and leaning over him was a white horse. C-J kept the horse and looked after it very well and road it all the time in stead of walking. As she was riding she bumped into ROCKY RAWSON: The meanest scariest person in town. C-J said:
”I don’t want to hurt you. I am C-J!” Rocky Rawson replied:
“I don’t hurt people! I am kind to them.” C-J was so happy and said:
“Why don’t we become partners?” Rocky Rawson replied,
“Yes! That is a good idea.” So Rocky Rawson and C-J became partners.

2 years later

“What’s that in the bushes Rocky Rawson?” said C-J.
“I don’t know,” replied Rocky Rawson. Suddenly Vikki Lora appeared. C-J said,
“Who is that Rocky Rawson?”
“It’s Vikki Lora who was my buddy for a long time.” Vikki Lora said:
”I would like to introduce you to Cyndi. She is a ghost but a kind one.” Rocky Rawson said:
“I would like to introduce you to C-J. She was the one who fired the gun shot.”
“That gun that you found was her gun that shot Cyndi and killed her. Now she can go to heaven,” said Vikki Lora. Suddenly Cyndi said good-bye and she disappeared off up into heaven.
”Why don’t we be Bushrangers together?” said C-J.
“Yes that is a good idea C-J,” replied Rocky Rawson “Let’s steal some food from the next carriage Vikki Lora.”
“OK are you coming C-J?”

We all died in 1834
Caitlin, as had the other girls in the following stories, indicated she was aware of the issues involved and managed to craft a story plot that explored many of the pertinent issues. Her particular ending revealed her belief that punishment was necessary as the crimes warranted it. Yet as a prisoner her character was treated humanely with no sense of brutality occurring.
Not all stories were resolved in a true peace-building sense but at least the issues were understood and additions to endings could become the essence of further class exploration. The students did recognise that the collective consciousness has changed over time.

Dead or Alive



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