Friday 24 July 2015

When the Bogeyman Enters the Room

We girls usually know when we are in danger. The scary creep following me in his panel van one day when I was walking home from school, was obviously not our trusted Mr Whippy. I knew that if I didn’t scream for help and use all the force I could muster in self
Mr Whippy
defence, I would be raped by this fifteen year old boy pinning me down at a party. That uncle trying to feel my bra strap over my school uniform was clearly a ‘dirty old man’, as was my neighbour who was dancing much closer to me at my parents dinner party, than he should have been.

But two Australian females a week don’t realise they are in trouble until it's too late – when they are being murdered, often after being raped. And helpless dependent babies like my two month old cousin Robert, whose father, my uncle, thrashed around until he was paralysed and suffered irreversible brain damage, aren’t even old enough to know the peril they are in. I wasn’t told until years later that Robert didn’t actually fall off the nappy change table, the official story, because how could I have possibly comprehended such unimaginable violence committed by a father against his own defenceless little baby.

The 1970's didn't feel overtly violent, sexually or otherwise, probably because much of it was conducted behind closed doors. But under the protection of socially accepted domestic privacy, horrific crimes against children were being committed unchallenged. As I was growing up, a staggering 10% of girls just like me (and 4.5% of boys) were being sexually molested by their own father, relatives, friends, teachers, priests, custodians, and occasionally the odd stranger – before the age of 15. These children didn’t see it coming, just like little baby Robert, because who would ever expect that those who were supposed to keep you safe, would ever put you in danger? Many more were raped by their boyfriends after the age of 15. According to the Recorded Crime Victims, 2003, the riskiest period for a woman in her lifetime is at 14 and 15 – my age in my diaries at the moment – and 19 when naïve, trusting young ladies venture out into the world, not knowing the dangers that lurk there.

At 14 and 15, girls are experimental with adult things as we tiptoe into the kissing and touching world. And we hide everything from our parents. Sexual predators knew that too. They somehow knew this was the perfect age to assault and get away with it because we were a lot easier to overcome, and it was unlikely we would tell anyone out of fear, shame, and humiliation.

Thankfully I escaped what so many other girls didn’t in their childhood. I was neither sexually abused, nor raped. I do recall my father sitting me on his lap once in my first year at high school, shortly after Mum had given me a book called something like 'The Facts of Life', for my sex education. I read it under my blanket with
a torch, filled with the same excited anticipation that I flung open the hard covers of a suspenseful NancyDrew murder mystery with. As I sat on Dad’s lap he announced “One day, boys will want to touch you here”, putting his hand ever so fast but feeling like forever, on my school uniform jumper covering my pubescent breast. I froze, tilting my head sideways to gaze awkwardly at the few chips left in the newspaper they came wrapped up in with the fish and scallops we had guzzled up just earlier when he was still 'Daddy', wondering what the “eff’ he was doing. Even if it was for a split second, I haven't forgotten because I didn't even let boys my own age touch me there. I also have a vague recollection of a relative fleetingly putting his hand down the front of my swimsuit bottom once, during summer holidays on the northern beaches-thankfully not reaching anywhere. That was the extent of my exposure to what witnesses and statistics tell us, so many men did, and do, to young children and teenage girls (and boys).

Vicki Barton
The most dreadful of sex crimes to happen in the Blue Mountains when I grew up was committed by a boy who killed eight year old Vicki Barton in 1969. Vicki was holidaying with her family in the Blue Mountains at the time, when she was lured by a teenage boy to Lawson Oval while she was on her way to the municipal swimming pool. There he tried coax her into having sex. When she said ‘No’, he became so overwhelmed by fear he would be found out, that he strangled her. He then carted her lifeless body 15 kilometres away to Springwood in a trailer attached to his bicycle, before dumping her in the bush and covering her with leaves.

Children look for their peer, Vicki Barton
I was the same age as Vicki Barton when she was murdered, as was poor Hanna Dostal who stumbled across Vicki Barton’s putrefied body 16 months later. Hanna and I were in the same year at Springwood High School. Although I never knew she was ‘that girl who found Vicki Barton’, as she was so often referred to that she had to change her family name, she recently told me.

What was so shocking was that the perpetrator, Alfred James Jessop, was only 14 when he killed Vicki Barton. A child still: younger than the boys I’ve had crushes on all year. I couldn’t have imagined any of our boys at school capable of an act so horrific. But then again, I am screaming for parental help at a party this month, as I fight off an alcohol and testosterone fuelled fifteen-year-old.

News of Vicki Barton’s disappearance spread through Australia fast. It had a similar effect on our national psyche as the disappearance of the Beaumont children did years earlier. Jane, Arnna and Grant, ages nine, seven and four respectively, disappeared without a trace from Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, on Australian Day 1966, when I was barely a toddler Grants age. The Beaumonts sent their cherished children off on a five-minute bus ride to the beach that hot humid day – on their own. They never came home. And they were never found. Reading this today, most parents – and anyone who has watched Bondi Rescue – would be mortified. As much because of stranger danger, as out of fear their young children might drown in the surf, or be hit by a bus or a car on the way. Not to mention being accused of parental negligence. But at this time in our history, Australia was considered safe; and children were both given, and assumed, greater responsibilities at much younger ages than children are today.

The Beaumont Children
The Beaumont case, it has been written, changed the way Australians regarded the safety of children in public. Australian parents abruptly, and nation wide, came face to face with the realisation that there is such a thing as the Bogeyman. He is out there. He is usually a grown up man. But as we found out in the Blue Mountains, he can also be a teenage boy. And he was almost always someone you knew.

If children’s fairy tales and child bride practices are anything to go by, the sexual and violent abuse of children by adults has been going on for a long, long time throughout the
The Bogeyman is Coming, By Goya, 1797
ages. All those scary things out there that would stalk disobedient, insouciant children, kidnap them, visit them in their bedrooms or in their dreams at night, or stuff them in a burlap sack in December and lock them away in their house in Spain until they learnt to to 'be good', were just allegories for evil, evil men ( and the odd deranged woman). Some original versions of children's fairytales sound like they were written by utter sociopaths: either that or they actually reflected the ever present mortal danger children faced when they were written. Take Sleeping BeautyAurora is deep in her hundred year REM sleep when, "a king sees her, gets aroused, and rapes her while she sleeps. Nine months later she gives birth to twins while still asleep, and only wakes up when one of the children sucks her finger. Finally cognisant, she is now the mother of two children and a rape victim". The Pied Piper drowns all the children dancing so mesmerised behind him, and Hansel and Gretel don't get 'lost' in the forest; they are dumped by their poverty struck Mum, who can't afford to feed them. Until reliable birth control, kids were being pushed out from between the legs once a year for so many women.

I’m not sure why parents felt safe the day before the Beaumont children disappeared, given how many other children also vanished around that time. Being hitherto the biggest crime investigation in Australian history, the chief suspect in the case of the Beaumont children, Bevan Spencer von Einem, was by all accounts doing Dr Josef Mengele proud. Von Einem was reported as having conducted surgical experiments on the Beaumont children, including sewing them together. One child died during his experiment so he killed
What the Bogeyman looks like with his cape off: Von Einem
the other two and buried them somewhere, it is said. Several murdered teens had also been found similarly surgically experimented on, but Von Einem was only charged with one teen murder he admitted to, not the Beaumont children. Another suspect, Arthur Stanley Brown, was charged with strangling a seven and a five year old child, while they were on their way to school. And yet another, James O’Neill, was jailed for life for the murder of a 9-year-old boy. Then there was Derek Percy who murdered a 12-year-old girl. Witnesses in the Beaumont case claimed there was a secret society of powerful Adelaide men who preyed on boys and young males, by drugging them, raping, and sometimes killing them.

Why on earth did Australians feel safe back then?

Vicki Barton’s killer was 18 when he was finally charged and sentenced to life in prison. The judge said Jessop was a "continuing threat", a "dangerous psychopath" and a "sexual deviant". How could a 14 year old be all these evils things?

Vicki Barton’s murder was as big as it got in our Mountains on the crime font.There was an ominous looking foster home in Woodford built by the Child Welfare Department in 1946, for unwanted, orphaned and neglected pre-school children who coudnt be fostered
out. By the time we were at school, Weroona became known as the Woodford Boys Home. Their young men, many 
Aboriginal, were sent to our school. We called them Gubbs. It closed in 1984. I shudder to think what went on there, given what we now know of the abuse, especially sexual, that was rampant at the time in so many institutions like Weroona. There was a budding drug culture in Katoomba because rehabilitation centres were located there and when interns were released, some would slip back into a life of petty crime to sustain their habit. 

Even so, we felt safe. We left our homes unlocked by day and by night: same with our cars. We didn’t need to secure our bicycles because no-one would steal them. Neighbourhood Watch was our Mums who were usually at home busily keeping their eye on who was doing what - when, where, why, how and with whom. Parents were legally entitled to serve up corporal punishment on their children, as were schools. Domestic violence was rife in that the attitude of the times was what happened in the family stayed in the family. Women had few rights or economic opportunities that would enable them to escape abusive environments to save their children, and themselves. Despite Vicki Barton and the Beaumonts, and all those other children and teens who disappeared – often after they left home at the very young age teenagers left home in the 1970’s and earlier - we still went to school, sports training, to the shops, down the bush and out with our friends, by ourselves. As my diaries reveal, I was often walking home alone in the dark.

My parents never told me who the Bogeyman really was. Instead, where ever they could, they put obstacles between him and me.

Statistically Australia is one of the places in the world (in a study of 65 countries) where females ( children, teens, women) are the most likely to be sexually assaulted, along with Sweden, Finland, England and Wales. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated in 2005, that 33% of all women have experienced physical violence. Ten per cent of women experienced sexual abuse before the age of fifteen, usually by their parents or step parents. Eighty one per cent of us ladies know our offender with three quarters of intimate partner homicides involve men killing us. Despite familiarity with our murderers and rapists, 70% of us Australian women still feel unsafe when walking after dark in case an opportunistic psycho happens along as he did to Jill Meagher just recently, and to too many other women before her, and since her. I’d have placed America the most dangerous place for women, with not just the occasional serial killer, but 35 to 50 serial killers active at anyone time, and one person shot by a firearms every 17 minutes (2010), and with almost three women a day killed by their intimate partners. But no, proportionally, it’s men residing in Australia behaving homicidally (and Sweden, Wales, England and Finland – all high consumers of alcohol by the way, as is Australia).

Rape is also becoming more common the world over says the UN, even though it isn’t recorded in national crime statistics in so many countries. No one can seem to agree on what constitute rape. Might that be because lawmakers and politicians are still mostly men tasked with the role of deciding on whether what they, their friends, family, relatives and others of their gender, do to women and children when they say 'no', is rape or not? And when you have countries like Turkey, where 33% of police officers agree that 'some women deserve rape' and a further 66% agree that 'physical appearance and behaviors of women tempt men to rape', who is going to report being raped?

Stoning a woman to death-unpunished
In other countries the stigma attached to rape is just as dissuasive: the families of rape victims often disown them, and they risk being honor killed – where it is the raped woman who is murdered rather than the rapist to suffer any consequence - for bringing shame on the family. Some countries will turn a rape into illegal adultery or pre marital sex and prosecute rape victims if there isn’t enough evidence to prove rape. And even if they prove rape, the rapist can turn it on his victim and allege she wasn’t a virgin anyway, and still prosecute for illegal infidelity. These women are often stoned to death, have acid thrown in their face, or suffer some
Acid thrown in her face
other horrendous violent murder. When Australian men rape little children and women they have also often gone unpunished, as many have never been reported, and if they are reported, they usually get off after a few years, or are found mentally ill, or are protected by the church, welfare, or other institution they have been operating covertly under. Sex crime victims on the other hand, are traumatised for life, some driven to suicide. Especially when the victims are children. We know this as we witness in national shame and horror, the extent to which sexual child abuse was institutionalised, as the full scale of it unfolds before us in the current Australian Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse.

As for the sexual molestation of children in other parts of the world, a University of Barcelona study found 19.7% of women globally experienced sexual abuse prior to the age of 18 (and 7.9% of boys). Africa, takes first prize for molesting their children (34.4% of reported children molested) with South African men sexually violating a staggering 60.9% of boys and 43.7 % of girls. Europe has the lowest rate at 9.2 % and Asia, at 23.9% of children molested. Seven countries reported more than 20% of girls being sexually molested. Our beautiful democratic free thinking free spirited Australia is one of them, at a shameful (37.8%). Followed by Costa Rica (32.2%), Tanzania (31.0%), Israel (30.7%), Sweden (28.1%), the United States (25.3%) and Switzerland (24.2%). 

What are our men doing to our children Australia? 37.8%!

In much of the world, men consider women so worthless that a multi billion dollar business revolves around enslaving them in trafficked sex trade. An estimated 800,000 women and children are conned, lured, drugged, and kidnapped across international borders with just as many consumed by men in their own countries. They are locked up, in suburban neighbourhoods in massage parlours, spas and strip clubs. They are made to perform in pornography, or put onto streets to service the local paedophiles or sex tourists and perverts. The same men doing this are usually involved arms and drug trafficking.

Much of this trafficking occurs in an overpopulated, financially desperate world throughout Asia where human life has such little value because there is so much of it. And in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe where economies have collapsed and people are desperate.  Australia, a wealthy developed nation, has become a prime market for Asian sex slaves who are smuggled into Australia by boyfriends, friends, neighbours, and even their own parents. Or they are lured with offers of real jobs, or promised marriage, educational opportunities and a better life, only to find themselves imprisoned, their passports confiscated, then told they are actually working illegally and are forced to repay their travel and living costs back with sex.  According to the NGO Soroptimist, these women are, “often deprived of food and sleep, are unable to move about freely, and are physically tortured. In order to keep women captive, victims are told their families and their children will be harmed or murdered if they (the women) try to escape or tell anyone about their situation. Because victims rarely understand the culture and language of the country into which they have been trafficked, they experience another layer of psychological stress and frustration. Often, before servicing clients, women are forcibly raped by the traffickers themselves, in order to initiate the cycle of abuse and degradation. Some women are drugged in order to prevent them from escaping. Once “broken in,” sex trafficked victims can service up to 30 men a day, and are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy.”

The Secret Life of Child Brides. Pulitzer Centre
What has also reared its barbaric head in Australia, is a religiously condoned practice that occurs in over 50 countries around the world, whose young victims are also not included in the University of Barcelona study, and which should never be excused or accepted because it is nothing more than institutionalised  pedophilia: the betrothing children to much older men, sometimes approaching the grave old men. Children as young as 6 and 7 are married off under this abhorrent practice, around the world, usually with the blessing of the mother. It's hard to be politically correct in describing the following film, so I won't be, except to say that it demonstrates just how far the world still has to go to lift a large swathe of humanity out of poverty, illiteracy and primitive religious belief and practice.

Why Yemen Won't Ban Child Marriage and Rape

There is no one-profile pedophile. They are rich and poor, of all nationalities, often hiding under the cover of cultural norm or acceptance, often married with children whom they do or don’t abuse (some unbelievably claim they have sex with trafficked children to avoid abusing their own children), to your very own Daddy. Given what was going on around me at the time, in Australia and overseas, I feel grateful that all I was subjected to as a child was the occasional beating by Dad, the wooden spoon or hair pull by Mum, the momentary wrong move here and there, and some exploratory boys whom I managed to fend off.

I can’t begin to imagine the terror, shame, and confusion a young child experiences at that dreaded sound of squeaking floorboards, the door knob turning ever so slowly so no-one else hears, as the pedophile rapist enters the room.  I can hear her voice screaming inside “Mummy, Mummy, HELP!” I wonder, where was Mummy? Why hasn’t she realised what’s going on? If she realises what’s going on, why isn’t she stopping it?  And my heart pains for all those children of Australia who, for whatever reason, were abandoned to institutions, or sent to them for an education or care, or ended up alone with an abusive father or step father, who had no-one to scream to for help, when the Bogeyman entered the room.

The World in April – May 1976

In April 1976, India’s Prime Minister Indira Ghandi– no relation to the great Mahatma Ghandi – was in the midst of a self proclaimed internal national emergency, and was ruling by decree, in what was one of the most controversial periods in Indian political history. Indira Gandhi was revered by the masses, especially the poor, the minorities, and the Dalits, or the “untouchables” – those Indians that fell outside the four principle castes in the Indian hierarchical system that stratifies the most desirable people, down to the least desirable, and rewards or deprives them, accordingly. Women loved Indira too because they fell disproportionately into all these categories. In an economic system graded by clearly defined classes and where a minority owned the majority the nation's wealth, Indira Ghandi came to power in 1971 vowing to 'get rid of poverty'.

Poverty isn’t easily eradicated if population growth outstrips a nation’s ability to provide basic infrastructure, food, water and shelter, for the ever increasing numbers being born. On April 16, 1976, Indira’s Ghandi’s government announced a mass reproductive sterilisation program aimed at lowering India's exponentially exploding population. Land, housing, and money or loans, were offered to men and (mostly) women who underwent either a vasectomy or tubal ligation (both are reversible). Millions more were also believed to have been sterilised by trickery.

Due to generalised outrage, especially internationally, sterilisation in India has been voluntary ever since. And so India’s population continued to grow reaching 1 billion in the year 2000.  India now produces 1/6th of the world’s entire population.  At the current rate of growth, India's one billion people will double to two billion by the year 2040 because only half the sexually active population uses contraception. In the rural areas where 50% of people live, children are bred as welfare due to the failure of government to provide it. The other 50% have difficulty accessing contraception.

The patriarchal economy that rules India is much to blame for the growth, like most other countries with population size issues that affect the whole world. Most women will continue having children until they have at least two boys. Men are more prized because of India’s supposedly outlawed but widely practiced dowry system where it is the woman’s family who has to pay the husband’s family in the money, jewelry and household items needed to set up the conjugal home. 'Raising girls is like watering someone else's lawn', is the Indian saying that enshrines how Indian women are viewed as an economic liability. The distribution of wealth, hence, the economic empowerment of women through education, is one pillar of fertility reduction, but at India’s current rate of education, this won’t be achieved until 2060, if at all. Meanwhile India adds up to 1,000,000 hungry mouths to the world every 20 days.

China has been as criticised for a one child policy it put in place in 1978 when its' population was also about to reach the near billion mark, causing enormous environment and social stresses. According to China’s government officials, the policy has helped prevent 400 million births.China now has unparalleled economic power to supports its global expansion. In November 2014 – just when the world needs less people, no more - China relaxed the one child policy.

China and India have not been alone in realising that high fertility rates undermine economic prosperity, quality of life and the ecosystems upon which sustainable economic development depends, and then acting responsibly within their economic and cultural means. After a growth rate of 3% a year between 1956 and 1986,  Iran moved to a negative rate of -0.7% a year by 2007, promoting the benefits of smaller families and the use of contraception. Family planning courses were mandatory for both sexes before a marriage license was granted. In 2014, Iran reversed this policy. Permanent contraception and advertising of birth control are now outlawed. Iran aims to increase its population from 77 million to 200 million. To avoid becoming a nation of old people was the official justification, however Iranian reformists and women’s rights proponents feel male religious leaders are trying to lock women back up in the home (feeling threatened by the sixty percent of university students in Iran who are women?).

Singapore, recognising that it is an island with no-where to expand to except up, also reduced its population growth with a ‘Stop at Two’ program , promoting sterilisation and a two child family. They went even further with a short lived publicly opposed eugenic style Graduate Mothers' Scheme, which favored child birth for more well-educated mothers. In 1987 Singapore also reversed its' policy with a “Have Three or More” plan because fertility went below replacement levels. In Myanmar, a population control health care bill requires some parents to space each child three years apart. Uzbekistan, a now practicing Muslim country following the dissolution of the USSR, is also promoting the benefits of smaller families much to chagrin of Uzbeks who have long measured success by family size. It has also been reported to be pursuing a policy of forced sterilizations, hysterectomies and IUD insertions since the late 1990’s. 

Today, India and China - both countries that have been spreading their excess populations around the world - caused the largest increase in global population growth between 1990 and 2010, with the highest in India (350 million) and China (196 million). Is it a coincidence that a hungry growing China has doubled its military spending since 2008 and has 'invaded' and occupied the South China Sea - home to a third of the world’s shipping, and vast oil and gas fields, and destroying precious living coral reefs in the process - to build offensive military infrastructure?

Outside of China and India, The Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and Latin America have the highest rates of growth at more than 2% a year, while the extravagant and wasteful, water and agriculture poor, desert nations of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are growing at an irresponsible 315% and 271% respectively.

Humanity’s ancestral thinkers have pondered the thorny issue of human population growth since way back when. Despite much smaller populations in their times, they could see where we were headed. Tertullian, an early Christian author (ca. AD 160-220), wrote: "The strongest witness is the vast population of the earth to which we are a burden and she scarcely can provide for our needs; as our demands grow greater, our complaints against Nature's inadequacy are heard by all. The scourges of pestilence, famine, wars and earthquakes have come to be regarded as a blessing to overcrowded nations, since they serve to prune away the luxuriant growth of the human race."

Plato and Aristotle would probably be mortified to see the number of humans that now coat the earth. Back in 322 -284 BC Aristotle thought a large increase in population would bring, "Certain poverty
on the citizenry, and poverty is the cause of sedition and evil”. Abortion and infanticide would be needed to curb human growth he wrote. Plato proposed that cities need to be large enough to defend themselves against invasion but small enough to be manageable, habitable and democratic. Procreation, immigration and exportation to colonies should be puppeteered to manage a perfect population balance.
China has been obsessing over its numbers for quite a while. Confucius (551-478 BC) warned, "Excessive growth may reduce output per worker, repress levels of living for the masses and engender strife." He also noted people die of famine when food supply falls short of demand. On the other hand, ancient Rome required larger numbers to expand its' empire. Using a carrot and stick approach they encouraged high reproduction with tax breaks and preferential employment. But confiscated 90% of the property left to a surviving spouse in the event of the husband’s death, if the couple failed to produce offspring.

Christian Europe in the middle ages simply told everyone to obey the biblical command and "Be ye fruitful and multiply". When people faced starvation, Martin Luther reassured, "God makes children. He is also going to feed them.”

The famous historian and humanist, Niccolo Machiavelli, didn’t accept that God would provide for the famined masses (because he didn’t believe in God). He wrote, "When every province of the world so teems with inhabitants that they can neither subsist where they are nor remove themselves elsewhere... the world will purge itself in one or another of these three ways", (floods, plague and famine).

The French jurist and political philosopher Jean Bodin (1530–1596) didn’t agree with Machiavelli, either. He argued that larger populations meant more production and more exports, hence the nations wealth.  Giovanni Botero, an Italian priest and diplomat (1540–1617), agreed with Bodin writing, "the greatness of a city rests on the multitude of its inhabitants and their power", but pointed out that a population cannot increase beyond its food supply. If this limit was approached, late marriage, emigration, and war would serve to restore the balance.

War, famine and disease in Europe from the 17th century did restore the balance, so the  debate rebounded to the need to grow humans. In the absence of birth control devices, grow humans we did. 

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), a British clergyman and economist, wrote the human population grows exponentially but its' ability to provide food doesn’t. 'Positive checks', such as diseases, war, disaster and famine would increase death rates, and 'Preventative checks' like moral restraint, abstinence and birth control were the most effective long term solution, if we humans were to save ourselves. Malthius explained that in a world where wealth is concentrated in the hands of few, the poor masses suffer most because the same amount of food has to be divided among larger numbers of people.

By the time we hit the 20th century humans had spread far and wide across the planet giving rise to a mostly women dominated population growth movement, the roots of which are attributed to American birth control activist, sex educator, nurse and writer, Margaret Sanger. Sanger saw population management as one to be resolved through educating and empowering women to make their own reproductive choices by giving them access to science based information. Over the time that Margaret Sanger birthed just two children in her lifetime (1879 -1966), my great great grandmother was busily pumping out nineteen babies, one year after the other. It is no surprise to me that a woman finally stood up and said, ENOUGH!

A courageous heroic Sanger devoted her life to popularising the term 'birth control'. She opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organisations that later evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 1914 Sanger was prosecuted under the Comstock Act, a law aimed at the "Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use", just because she wrote a book called Family Limitation! In 1916 she was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic. Thankfully Sanger lived long enough to see, in 1965, the US Supreme Court uphold a woman's right to seek medical advice on contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut) - just one year before her death.

At the same time that Sanger was making birth control an issue, some members of the aristocracy began to panic when they saw the rate at which the illiterate poor were reproducing
compared to them. They ran with Sir Francis Galton, a knighted and privileged British scientist who argued for controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics which, his supporters agreed, was present only among the noble, (and some less noble intellectuals). What became known as Eugenics was mostly a male movement. While Sanger’s population movement was concerned with limiting population growth by choice and through the empowerment of women, eugenicists believed that the state should be mandated by statute to control reproduction of whole classes of people they considered genetically inferior.

While Sanger only just lived to see a woman gain the right to plan her family size, she also lived through what must have looked like her worst nightmare come true - the Green Revolution of 1940-1960 and the concomittant population boom it produced - because the Green Revolution temporarily proved Thomas Malthius, Giovanni Botero, and other theorists who assumed nature would cease to provide food when humans became overpopulated, wrong. With the help of science and technology and by spraying toxic chemical fertilisers and pesticides on our food crops, we were capable of growing food as exponentially as human numbers were growing.

This began to alarm members of the environmental and scientific community like Paul R. Ehrlich, a US biologist, who equated humans to a cancer that needs to be cut out, not just treated, or else, he said, the cancer will simply return and eventually destroy the patient (The Population Bomb). Erlich proposed compulsory birth regulation by adding temporary sterilants to water and food supplies. If we didn't control human growth rate, he correctly predicted, there would be rapid depletion of the planet's resources, resulting in famine, global
warming, acid rain and more. American ecologist, Garrett Hardin, similarly proposed in his famous 1968 essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, that society must mutually agree to control human reproduction, by coercion.  He later wrote that as a species we are breeding ourselves into oblivion, criticising “growthmaniacs", for their ridiculous belief that growth is possible in a finite environment, when mathematically and scientifically, it isn't.

American political scientist, Paige Whaley Eager, put the 1960’s-1970’s panic around population growth into political perspective, writing that America had begun to realise the impact swelling numbers of humans would likely have on the geopolitical status quo. Humans were one billion at the turn of the 19th century. It took more than a century to reach two billion ( 123 years) but only 33 years to reach three billion in 1960.  Ninety per cent of this net increase occurred in developing countries. The ‘third world’ as it was called then, wanted their share of the planets' dwindling resources, which often included those resources in their own countries that wealthy nations, like the USA, were extracting from them using financial instruments like IMF/World Bank debts, or by fuelling low density conflict or civil wars, to replace resources developed nations had ran out of themselves, or were hoarding. That 'third world' had numbers in the United Nations.

By the 1980's, the debate over population growth evolved hand in glove with development as part of a human rights-based approach, and became enshrined the Millennium Development Goals ( now called the Sustainable Development Goals), which are aimed at eradicating poverty and lifting economic development, the official UN solution to reducing human numbers humanely. When people have money and education, especially women, they tend to have less children, is the current mantra. However in his essay, Sixteen Myths About Population, Wlliam Ryerson of the Population Media Center, provides numerous examples that prove this approach simplistic. For example: land redistribution in Turkey resulted in a doubling in family size (to six children) among formerly landless peasants; more water wells for the pastoralists of the African Sahel promoted larger herd size, earlier marriage and much higher fertility; and the United States had its lowest fertility rate in history prior to 1970 during the Great Depression.

By mid 2050, earth will reach a terrifying 9.6 billion. In Australia, our population growth of 1.4% per year is due to natural increase at 44% and a net overseas migration of 56%. One international migrant arrives in Australia every 2 minutes and 19 seconds, needing a house that so many Australians can't even afford anymore. Many are from the United Kingdom and New Zealand. The second largest tranche of migrants come from the usual suspects failing to manage their national population growth - China and India - with around 450,000 and 400,000 people respectively. Those arriving from India tripled from just 132,800 people in 2004 to 397,200 people in 2014, and from China, migration rose from 205,200 persons to 447,400. 

Back in 1984 the Conservation Foundation (ACF) published "Populate and Perish", which estimated that Australia would reach an unsustainable 23 million by 2021 - we reached that number much earlier. The ACF argued a low migration policy to maintain a population of 18 million so that our lifestyle would "be far less competitive, less crowded and less despoiled than the alternative" ( like unaffordable housing and homelessness, extinction of our wildlife, loss of our old growth native forests, collapse of ecosystems upon which we depend, loss of freedoms, undermining of our democracy, and so much more that comes with too many people). In 2010, because the Greens have failed to address this fundamental environmental elephant in the room, the Sustainable Population Party was formed which advocates for a significant reduction in population growth and a target of around 26 million by 2050. Australia also has a not-for-profit organisation called, Sustainable Population Australia, which has put out a 'population policy' paper explaining why and how, Australia could, and should, achieve a stabilised population as a matter of urgency. Big as Australia is, only 6% of our nation is arable - where we grow our food for both national consumption and for export - and which we also plaster with cement to house people, to move them around in their vehicles on, to employ and entertain them on. Not to mention the massive canyons we dig in such precious land to dump our extravagant waste into.

The topic of human population growth as key to our own future survival or the cause of our own demise seems to be more of a taboo discussion than ever it was in history. The blow-out of humans to every possible natural environment in the world is causing mass extinction on the scale the dinosaurs experienced. We are losing anywhere between 200 and 10,000 species of plants and animals every year, including very soon, the iconic beasts of our childhood story books, and National Geographic and David Attenborough documentaries, like rhino's, elephants, and polar bears.  Global researchers estimate by around 2040 there will be no fish left in the world’s oceans for us to eat - that means that everything else in the sea that eats fish, like Dolphins, will also be gone. How can we have become so many so mindlessly, that we have sucked all the fish out of all the oceans that cover  an entire 71% of our planet? Yet countries like Iran and El Salvador are banning contraception, Singapore has announced a policy for a three child family, China has relaxed its one child policy, India can't control itself, the religious and resource and energy guzzler - the USA - continues to grow while maintaining a rabid anti abortion movement where people are murdered because they support termination. Africa, much of which is already desert, is expected to reach 1 billion by 2100. In Australia we are beguiled by our land size and hypnotised by economists into believing that limitless growth is possible. Meanwhile day by day, our quality of life shrinks before our very eyes. Watch this extended video to understand just how wrong economist are and how wrong they were a long time ago already, on limitless growth. Here's a shorter version:

Solutions to Human Overpopulation

The WorldWatch Institute says to reduce population growth before we reach 9 billion we must: urgently provide universal access to safe and effective contraceptive options for both sexes; guarantee education through secondary school for all, especially girls; eradicate gender bias from law, economic opportunity, health, and culture; offer age-appropriate sex education for all students; end all policies that reward parents financially based on the number of children they have; integrate lessons on population, environment, and development into school curricula at multiple levels; put prices on environmental costs and impacts; adjust to an ageing population instead of boosting childbearing through government incentives and programs; convince leaders to commit to stabilising population growth through the exercise of human rights and human development.

William Ryerson of the Population Media Center adds to this list the need for: 'cultural acceptance' of the concept of women in the workplace; lowering cultural norms with regard to ideal family size as viewed by men as well as women; mandatory education of girls as well as boys, going well beyond literacy training; enactment and enforcement of child labor laws to prevent exploitation of children by parents and others, and changes in cultural norms with regard to the acceptability of child labor; changes in cultural norms with regard to age of marriage and age of onset of child bearing;overcoming misinformation about the relative safety of using contraception as opposed to early and frequent childbearing; and overcoming men’s fears that contraceptive use by women will lead to infidelity.

Canadian environmental activist, David Suzuki, published this on his Foundation website as to how many people is enough for planet earth: 

"If you want to live like North Americans, 200 million"

Two hundred million! That is very far removed from the near 10 billion we are headed towards: 1.2 billion Chinese alone have a "China Dream", just like the wasteful greedy 'American Dream' and our very own dream here in Australia - which used to be the now out of reach, right to own our own home at the minimum. Can the planet afford to wait for 3 billion Indians, Chinese and Africans to become as developed as the USA, before population growth plateaus' out as everyone is so counting on? According to Professor Frank Fenner of Australia's very own Australian National University, no. Because we humans will be extinct in 100 years time. By then, we will have bred too much, consumed too much, wasted too much, destroyed too much and so changed the earth's atmosphere that it couldn't cope with us anymore.

Suzuki writes, "North Americans, Europeans, Japanese, and Australians, who make up 20 per cent of the world's population, are consuming more than 80 per cent of the world's resources. We are the major predators and despoilers of the planet, and so we blame the problem on overpopulation. Keep in mind, though, that most environmental devastation is not directly caused by individuals or households, but by corporations driven more by profits than human needs.”

Both are to blame for where we are today - over consumption and greed ( by wealthy nations as well as the elite of developing nations, like India and China), and over population. I would add to Suzuki, Ryerson and the WorldWatch Institute's list, the need for an open, immediate, urgent, intelligent discussion on population growth, and a spiritual, ethical and non anthropocentric acceptance that we humans do not have any higher right than other species to consume all of planet earths resources while causing the extinction of so many other species, many of whom were here before us. And we need to know, understand, accept, that one way or another a major change in the way we live on earth is inevitable in our lifetime. 

Meanwhile in the Rest of the World in April and May 1976...  

Stephen Wozniak & Steve Jobs found ‘Apple Computer' (on April Fool’s Day 1976). The Arabic Monetary Fund is established in Abu Dhabi. An earthquake strikes Friuli in Northern Italy, causing 989 deaths, destroying entire villages, and another hits Uzbekistan killing thousands. On May 24, in the Judgment of Paris, wine testers rate wines from California higher than French wines which until then, were considered the best wines in the world.

In Australia it becomes legal to own Gold, and Gough Whitlam, now the Federal Opposition Leader, claims the Australian Liberal Party Minister for Defence, Sir Shane Partridge, accepted bribes from the American Lockheed Corporation.

The number one song- and it stayed there all of April, May and June 1976 - is Abba's Fernando.

VIDEO: Fernando. ABBA

Diary: April and May, 1976

There's a bit of violence in my life over these two months. My Uncle - who I accidentally 'see in the nik'  has done something terrible to my newborn baby cousin who ends up paralysed with brain damage. I am stalked by a man in a panel van and am so scared I hide behind a neighbours fence and go into post traumatic stress when I get home to Mum who scolds me for being late. The drama with boys I'm too young for continues as male peer pressure to break my virginity mounts. I agree to 'go with' a boy who I know wants to 'see what he can get out of me' but who is not going to get anything. It lasts 24 hours before I am I am 'dropped', to 'stay friends', and I feel as non plussed by being dropped as I did to go with him in the first place. It's the school holidays. If I am not active, I am bored and have nothing to tell 'Dear Diary'. I spend most of my holidays playing representative netball for the Lower Blue Mountains.

Thursday April 1 - We rode bare back

Dear Diary           

I have to throw you away today - April Fool! I bought a lottery ticket off Steve today, which will probably get nowhere. This arvo JB and me caught the Faulkonbridge bus to Buckles and then we went to the station to catch the train to Valley Heights. When we got off, Robert Elles was there, so I went over to talk to them. As I was going, Colin yelled "I'd have sex with you anyway"! Anyway, we walked to Sun Valley and rode Zeppy. It was great fun except it killed me cause we rode bare back. Then we got picked up and went to Buckles and had this Christian discussion with these missionaries, which lasted three hours. God it was boring. I didn't get to bed until about 12.30 cause Georgie and Willie were in my bed and Dad wanted to watch the football. Jees baby (Robert) is beautiful. He's so tiny. He's 2 months old, whereas he should be two weeks old. He slept with us and kept waking us up. Boy was I tired. We've got a turtle now. Mrs Priestly gave it to us. Seeya

Friday April 2 - Uncle Willie was asleep in the nick and I saw everything.

Dear Diary,

This morning I went in my room and Uncle Willie was asleep in the nick and I saw everything. Embarrassment. Guess what! Craig Stratten asked me to go with him! He came over and he asked me what Jenny told me. Then he goes, "What I really came over for was to ask you if you would go with me". GOD! I didn't know what to say, so I asked how come he asked me all of a sudden out of the blue. Then I told him I'd think it over and I'd tell him this afternoon when he rings. Then Mitchell came over and started stirring me and asking me to go with him, and so did Mark, and then the whole lot of them and were asking me to go with them and stirring the sh-t out of me. Then Trevor kept asking me how much money I had in the bank and how they'd split it, and which night they'd have me and all this. Jees it was funny, and embarrassing. Craig rang and I told him I'd let him know on Monday. He was chewing chewing gun in my ear and it was horrible. What am I going to say? I like him but after being with a mole what does he expect of me?

Saturday April 3 - I umpired and I was absolutely buggered. We then played the Tornados and beat them 26-3

Dear Diary,

Walked to the station. Guess who was on it? Jason. Dirty looks and all the rest. Steve L was on, and so was Bret. I umpired and I was absolutely buggered. We then played the Tornados and beat them 26-3. Then I was walking across the courts and Peter Sheen said to a bunch of guys, "There's Petra" and they all looked over to me and called my name and asked me to come over and talk to them but I had to go. Drats. Neil Dorson was one of them. Steve just rang but bloody Dad put the timer on for 5 minutes. Christ! He asked me if I was going to the dance and I said yes, and he said, "Well I won't go then". I asked why and he didn't answer. He either doesn't want to see me or he doesn't want me to see him. Cause one of us is bound not to like the other, so there goes my weekly Saturday phone calls from Steven Frankham. In a way, I don't want to see him either. Do you realise that he rings me every Saturday? We don't even know each other at all. I don't know what he looks like and I don't know if he knows what I look like.  Jee wiz. Seeya.

Sunday April 4 - I want to stay single but I want a boyfriend.

Dear diary,

Today I went to the shops and on the way guess who gave me a lift - Robert Golledge. Funny, I never thought I'd see him again. He stopped for me. I went over and he asked where I was going, and he told me to get in, so I did. He took off his sunglasses (to make me notice he had a black eye) but I didn't at the time. So I smiled and said, "What's up?". He told me about how he had a fight against someone but I forgot who. Anyway we roared up the Tolhurst's driveway and we got out of the car and I sort of took a step in his direction and he said, "You can walk down the hill?" I said, "Yeah, thanks" and all this, "Seeya". He's quite nice acsherly. Oh Lord. Tomorrow I have to give Craig an answer. What'll I say? I still haven't made up my mind. I want to stay single but I want a boyfriend. I wouldn't be able to flirt if I went with him. Oh Jees, what am I going to say? I know. I won't go to school tomorrow. If only I had have gone when JB said she wanted to go. Anyway, he would have still asked me. Godsella.

Monday April 5 – Her insides must be like spaghetti by now

Dear Diary,

Well today Craig came up and asked me what my answer was at recess and I didn't give him an answer. We talked and I tried to explain about Longard and 80 times, but it just wouldn't come out. Then bloody Mitchell came over and started stirring me and saying he was serious. Imagine that. Then he walked me to class and at lunch he came over. I tried explaining it again and I told him I was worried about something. Trevor goes, "about losing your virginity". I said, "Yes". Then Trevor goes on about not being stupid about that, and I said I'll probably do it before I'm married. He said, "There you are. You're not going to wait until then, so you might as well do it now". I said, "I'm only 14" he said "That’s not the point" I said, "It is. I’m only standing up for my morals". He went off his brain again. Later he told Jo to apologise and all this but Cluff comes up and goes, "Don't talk to her, she doesn't like, me. She needs to say hello". So I said, "hello" and he called me spunky. I told Craig that I wanted to wait a while till I go with anyone, and he said ok. He told me all about him and Cathy, and he told me if he told me how many times he'd done it, I'd die. I said, "Tell me. I feel like dropping dead": 126 or so times. God. Her insides must be like spaghetti by now. He told me about shoplifting and all the rest, and when him and Mitchell found out I was still a virgin, Mitchell goes "I thought you'd been done over before". THANKS MITCHELL. O'Donnell reckons he got my pants off at the party which is a load of bull. 

Craig told me that that Chris told him and Jason that he done this girl over 3 times. It wouldn't surprise me either. Steve went passed and I said, "Hi Steve" and he didn't say anything so I said, "Don't say hello then" and he said, "Gaday Petra". Later I said, "Hi" and he came and talked to me and said "Sorry I didn't say hello to you before but I didn't see you". He's still nice. When I was talking to Craig, Colin came up and said, "We had a vote and we decided this" and he drew on my leg with a texta. The pig. Then Mitchell went and drew on my other leg. The pig. Geoff told me that every time they see me my eyes are all glassy. I don't know how you can tell. That kid who was with Peter Sheen on Saturday smiled at me.  I’m going late night shopping on Thursday and get a job I hope. I bet you anything I won't. O well. I'm glad I got today over and done with. Seeya.

Tuesday April 6 - Everybody's breaking up. Its really sad

Dear Diary,

I told Craig he wouldn't talk to me again but he reckoned he would but he didn't. He didn't say a word to me today. Not a word. I told him he wouldn't. Jees I feel bad. Several kids came up and asked me if I was going with Craig, and about 4 asked me what my answer was. Hope he comes to school tomorrow. Watched interstate netball and Geoff came and sat with me and all the rest of them. They all pinned him down while I put his hair in pigtails. Jees it was funny. He looked cute too. Then they all pinned me down and tied my shoelaces together. Funnyness. Dianne and Bret had a fight and Dianne wants to drop Bret cause she thinks it’s not working out. So I did my matchmaking (dada) and they're still going together. Everybody's breaking up. It’s really sad. Oh yeah. Steve had a fight with Emma, but they're back together again. He watched her play netball on Saturday and she invited him to her place, then she chucked a sickie. She reckoned he invited himself. Jees, I wish Steve like me.

Wednesday April 7 - I went screaming up the other end of the oval

Dear Diary,

Well today was cross country. When I asked Dad for a note so I don't have to go in it, he said "Don't be such a yellow belly". And when I told him that night he blew me up for not going in it! Would you believe. Craig didn't come to school today. Drats. I wanted him to,
but all them lot sat with us. When we were sitting down this big black spider came stalking through the grass. I went screaming up the other end of the oval. God I hate those things. Caught Mt Riverview bus again and me and Wain had a fight on it. Jees it was funny. My damned pen just ran out. Then it was time to go and he wouldn't let go of my leg. Every time Colin goes past me he goes. "Hello Petra'. Would you believe. Funny about that. Steve goes past me and said, "Ga'day Peeee-tra", cos he was going to say Peta but he said Petra and it turned out to be Petra. seeya.

Thursday April 8 - Everything went wrong today.

Dear Diary,

I talked to Craig today and he walked me to my class. Wow. They were talking about Craig racing lizards or his hairy dragon, and how bad it was and how they had to put it in a pen.  Everyone kept asking me if I was going with Craig (in front go him). Went to Penrith and I got a $6.99 bra which that stupid lady kept me in there 1 and a half hours for, so I missed the bus and the train and was half an hour late. Then we had to wait 3/4 of an hour cause a goods train at Glenbrook had broken down. This kid next to me kept smiling and laughing at me then the ticket bloke who was quite nice, kept staring at me when I went passed. Everything went wrong today. Coles didn't have jobs until Christmas. I kept knocking things over and dropping things and bumping into things. God it was bad. I had to walk home in the dark, but it was all very exciting.

Friday April 9 - Got invited to a party

Dear Diary

Got invited to a party today, tomorrow, Sue Vandaloos. Craig wasn't at school today. Asked Mum if I could go to the party and she said she'd tell me tomorrow. Jason might go. I hope not. Seeysa

Saturday and Sunday - We took the boys home in the panel van which was really cool

Dear Diary,

Well I was allowed to go. Would you believe - one days notice, and I didn't have to talk her into it. Mrs Taylor (Megan's Mum) gave me a lift down at four (the party started at 7). Everyone started arriving (including that guy). I was at the fridge in the laundry and 'that guy' came and surrounded me and FORCED me to kiss him, and I couldn't fight cause he and me pinned. I was talking to Wendy and Geoff and they egged him on and he pushed me down on the floor and pinned me and bloody stuck his mouth on as hard as he could and I couldn't breath. I belted him and belted him and belted him and tried to scream but whichever way I moved he had me pinned down. God it was bad. He's a BLOODY ANIMAL. Adam W and everyone kept coming after me cause there were only 4 girls and about 10 boys. This other guy cornered me in the bedroom too. So I decided to watch this really dense horror movie and Bret kept trying to sit in the chair with me, and on me, and kept sitting on the arm of it, and then he came at me again. God it was bad. I was asking, or rather, screamed to Sue's parents to take him away but they wouldn't. But when he attacked me they did. Thank-god. 

I was pissed a little. Boy did I have a headache and feel sick. Funny about that. I didn't have as much as I had at the Christmas Party. I have a hang-over and a cold. When everyone went for a walk, and I was busy being sick. I was in the bedroom and someone said, "Im having Petra Campbell" but I don't know who it was. Megan reckons it was Peter
Ryan. Then we took the boys home in the panel van which was really cool. I had to go in the other car for about 5 minutes cause his wheel was dragging, and I HAD to sit on Mouncer's knee and he was all hands. I whacked him real hard across the head and I told him I'd hurt him so I elbowed him in the face. Then Wain ruffled my hair so I did it back and he grabbed my arms and everyone had a go, and I was all elbows and everyone was holding their faces. I yelled will you PISS OFF! So I got out and got back in the panel van. We dropped the guys off at Springwood and then went back to Steves and got our beds ready. We had something to eat and then we lit the fire and went to bed. Everyone was telling ghost stories and everyone was packen shit. So we moved on to a better subject - boys. In the morning I was asleep but awake and bloody Taylor said, "most people look cute when they're asleep but ----" The Bitch. God I hate her. Then, when we were all in our PJ's, Geoff and Snowy came and we all raced in the bedroom. Then we walked up the highway to make a phone call. Then we came back and Mrs Horton picked us and took us home. And as per usual I had a fight with Mum and Dad. Boy did I feel sick. Mum asked if I drank. Come to think of it, I didn't drink all that much. I was just a bit merry. Seeya

Monday April 12 - Sue's father's taking the party to court- we are all underage

Dear Diary,

Got stirred about the party. Naturally. Told Deb and Jo about that guy and they reckoned I should tell Diana about him but I can't do that. Debbie told me that Craig had a girlfriend. I was really upset because I decided this morning that if he still wanted to go with me, I would. But Debbie asked him if he still liked me cause she's thought about it and he said "I don't know". So that means no. Definitely no. Dam, dam, dam. Why didn't I go with him? God I’m a little dickhead. Talked to Craig today about netball, football, the party and skateboards and I nearly told him about Bret but I didn't. Well serves myself right. I always let chances fly past and then I regret it. Oh yeah. Sue's father's taking the party to court - SHIT! Because she reckons the boys bought booze and Megan was kissing all the boys and they were pissed, so that means she was pissed, so that means everyone was, so we are all underage - pretty good one. Oh, Far Out. If this goes to court that would be the limit for my parents. They wouldn't trust me again, not that they trust me now. Seeya.

Tuesday April 12 - Went to the pool and did my Bronze Cross.

Dear Diary,

I decided not to go and talk to Craig today, so I didn't. When Deb asked him if he liked me, she said he had a grin on his face. She said she thought he was thinking. Ha. I'll let him sweat and wait it out. He did it to me. I'm sick of dam well waiting, though I don't think
he likes me anymore. Even if he did, he wouldn't ask me again, not after the last time. It would hurt his pride. I think so anyway. Went to the pool and did my Bronze Cross. I passed thank Christ. Would you believe I beat Debbie in the laps.!!! By a long shot too. I think Dad has been reading my diaries otherwise he wouldn't just start HATING me like he does. He keeps calling me HORRIBLE names, and he just discards me like a piece of dirt. Well ha ha Diary. He has no dam right. How could he the B'tard. It’s about time I called him something he's always calling me. We have lost all communication. I’m not allowed to see Earthquake.

Wednesday April 13 - Oh Lord I hope I get in A Grade netball. B is degrading

Guess what I bloody found out today, that Craig bloody well likes that troll girl. I hate her. Not because Craig likes, I've always hated her, but now it’s more than ever. Dam. Bum. BUM BUM BUM. God I am so damn stupid. Why the hell didn't I go with Craig when he asked me? Why do I ALWAYS give away a good chance. GOD I AM A MORON. Tried out for Grade Netball. I have to go back tomorrow so we can be graded. Oh Lord I hope I get in A. B is degrading. Please help me get in A. Didn't talk to Craig at all except once. I said Hi and he just gave me a dirty look and when I found out about that girl, I was walking round like a zombie even worse. I didn't talk to anyone and my face must have looked like I came from a funeral or something. Oh boy, why did I say no. Why not yes. Why am I so stupid. I wish Craig would ask me or at least like me. He knows too. Boy.

Thursday April 14 - I'm coming out with hives

Craig actually came up to me and said, wait for it, would you believe, "Is Debbie still going with Diko?" ( God that shits me). I said, "Yes. Why?". He had a funny grin on his face
and said, "Just wondering". I said, "You know something". He said, "I'm trying to find out something". I said, "what?" He said "If Debbie is still going with Dixon". God that makes me sick. He could have asked someone else. I'm coming out with hives. Everywhere. They are really itchy. Today's the last day of school until Wednesday. God how boring. Linda and Andy are coming down tomorrow, that's why we're decorating the house, cause Mum's using them as an excuse to get it done quickly. Seeya.

Friday April 15 - Mum kept grousing at me cause she reckoned I was too lazy

Dear Diary

Today was a mad rush to get everything ready for Linda and Andy but Mum kept grousing at me cause she reckoned I was too lazy although I did a fair bit today. I am getting a bit lazy though. But Mum hardy ever pays me and she keeps on complaining even about the good things I do (which is rare) ( God I’m bad) ( don't you think?) So what do you expect? Well they came. Kelly's sweet and shy and Benjamin is so beautiful. I wish he was mine. Seeya.

Saturday April 16 - Andy ripped his foot open on the corrugated iron

Dear Diary,

Feels like Sunday today. Funny about that. Didn't do much today. Nothing, to be exact.  Nothing very exciting to report except that Andy ripped his foot open on the corrugated iron so he went to the hospital and the doctor said if the cut had have gone a fraction deeper he'd have hit a vein. UGH. Jees Benjamin is so beautiful. He smiles so sweet n' oh Boy he's gorgeous. Kellies getting a bit of a ----. Oh well.

Sunday April 17 - Feels like Sunday again - could be cause it is. Did nothing again as per usual. Seeya.

Monday April 18 - Sharon came down and we did some crocheting.

Dear Diary,

Still feels like Sunday. Sharon came down and we did some crocheting. Then Wain and Brett came and we kept stirring each other. God it was funny. Wain was supposed to belt me up cause I told Sharon what he told me - that he didn't want to go to the party. But he got nowhere near it. Seeya

Tuesday April 19 - We talked and looked at records.

Dear Diary,

Linda and Andy left. Saw Wain and Brett and Snowy. Wain goes "Where's your Mummy Petra". I said "Where's your Mummy Wain, who wouldn't let you go to the party, Wain". He went red. Then I saw Jason. He goes "Gaday Petra" and smiled and came and talked to me. Miracles. Ferret was there too. Guess who was there? Robert. He came up and said gaday. We talked for about 1/4 of an hour. He asked me for my telephone number. He said next time he's at Glen's he'll ring me and tell me to come up. He told me he liked my skirt and about how he's going in the army in two weeks! WOW!!!Pretty strong. Then later on I was in the record bar, and he came up and put his arms around me. We talked and looked at records. He said next time my parents are out he'll come over and play a record for me - Oh yeah. I don't know his phone number anyway. He's nice though. We talked about a stack of things. It was good for him, going in the army. Wow. Got my school slacks but I'm not allowed to wear them till after the holidays.

Wednesday April 20 - I got into A grade for netball, thank God

Dear Diary,

Well I got into A grade for netball, thank God. So did Andree. That’s all I need. We won against Penrith 28-24. I hope we win the rest. Karen ripped a ligament in her ankle, poor Karen. She mightn't be able to play REP. I hope she can. She's good. She won't be able to go to the carnivals on Sunday and Monday. Worst luck. Mitchell talked to me a lot today. At role call he wouldn't leave my bum  - opps, I mean, posterior, alone. He kept hitting me. Debbie told me that Chris told her (I'm sick of what Chris "told her") that Craig is still madly in love with Cathy Longard, and that he only wanted to go with me for one reason - to see how much he can get out of me. Me and Lynette MacMorrow. God, I don't know who who to believe. I should have gone with him. Seeya

Thursday April 21 - Guess who I'm going with?

Dear Diary

Guess who I'm going with? How did you guess - Craig. At lunch he came up to me and said, "Someone told me you wanted to go back with me". I said, "I wasn't going with you in the first place". He said, "Oh well, will you go with me?" Then we went over to the steps and I said, "I was  told you only wanted one thing and that you were still madly in love with that girl" he said, "She's the biggest ----- out. She looks like the Pro of Penrith". I said I would go with him. Funny, I don't feel anything. Everyone seems to be leering at me. Goetze goes, "Are you going with Craig Stratten?" I said, "Yes. How did you know about it?". She goes, "Everyone's talking about it". God. I want to go to the Forum Dance tomorrow night. Debbie’s asking if I could borrow her dress, just in case, but Mum and Dad are going out so that leaves my sister by herself. Oh I hope I can go. Seeya.

Friday April 22 - God am I the biggest dickhead out

Dear Diary,

This morning Dad told me I couldn't go to the dance cause they're going out and I have to look after my sister, but this arvo Mum said I could go cause Jenny's staying at Mrs Hendly's, but then Mum found out I found some mascara and she reckoned I stole it and we had a big ball up. Mum said either she tells Dad or I don't go to the dance. So I didn't
go to the dance. Dam, why am I such a fool. God I wish I was dead. I’m not allowed to go to Earthquake tomorrow either.  We have to go to Sue's place to find out who owns the Mascara. SHIT!! God am I the biggest dickhead out. Why do I always get myself in trouble? Craig invited himself down tomorrow but I told him I would be out. Got stirred by Mitchell and Mark and all them. Me and Craig sat on the stairs and talked about everything. I wonder if I did the right thing. Everyone keeps saying, "Have you done it yet?" and all this and I'm worried. Deb said that Chris tried talking Craig out of asking me but he said No. Seeya

Saturday April 23 - She's even got a love bite all over her neck

Dear Diary,

Did nothing today. Guess what! Wain's going with Sharon. That’s the first time Sharon's gone with anyone. He kissed her for the first time last night at the dance. She's even got a love bit all over her neck - she was going strong. Would you believe I asked him if he rang last week and he told me to get stuffed, but he said no. Later he said he rang about 2 weeks ago and all that happened, but that was LAST week. We babbled on about nothing. He asked me if I went to the dance but I knew he did. Seeya.

PS: Craig was going to come down today. I told him not to. I wish I had have.

Saturday April 24 - Had to get up early today to play netball

Dear Diary,

Had to get up early today to play netball at Eastwood Ryde. We won one game against Penrith. Thank god we beat them. We only played 5 games but God it was wrecked. Had a pretty good time though. Except for this girl. God she shits me up the wall. Oh well, some people are like that. Seeya.

Monday April 25 - Played netball again today

Played netball again today at Richmond. It was a waste of money and time. There was only one 15 year team and we played them 3 times. We only lost 1 game, drew another.
The next we won. Got sunburnt too. I’m so tired and cranky and can hardly keep my eyes open. So I'd better go to bed. Oh yeah. Someone called from the telephone booth and didn't pay it. I got on and said hello. It sounded like the school creep to me. I said, "Push the receiver button, you know, the A button". He said, "Nothing happens" I said, "Could be cause you didn't put 10 cents in it". Then I said, "Who is it?" and he hung up. Oh well, I’m really tired, so seeya

Tuesday April 26I don't want to go with you anymore"

Dear Diary,

Guess bloody what! Craig came up to me this morning and nudged me (cause I had my head down) and Craig said they all said I was crying. He said, "I've been thinking" and he went on to say about it not going to work out and that we're be better off as friends and all this. I just agreed. He said, "I don't want to go with your anymore" because he didn't think it would work out. But I know the real reason - because of that bloody troll cause he likes her better The Bitch.!!! God I hate her. Why why why does this always happen to me. Why me? Why not someone else but me. Why why why? Then bloody Debbie tells me he likes someone else better (MacMorrow) and that he never liked me anyway. God I hate her when she says things like that. She always does it. Mitchell came up and stirred me, trying to make Craig jealous. God it was funny. Mitchell goes, "He waited two weeks to go with you and then he drops you! The fricken tank".

Wednesday April 27 - I told him all about our home bar

Dear Diary,

Played Katoomba today and beat them 71-4. God talk about a slaughter eh. Jason watched my game. I'd turn around and he'd smile at me. Caught Mt Riverview bus to netball training and Jason was on it. He asked me what I was doing on the bus. I said, "sitting", and he grinned. I said, "No. I came especially to see you". He said, "And besides that. Everyone comes to see me" I said, "Oh yeah". Then I said I had netball training. I told him all about our home bar. He said he'd love to come and have drink. At netball training, Craig and Denton walked past with their hockey sticks. They must have just come back from netball - (Good one. I've got netball on the brain) - from hockey, so I waved to them and they waved back with their hockey sticks. Seeya

Thursday April 28 - Craig was throwing a sandwich at this teacher

Dear Diary,

Went passed Craig and he said Hi. He kept looking at MacMorrow. Jo reckoned Jason kept looking at me. Craig was throwing a sandwich at this teacher and I accidentally got in the way of it, and it hit me instead. Talked to Flea, Mark, Denton, and all them today. Debbie reckons Mitchell likes me but I know he's stirring me cause I’m smart. Guess what! Geoff dropped Wendy and Colin dropped Michelle. Colin goes, "Now that I'm not going with Michelle, will you go with me. I’m madly in love with you?" hahaha, stir stir. So am I Colin. So am I! Mufty Day tomorrow. I don't know what to wear. I could wear my Southern Comfort T host and jeans. And I want to wear this white scarf but I'll probably get stirred sht. It looks like I’m going out. It looks OK though. Seeya.

Friday April 29 I like your Southern Comfort T shirt. What’s under it, nudge nudge

Dear Diary,

Had mufti day today. I wore my jeans, southern comfort T shirt and scarf. It looked quite good I suppose and would you believe no-body stirred me about it. In fact stacks of kids told me I looked good, and a lot on the bus said I looked spunky. At 8th period I didn't go to History. I talked a lot to Colin and this long blond haired kid. Colin goes, "I like your Southern Comfort T shirt. What’s under it, nudge nudge". I walked passed the Tech room and Jason goes "Hey Spunky" quite a few times. I'd turn around and Jason was smiling at me. Caught Mt Riverview bus cause our bus was late, and as I was getting off, every 2 seconds, someone was saying goodbye, except Jason. He's a funny kid you know. One minute he's real hateful and the next he's smiling away. Had a good day though. Parents and sister went out and I was left alone. Steve rang and we babbled on for  about 3/4 of an hour. The school creep was there full on insults of course. Speaking of Steve, Steve Podmore actually came up and talked to me at the bus stop. Oh well. Seeya.

Saturday April 30 -  Jo will tell Debbie and Debbie will tell Chris and he'll tell everyone else

Dear Diary,

Played the pink team but I don't know what the score was. We won though. Caught the train home and saw Niel Dorson and all them. As I got off the train met Gavin and Stewart and haven wanted to know if I was going to the party. I told him I didn't know and I had to walk home with him. THEN he rang to see if I was going to the party, so I told him, I still don't know. Anyway I went. Gaven kept following me around. Jo said he had some idea of pairing up with me because someone told him I wanted to pair up with him! UGH! It must have been Glenda. I paired up with Mark for about 5 minutes. Then Gavin and Graham pulled it off. But I’m glad they did cause Jo will tell Debbie and Debbie will tell Chris and he'll tell everyone else. But the party was boring. We took Mitchell home to Woodford and on the way up I had to sit on Graham’s lap. Then Graham sat next to me so I swapped places with Glenda and they dropped me off and I went to bed. Seeya.

MAY 1976

Sunday May 1 - Doctors said if the baby doesn't die it will be mentally retarded.

Dear Diary,

Went to Blacktown Carnival Today and guess what - we won it! Isn't that great! We played 9 games and won each one of them. Then we played the semis and won, and then we played the finals and won. In other words, we played 11 games and won every one of them. Had this stupid quick presentation and got a solid plastic trophy. Then we drove home and had a drag down the expressway with David Goetze, and went to Mrs Marsh's and celebrated with 4 bottles of champagne. I got a bit sloshed and I don't mean sloshed. I mean sloshed. I came home like that and Mum realised it. So did dad. Oh guess what! Poor Georgie's baby fell off the table and the Doctors said if the baby doesn't die it will be mentally retarded. Oh God. Poor Georgie and Willie. I hope the baby is alright. Please help God. Seeya.

Monday May 2 - The soccer boys were there.

Dear Diary,

Did I tell you Dairy, we are going to Surfers Paradise on the 30th of May. That’s in 28 days. Oh Boy. I can't wait. But guess what I’m stuck with? How did you guess. My Fricken periods. God that makes me sick. Nothing happened today. I know I look terrible because I washed my hair and it was all over the place. Had Rep training at St Johns. It was real good cause the soccer boys were there. Flea, Beatle, Harry and his brother, Michael, Brent, Robert, David, Hunt and stacks of others. We went for five jogs around the oval with the boys and when they passed, they'd stir us and we'd stir them. It was good fun. Karen ripped her foot open and there was blood all over the place. Someone’s always doing that. Felt really rotten today. Had a big headache and a gut ache and my whole throat and neck was hurting. Whether it was from last night or not, I don't know. I tell you what though, Andrea's brother is nice.

Tuesday May 3 - We're going to Tangalooma Island

Dear Diary,

We're not going to Surfers Paradise anymore, we're going to Tangalooma Island. By 2 aeroplanes. I can't wait. Today at lunch Jeff kept writing me letters saying he loved me and all this. God it was funny, cause he wants me to take him to a netball party which I know nothing about. Tonight he rang and asked if I could go to Penrith with him, but Mum wouldn't let me as usual. Mum gave me $50.00 to buy some clothes but I can't buy much with $50.00. Oh well. It’s better than nothing. I said to Craig, “I know why you dropped me, because you like Lynette MacMorrow. Ive known it since I went with you”. But he said, "No its not", but he turned his head. I think I embarrassed him. At the shops these blokes kept calling us spunky and vice versa. He walked passed me and said, "Jees you're nice". I said "You're not" and walked off. God it was funny.  

Wednesday May 5 -  It was Dad’s birthday and all I had was a prawn cutlet

Dear Diary,

Nothing much happened today. I said hello to Jason and he just said gaday.I don't know why he hates me so much. Jeff asked me asked me if I would go to Penrith with him but I told him I couldn't. But he wouldn't believe me. We had a bye in netball today so we played the Senior A and we nearly won. Had Rep training tonight. It was Dad’s birthday and all I had was a prawn cutlet then I had to go up to the corner. It was freezing and Andre came late. I was waiting 35 minutes in the freezing cold. It was even colder at training. Warren Stephens and Mark Dostal came to pick Andree up in the Ute. She was going to drop me off but there wasn't enough room, worst luck. Warren's nice. So is Mark. Seeya.

Thursday May 6 - Nothing happened today. It was boring. Seeya.

Friday May 7 - How come you're at school lately?'.

Dear Diary,

I was shooting goals and Jason went passed and went, "Starry", I said, "Oh Gaday. How come you're at school lately?”. He said, "I don't know. Something to do". School broke up today thank goodness. Tomorrow’s Rep. I can't wait. Geoff came up to me and said, "Where were you yesterday?" (last night) I said, "Home". He said, "Oh yeah" I said, "I was” He said at 7 o'clcok he rang me and nobody answered. He goes, “Your number is?” ----- and he rattles off a number. I said, "no". He said, "oh".  Seeya

Saturday May 8 - We got the back seat again and sang all the way home

Dear Diary,

Well today was Rep. I had to get up at 5 o'clock this morning. It was really dark. Boy it felt funny. It was still dark when me and Cindy walked to the bus stop. Got the back seat. God it was funny. When we got there we had to brave a March pass. Then we went to Section 2. Boy the courts were nice. They really were. So were most of the kids we played.  We nearly beat Maitland.  It was a good game. When we played Parramatta Granville, my opponent was really nice. She told me we'd beat Lismore and Baulkham Hills and we did. She was nice. It was really good. We got the back seat again and sang all the way home. We walked home in the dark. Jees it was good. Steve rang and we talked for a while. When I moved to the hall because there was a lot of noise, Dad made me move back to where the phone was because he wanted to hear the conversation. The Beep
Sunday May 9 -  One girl is playing bad. She's smoking

Dear Dairy

The bus left later today and all the little kids got on the back seat so we got it on the way home. We won 4 games today. We beat City, Orange and I've forgotten the other two. But it was good. We've already won 6 games. Last year we only won 2. One girl is playing bad. She's smoking. Oh well. God I hate her. I walked home with Michelle and she walked up to the Cramhofts place with me. Wasn't that nice? Saw a couple of spunky guys, but you don't have a chance down at Rep cause there's a million chicks. Anyway, I didn't care cause I was too busy playing netball. We nearly beat Illawarra too. Had fight with parents. Dad doesn't respect my privacy at all. First of all he reads my diaries. Then he embarrasses my privacy in front of the Priestly's. I gave Mum $50 back and she didn't even ask why. They don't give a shit about me. Howard Carter rang and wanted to know if I liked him.

Monday May 10 - We sang out when we passed the presentation, "We are the Blue Mountains!

Dear Diary,

Well todays the last day. Got the back seat again. We won 4 games again, I’ll see if I can remember who. Oh we beat Penrith. We slaughtered them 17-8. It was a fantastic game. We beat Lithgow and Gosford and Western Suburbs. We lost to St George by 1. We had rotten umpire though. One of them walked straight down the middle of the court and was in a dream. When the ball was down her end she was up the other end blowing up the other umpire. She was shocking. The last game against Casino we lost by 3. That’s not nice. Met some guys while having our photo taken. They watched me play the last two games. They kept looking, smiling and waving at me. When I went they waved goodbye and smiled. I’ve forgotten who won the Rep because I never found out. We sang out when we passed the presentation, "We are the Blue Mountains! Clap Clap Clap Clap. Everyone stared. God it was funny. Anyway, had a great time.

Tuesday May 11 - Did nothing today. Slept in.

Wednesday May 12 - She was all worried about Chris

Dear Dairy

Did nothing again today. On the news - 2SM - they said a group of boys were camping in the Blue Mountains and Stepehn Laeh ( they said it differently) had broken his leg and all this, so I rang Debbie and she said she heard about it too. She was all worried about Chris. She said she'd ring back if she heard any more, but I doubt if she will. seeya.

Thursday May 13 - I slept in until 3.30 in the arvo and I just stayed in my pyjamas cause I
had nothing else today. I’m reading the Godfather at the moment its really good.

Friday May 14 - He went to Steve’s rescue

Dear Diary,

Geoff rang and told me all about that camp. He went to Steve’s rescue you see. Geoff Colin, wain, Brent, Dixon, Jason and some others went. Anyway I went to the shops and Geoff was on the station. He came across the rails and talked to me. Then the station master came and said, "You can’t stand there. Either come back on the station or go up the stairs” So I said, “Seeya” and went. I just walked around the shops a while then went home. Seeya

Saturday May 15 - I've never been so scared in my life

Dear Diary,

Cheryl rang and asked if she could come down. I said yes. So I went up to the station and waited for her. God she's changed. I hardly recognised her. We went home and talked, then went back to the station to catch the next train. But we had to wait 2 and a half hours cause the next train wasn't until 6.30. So I rang Mum but she wouldn't pick us up. Then we went to Cheryl's Aunty to tell her she'd be late and we went back to the station. 

I was looking for a house to run into

Anyway, John Steamen came along and we were worrying about him but it wasn't him we needed to worry about, it was Tom J. Apparently he'd been watching me all afternoon and I never realised it. Anyway he followed me to Koala Road. I came around the corner and he was parked on Baringa Road with his headlights on. I was already packen. Anyway, he drove up passed me and said, "Do you want a lift". I said, "Na". He drove to the top of the road and turned around and passed me again and said, "Do you want a lift?" and I said, "Na". Then at that time I was looking for a house to run into. 

Just get lost will you 

He asked me again if I wanted a lift and I said 'no', and he kept asking me to come down and I said 'no'. He said, "I’ll come out then". I said, "You stay in the car". He kept saying that too. He asked me what my name was, and where I lived. He said, "In a house around here?" I said, "Maybe". He said, "I know where you live. Why were you walking down there then”, and all this. I said I didn't trust him. He said "I've never met a Sheila like you before”. I said, "You probably won't. Look I’ve gotta go. Just get lost will you". He said, "I won't follow you or anything". So I casually walked passed his car and down the road. He waited for a while (with the engine off). Then he let his car go down the hill and when I couldn’t see it anymore I pelted up the road all the way home, but I saw a car coming so I hid in the Harrisons as it went passed. Then I pelted home. I didn't stop shaking till half an hour later and Mum blew me up for coming home so late and all this. I've never been so scared in my life. Boy was I packen it. I was nearly ballen

Howard Carter rang and said he liked me and all this and wanted to know if I was going with anyone. Steve rang and we talked.Dad wanted me to invite him home but I explained later that I didn't know him. Dad reckons he's trying to crack onto me. Ha! Seeya.

Sunday May 16- Slept in until 12.30 today without going to the dunny or waking up. So I stayed in my PJ's

Monday May 17- Did nothing today. Just lazed around. Seeya

Tuesday May 18 - I just made a big boob. It was today that Cheryl came down, not Saturday. Oh well. Anyone can make mistakes, especially me. Not it wasn't today either, it was yesterday. I’m still muddled up.

Wednesday May 19 - Did nothing today. Supposed to play netball at Penrith but Goetze reckons she couldn't get a full team. Bull. Seeya.

Thursday May 20 - Went to Penrith with my $50.00 plus $1.00 I bought:

Satin like material - $18.20
Brown polar neck jumper $9.99
Pattern for Dress $1.60
Black jumper $6.50
Earrings   $2.50
Scarf  4.99
Bag  4.99

That’s all. Talk about nothing. I’m allowed to go to the dance tomorrow if I can get the dress made in time. I hope so.

Friday May 21 - Well Mum didn't get my dress made in time. It was 7 o'clock and she still had the sleeves and zig zagging to do, and the hem. We still hadn't had tea and the dance at 7.30 so I didn't go. Seeya

Saturday My 22 - Did nothing today. Mum didn't do any of my dress. I knew it. Seeya.

Sunday May 23 - I can't watch Frogs either cause Mums working and she wants to watch Frenzy.

Dear Diary,

Well had a big fight with family, some of it because of my sister, the ------. God she makes me sick. Mum just did the Zig Zagging then said I had to do the rest which I couldn't, but then she hid it. She said I can have it back when there’s an improvement in my housework. So I won't be wearing it to the airport next week. BUM. I knew she'd do something like that. I just knew it. She always does. She loves my sister so much and she absolutely hates me. So does Dad. It stands out a million miles. They never complain about my sister’s work. Always mine. Shits me up the wall. Why me? Why why why? Just when I thought things were getting better. I can't watch Frogs either cause Mums working
and she wants to watch Frenzy. Just because she missing that, I have to miss Frogs. Boy. Seeya.

Monday May 24 - I wore my school slacks and they're a bit baggy

Dear Diary,

Well school again today. I wore my school slacks and they're a bit baggy. Oh well. At roll call Mitchell came up and said, "Well tell us about Surfers" and I said, "We don't go until next week”. He said "Oh". At the time I was telling Debbie about Tom J. and Mitchell Heard it all.  Flea and all them came up and asked me for money. Sue Smith came up and asked me if I hated this girl. I said. “No. Why?” When I should have said yes. She knows that Craig and Mark like her so I'm told, and they all talk to her. Steve said, “Gaday Petra” in a real soft and nice way. Jees it sounded nice. I wish he hated Emma. That’s mean. Seeya.

Tuesday May 25no-one will go cause the Fuzz will be there

Dear Diary,

Well I got invited to 2 parties today. I can't go to ether of them. Colin and Steve came up and asked if I wanted to go this party in a house owned by nobody and all this. It sounded real great. Steve said he couldn’t go cause it’s his aunty Agnes's 55th anniversary in Sydney or something. We both wanted to call if off but Colin reckons too many people know about it. Bull. last time I heard, was that none will go cause the Fuzz will be there or something. The other parts is Peter Owen’s and I can't go to that because I have to baby sit my sister while Mum and Dad go out. Seeya.

Wednesday May 26 - Poor little Robert will be a human vegetable.

Dear Diary,

You know how Georgie and Willies baby fell off the table? Well it lost the use of its arms and legs and has severe brain damage. The poor thing. There's something else too but Mum and Dad won’t tell me. Poor Mum was ballen her eyes to. I comforted her I think) da da. Dad said he won't let me on the plane unless I get my hair cut. GOD!! He wants me to keep it long but cut the fringes off. What does he think hairdressers are? Magicians? I’M NOT GETTING IT CUT. They'll balls it up just like the last time. No. I’m not getting it cut. Poor little Robert will be a human vegetable. It’s not fair. Why him? He'd be better off dead (don't say that!) Caught Mt Riverview bus and Colin reckons he's coming down Saturday night. Bull. We won netball today. Just: 27-25. seeya.

Thursday May 27 - Nothing much happened today

Dear Diary,

Nothing much happened today. At lunch there was girl’s rugby game on and Mitchell came and sat next to me. Then Craig came and asked me if I said anything to Macmole and I said, "No, I don't talk to her" and he said, "Why?" I said,"I don't like her". He said he heard that and that I told her something which is bull. Seeya

Saturday May 28 - That’s 3 parties I’ve been invited to

Dear Diary,

Guess what! I was invited to another party today. That’s 3 parties I’ve been invited to. I can't go to any of them cause Mum and Dad want to go to a party and I have to baby sit my sister. Jason, Micheal , Robo, and someone else rang up and asked  me what I was doing tomorrow night, and then they invited me to the party. Jasons' been smiling at me today. Wow.Craig calls moleface organism queen! Sh-t she went and talked to them lot and she rang Craig and said she dropped Robert cause he wanted to go with me! Everyone reckons I want to go with him. UGH. Colin still reckons he’ll come down but I know he won't either. I just bet.

Sunday May 29 - I've packed just about everything I own and that’s not much either

Dear Diary,

Well today was a busy day. Cleaning the house and packing and all of that. I've packed just about everything I own and that’s not much either. Mum bought me a bra but it’s too small and she also bought me a pair of stockings. I finished my dress. I had to sew the hem and the sleeves. Well tomorrow's the big day. Just think. This time tomorrow I’ll be in my cabin at Tangalooma. I just can't wait. I can’t, I can't. Well I have to. Seeya.

Written By Petra Campbell

Twitter: @petraau