- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Quentin ‘Tinny’ Thompson and his German neighbour, Greta, have at least one thing in common. In their tin sheds close to the coast, they are attempting to live out of the firing line of modern society. Tinny’s sons are growing up and one of them, Rock, wants to head to the city and live with his mother, who is sometimes Prue and sometimes Peaches. Greta’s dream of life in Australia began with a school project on the explorer, Ludwig Leichhardt. Heedless of his fate, she decides to follow in his footsteps. However isolation does not guarantee safety. Violence—so visible in a disintegrating Europe—is not contained. It arrives at her shed in the bush in the figure of the disturbed Clive.
Lives do not remain static, even for those who resist change.
Refuge is a tender exploration of love and friendship, families, race relations, the consolations of the natural world and, above all, what it means to belong.