Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up
About the book
In Rusted Off, Gabrielle Chan looks to her own rural community's main street for answers to the big questions driving voters. Why are we so fed up with politics? Why are formerly rusted-on country voters deserting major parties in greater numbers than their city cousins? Can ordinary people teach us more about the way forward for government? In 1996, Gabrielle, the city-born daughter of a Chinese migrant, moved to a sheep and wheat farm in country New South Wales. Here, she provides a window into her community and reflects on its lessons for the Australian political story.
About the author
Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She has been a political journalist and politics live blogger at Guardian Australia since 2013. Prior to that she worked at The Australian, ABC radio, The Daily Telegraph, and in local newspapers and politics. Gabrielle has written and edited history books, biographies and even a recipe book.
The divide between Australia's cities and rural towns is often romanticised and mythologised. In this timely book, the clash between the city and the country is shown to include a complex interplay of social, economic and cultural forces Chan writes as an insider, with an outsider's sensitivity. Chan moved from the city, where she worked in the Canberra press gallery, to the country some years later when she married a farmer. Rusted Off presents a sympathetic and insightful account of the lives of the people in a struggling and troubled country town. It is a portrait about a too often neglected demographic of Australian literary life. Chan challenges us to understand the economic difficulties facing those living in the country and urges a national response. This book provides a sensitive portrayal of the class structure of country towns and reveals the deep social and economic divide between the cities and many rural disadvantaged communities.