in the nature

Stories from Silver Plains

I was on a search for the stillness that comes from being in a landscape like Silver Plains. This is where my story began. Years ago, after the whirlwind of publishing ‘Spinifex Baby’ and winning the 2014 Finch Memoir Prize, I was rushed through the media, tall buildings and intense crowds of Sydney. Coming home to Tasmania, I escaped, via the generosity of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC), to the ‘White House.’

This weatherboard cottage sits just back from the tranquil expanse of Lake Sorrel. The mountains of the Central Plateau blast sheets of sleet on it from above, and, if you’re slow enough, stories can be caught in the wind. As I sat in front of the fire with my mug of tea, all those years ago, a new book began to take shape.

The next few years were a little distracted – they were spent caring for country and our children on Boolcoomatta Reserve near Broken Hill. In that time, my story was refined, but, to be honest, it was only here, back on country, that the characters have truly taken shape.

The need for protecting landscapes like these is obvious, the conservation values are significant and important, but in doing so, the TLC has also created a space for story-telling, both new and old.

Thank you Tasmanian Land Conservancy, for your generosity and commitment to the parts of this earth, and life, that matter.

Silver Plains. Photo: Heath Holden

The TLC’s Silver Plains property is part of 26,000 hectares of former logging land that was gifted to the TLC in the biggest private conservation deal in Australia’s history: the TLC’s New Leaf Project. We extend huge credit and thanks to Jan Cameron and the Elsie Cameron Foundation for their support in the initiative.

Author Profile
Karen Harrland

Karen Harrland is a published author of the book ‘Spinifex Baby,’ which won the national 2014 Finch Memoir Prize. Spinifex Baby tells the story of Karen’s harrowing journey into motherhood, amongst the camels, dust storms and wildflowers of the remote Simpson Desert. She also writes articles for magazines, and is in the process of completing her second manuscript.