In February 1962 Will James, a fresh-faced innocent straight out of Teachers' College, took up his first appointment in a Western Australian wheatbelt town ... unprotected, quite alone for the first time and not unafraid.
The story which unfolds in 'A Place of Smokey Parrots' is a variation on one which almost every teacher has to tell of those first traumatic months - the triumphs and disasters, the humour and the agony. But 'A Place of Smokey Parrots' is not only concerned with teachers, teaching and schools. It is tale of times past in the bush and of an education system now only existing in the memories of those who experienced it.
Because the events take place in a close-knit Australian bush community of a type now almost extinct, 'A Place of Smokey Parrots' is a valuabble social document. It is also entertaining, full as it is of such personalities as 'Red Ned', the world's best (or worst) drinker, and of the Doomarlocking 'footy' team. And there is always that enthralling procession of interesting characters who dropped in, regularly interrupting the daily routine of the small bush school.