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Growing Pineapples in the Outback

When a professional urban couple relocate to regional Australia to care for an ageing parent, they find it more confronting yet also rewarding than they could have imagined.

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When Rebecca Lister and Tony Kelly move from Melbourne to Mount Isa to care for Rebecca’s elderly mother, Diana, they have no idea what they’ve signed up for. The isolation, sweltering heat and limited employment opportunities make settling into the mining town a challenge. While Rebecca deals with her mother’s declining health and delves into her own past, Tony takes on a new role in native title law.

Caring for Diana – a witty, crossword-loving 92-year-old – proves to be a more enriching experience than either Tony or Rebecca thought possible. As they make deeper connections to the land and community, they find themselves flourishing in a most unexpected place.

Growing Pineapples in the Outback explores the highs and lows of caring for an ageing parent, while also celebrating the rewards of a simpler life.

Rebecca Lister, author of Growing Pineapples in the Outback

Rebecca Lister

Rebecca Lister is an award-winning playwright, arts producer and social worker. She is the co-artistic director of arts company Anvil Productions and the education manager of Eating Disorders Victoria. She was born and raised in Mount Isa but has lived in many places in Australia. In 2018 she was awarded the Australia Day Mount Isa City Council ‘Spirit of Mount Isa’ Award.

Tony Kelly, author of Growing Pineapples in the Outback

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly is a native title lawyer and is currently CEO of First Nations Legal and Research Services in Melbourne. Tony previously worked as a social worker specialising in at-risk young people and as a park ranger in the Northern Territory. Tony is an occasional contributor to The Big Issue.