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A Sunburnt Childhood : Growing Up in the Territory - Toni Tapp Coutts

A Sunburnt Childhood

Growing Up in the Territory


Published: 22nd March 2016
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $32.99

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Published: 22nd March 2016
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Published: 28th February 2017
RRP $19.99

For fans of Sheryl McCorry's DIAMONDS AND DUST and Sara Henderson, this is the story of Toni Tapp Coutts's extraordinary childhood on the legendary Killarney cattle station in the Northern Territory as the eldest of ten children and daughter of cattle king Bill Tapp.

Toni Tapp grew up on the massive Killarney Station, where her stepfather, Bill Tapp, was a cattle king. But there was no 'big house' here - Toni did not grow up in a large homestead. She lived in a shack that had no electricity and no running water. The oppressive climate of the Territory - either wet or dry - tested everyone. Fish were known to rain from the sky and sometimes good men drank too much and drowned trying to cross swollen rivers.

Toni grew up with the Aboriginal people who lived and worked on the station, and got into scrapes with her ever-increasing number of siblings. She loved where she grew up - she was happy on the land with her friends and family, observing the many characters who made up the community on Killarney. When she was sent to boarding school all she wanted to do was go back to the land she loved, despite the fact that her parents' marriage was struggling as Bill Tapp succumbed to drink and June Tapp refused to go under with him.

Toni's love of the natural world and of people alike has resulted in a tender portrait of a life that many people would consider tough. She brings vividly to the page a story seldom seen: a Territory childhood, with all its colour, characters and contradictions.

About the Author

Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Toni Tapp Coutts has had a varied career, from living on cattle stations, riding in campdrafts and barrel racing, to owning a variety store in outback Borroloola and a dress boutique in Katherine.

She was shortlisted in the 2002 NT Literary Awards for her story Daisy & Dora. She spent time at Varuna the Writers' House in Katoomba NSW in 2009 to work on A Sunburnt Childhood. One of the chapters from the memoir, Walking the Wet, was published in Meanjin Quarterly Review in March 2010.

Toni is a leader in her community in Katherine, working for the Victoria Daly Regional Council and organising leadership groups for women within the vast council area. She has been an elected member of the Katherine Town Council for more than ten years. A mother of three, she lives in Katherine with her husband, Shaun. She is the aunt of MasterChef 2013 runner-up Lynton Tapp and of The Voice 2014 finalist Holly Tapp.


Great introduction to the Top End


Toni takes the reader on a romp through her fascinating childhood. Only people who have made it to the Territory will understand the great characters and humour of life here. This book offers a little insight

Darwin NT


What an enjoyable book......


I love Australian stories, and we need to give credit to the people that live this Outback type of life as they are the backbone of this country. I enjoyed this story because of it's simplicity in story telling, and about growing up and living in a remote place like the Outback. A life that few of us experience. Kudos to Toni Tapp Coutts for writing such an enjoyable read.

Brisbane, Qld


Very good book and great service from Booktopia


I love real Australian Stories

Gold Coast


good to deal with


Excellent service.

country qld


Awesome read


Such a great true story, very easy to read and very engaging. I really enjoyed this book.

Nowra NSW



4.6 5


ISBN: 9780733634499
ISBN-10: 0733634494
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 22nd March 2016
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 1