About the Book
‘That ‘ole Abbo’, ‘e got inside me head an’
screwed up me thinkin’.’
The brief conversation with the transient Fella in the Perth caravan park sets a path to a future gradually unfolding over a decade and changing who Jenni and Pete are forever. That journey challenges their prejudices, their beliefs and their worldview. Who they are now is not who they were twelve years ago.
A Cloudy Path follows their journey into the hearts and lives of desert Aborigines, sharing with them the harsh and beautiful Australian outback with its dusty red soil and inhospitable environment. They begin to appreciate the struggles of uniting two vastly different cultures and Jenni soon recognises the mismatch in the expectations of the Aborigines and our education system. As a teacher and eventually a principal, Jenni dedicates her life to trying to empower the children to raise the bar on their options for the future without devaluing their culture.
Jenni Greenham trained and worked in various educational roles in Victoria before resigning to pursue other interests. Many years later she travelled with her husband to Western Australia where she accepted a teaching position with underachieving students in a hard to staff rural school. Her role changed when she took up a position as an ESL Visiting Teacher in isolated desert communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of WA. Over the final seven years Jenni worked as a principal and her enthusiasm and dedication led her to present at workshops on Aboriginal education several times at district seminars and at a National Education Summit. Jenni felt compelled to share her experiences after returning to mainstream Australia and recognising the prejudices of many people who insist on pigeon-holing Indigenous people as lazy and worthless. This memoir is written in the hope that some readers may question their own worldview of an often-maligned people; the Australian Aborigines.