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The story of Magdalen Yabsley is based on old diaries, newspapers articles, material obtained from the Clarence River Historical Society and Richmond River Historical Society and anecdotes passed on within the family. Details of conversations and personality traits of the characters are drawn from my own imagination, based on the best information available to me. All characters are real except Sarah and Joe Cooper. Plainly Magdalen had someone to teach her some bushcraft in the early days, and lacking anything definite to tell me who it was, I have invented a friend. Many other people, who are known to be among the early settlers, have not been included for simplicity – not because I didn't think them worthy of inclusion. Sarah Cooper symbolizes the typical pioneering woman in the Outback, and could have been any of these omitted characters.

I wish to thank the Historical Societies, friends and members of the extended family who have given help and encouragement.

It is hoped that this story will help readers to develop a sense of our past, to become motivated by the ingenuity and self-reliance of our ancestors, and to be aware of the part we can each play in maintaining our heritage, both cultural and natural.

Plant a tree and remember MAGDALEN.

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