Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence is an Australian book by Doris Pilkington , published in 1996. Based on a true story, the book is a personal account of an indigenous Australian family of experiences of Stolen Generation – the forced removal of mixed-race children from their families during the early 20th century. It is the story of the young Aboriginal girls: Molly (the author’s mother), Daisy (Molly’s sister), and their cousin Gracie, who are forcibly removed from their families, later escape from a government settlement in 1931, and then trek over 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) home by following the rabbit-proof fence , a massivepest-exclusion fence which crossed Western Australia from north to south.

The book was adapted to a film, Rabbit-Proof Fence , in 2002.


Doris Pilkington had a lot to do with her life at the Moore River Native Settlement in Western Australia , the same facility the book chronicles her mother, aunt’s and cousin’s escape from as children. Pilkington says: “Pilkington says she did not know her mother, and she was not aware of her mother’s captivity at Moore’s River, nor the story of her escape, until her Aunt Daisy told her story. Repeating the story at an Aboriginal family history event in Perth , one of the expectations told Pilkington was well aware of the fact that the case was fairly well-documented. He Gave Her Some Documents and Clippings Which Formed the Factual Backbone of the Story on Which Pilkington Based a First Draft. [1]

Pilkington submitted the draft to a publisher in 1985 but was told it was too much like an academic paper. Her first novel, Caprice, A Stockman’s Daughter , won the David UnaiponLiterary Award and was published in 1990 by the University of Queensland Press . Pilkington then rewrote and filled out Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence following several years of interviewing her mother and aunt, and it was published in 1996. [1]


Map of the actual Rabbit-proof fence showing the river from Moore River to Jigalong.

Molly, her sister and cousin are taken to Moore River for schooling to become more of a part of the country. [2]

Movie adaptation

Main article: Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)

Shortly after the book’s publication, the film rights were obtained by Christine Olsen, who wrote the script and was persistent in her pitching of the film to Hollywood -based Australian director Phillip Noyce . Noyce agreed to direct the film, which was released in 2002 and starred Everlyn Sampi as Molly, and British actor Kenneth Branagh as AO Neville , the Chief Protector of Aborigines .


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Quin, Karl (17 February 2002). “Molly’s Story” . The Sunday Age . Retrieved December 6, 2007 .
  2. Jump up^ Matheo, Demetrios:The Long Walk Home, The Daily Telegraph , September 1, 2002.