Author(s): Toni Tapp Coutts
Having grown up on the massive Killarney cattle station near Katherine, NT, Toni Tapp Coutts was well prepared when her husband, Shaun, took a job at McArthur River Station in the Gulf Country, 600 kilometres away near the Queensland border.
Toni became cook, counsellor, housekeeper and nurse to the host of people who lived on McArthur River and the constant stream of visitors. She made firm friends, created the Heartbreak Bush Ball and started riding campdraft in rodeos all over the Territory, becoming one of the NT's top riders.
In the midst of this busy life she raised three children and saw them through challenges; she dealt with snakes in her washing basket; she kept in touch with her large, sprawling Tapp family, and she fell deeply in love with the Gulf Country.
Filled with the warmth and humour readers will remember from A SUNBURNT CHILDHOOD, this next chapter in Toni's life is both an adventure and a heartwarming memoir, and will introduce readers to a part of Australia few have experienced.
warm, candid and surprisingly riveting - RM WILLIAMS OUTBACK on A SUNBURNT CHILDHOOD full of warmth and brio - COUNTRY STYLE on A SUNBURNT CHILDHOOD The story of a cattle empire forged out of nothing but the bare earth ... a tribute to family, strength and resilience. - RURAL WEEKLY on A SUNBURNT CHILDHOOD
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.