Author(s): Kristin Weidenbach
The Birdsville Track is one of the best-known - and loneliest - tracks in Australia, and for twenty years Tom was the mailman, battling the searing heat, floods and mechanical breakdowns. He made the run every fortnight and was a lifeline to the isolated settlements and stations along the way, delivering everything from letters to essential supplies. The Track is still just that - a track through the desert and sandhills. Tom began in the days before reliable vehicles, good communications and air access in case of emergency. He made running repairs to his truck, he loaded and unloaded tons of stores to ferry his cargo across flooded creeks. He kept people in touch with the outside world - and was sometimes caught up in the grief of a lonely death. Tom Kruse always got the mail through - come drought, hell or high water. It is the classic story of the Australian outback, and captures part of Australian history that is fast vanishing.
'A tribute to a man who earned the love of a whole generation of Australians and shows us that the pioneer characteristics of guts and good-natured stoicism are still beautiful' - The Age 'Full of characters' - Daily Telegraph 'Told with honesty and vigour' - Sydney Morning Herald
Kristin Wiedenbach became a writer after completing postdoctoral research at Stanford University in the United States. She has won several international awards for her writing and her articles have appeared in Science, Australian Geographic and academic publications.