Late author’s beloved tale republished

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The new edition of Beyond the Lattice - Broome’s Early Years was launched at the Kimberley Bookshop.
Camera IconThe new edition of Beyond the Lattice - Broome’s Early Years was launched at the Kimberley Bookshop. Credit: Carly Laden

A well-loved book detailing the early history of Broome from the perspectives of its inhabitants was given a rebirth at the Kimberley Bookshop on April 20.

Not-for-profit publishing house Backroom Press launched a second edition of Beyond the Lattice — Broome’s Early Years, written by the late Susan Sickert.

Beyond the Lattice was first published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press in 2003, but went out of print for several years.

Backroom Press founding member Pat Lowe said the publisher wanted to produce a second edition of the book because there was a demand to bring the book back onto shelves.

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“It’s really the only book like it, that looks at multicultural Broome and the origins of it,” she said.

“Susan interviewed a lot of people living in town about their family histories and Marie Gamble from the Kimberley Bookshop was saying that it was a pity that there wasn’t another edition at the time.

“Susan was also a founding member of Backroom Press and worked at the Kimberley Bookshop so we thought it would be nice to publish a new edition because it’s a worthwhile book.”

Sickert died from illness earlier this year and Mrs Lowe said it was fitting to publish the new edition and launch it in her memory.

Mrs Lowe said Sickert first produced Beyond the Lattice after developing an interest in the architecture around the town.

“As she started to explore it further, she realised it was actually the people that she was more interested in,” she said.

“She does bring in some of the architecture into the book but it is mainly about the history of the different ethnic groups around here.

“(The book) really showcases what makes Broome special — the blend of cultures.”

Beyond the Lattice — Broome’s Early Years’ second edition was officially launched by Backroom Press at the Kimberley Bookshop.

The launch party included a panel discussion between MC Ben Collins and residents Arnhem Hunter, Carol Tang-Wei and Rachel bin Salleh, whose families are mentioned in the book.

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