Back of Beyond author to visit library

Arthur Jenny Old will speak about her novel Back of Beyond at the Forbes Library in August.

Forbes residents are invited to hear Jenny talk about her remarkable life on Friday August 3 at 2pm.

Please book your place online through or call the Library on 6852 1463

Surviving fires, floods, Cyclone Ted and the 1970s Beef Crash, her book Back of Beyond is one woman’s remarkable story of love, adventure, disasters and wonderful times in the Gulf Country.

“After falling in love with my husband, Rick, I moved to a property called McAllister in the remote Gulf Country of far north Queensland, where I found myself living in a shed with a 44-gallon drum for my stove and a shower hose and a bucket in a tree for the bathroom!”

When 22-year-old Jenny Old followed her heart to the vastness of the Gulf of Carpentaria, she had no idea of the primitive conditions she’d find herself in.

Often her only contact with the outside world was through her two-way radio. Stretched to the limits, she achieved more than she ever thought herself capable of.

With every setback and in the toughest of times when the odds seemed insurmountable, she learnt to dust herself off, find a smile and just keep on going.

Like many bush families before and after them, Jenny and Rick battled through many trials and tribulations throughout their eighteen years at McAllister. Yet their world was as big as the landscape in which they lived, filled as it was with generosity, wonderful characters and the joy of life. At McAllister they established an oasis for their family and friends.

Jenny’s motto is: life throws many curve balls at us, but it’s how we deal with them that counts. This is the extraordinary story of a woman of the bush and her indomitable spirit.

Brought up in the Riverina, a 22-year-old Jenny Bull fell in love with Rick Old and went to live and work with him on his property, McAllister.

With no telephone, Jenny’s only means of communication with her family was hand-written letters, which were being kept by her mother and later compiled and used as the timeline of Back of Beyond. Now living in Ashmore, QLD.

Jenny has poured herself into writing and is an active member of the Gold Coast Writers’ Group. Jenny is planning a book tour across Australia, raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.