Clarke Island is a windswept place in Eastern Bass Strait, that contained no other residents and could only be accessed by light plane or boat when weather permitted. Having never seen the place, Dion and his family moved there in March of 1984 with no plan B. They arrived with little provisions and few possessions to an old farm house invested with poisonous black house spiders and overrun with mice. With no way off, all they could do was make the best of it. Over the next six years, with little or no outside help, they had to contend with a blocked septic tank, a bee swarm in the house chimney, broken machinery, telephone outages, cantankerous horses, wild cattle that could not be mustered and the extreme isolation of living on an island. To survive they had to learn to live in harmony with the island by forging a semi self-sufficient life style in which they not only grew a garden and kept milking goats, but learned to live off the bounty of the land and sea. For one boy, living on Clarke Island was a once in a lifetime opportunity and this is his story.
‘Utterly charming and immensely readable, in Island Life, Dion Perry gives us a true ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ tale set in one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Australia, the Bass Strait Islands.’ — Michael Veitch