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Whole Wild World: A Memoir

Award winning journalist Tom Dusevic offers a wonderful look back in time as he allows us to see, first hand, just what it was like growing up in post war Australia as the child of Yugoslavian migrants trying their best to fit into a new and totally foreign way of life, in a country that was so very different to their beloved homeland.

As a young child Dusevic was always one to challenge the status quo, deciding to leave home at the young and tender age of not quite four, as he figured that ‘life under a dictatorship’ was not to be tolerated. After all he should be allowed to have a lolly! And if not he should have to know Why Not!

This challenging, pushing the boundaries, looking for the alternative option, was to become a formative aspect of his character as he grew into manhood in the suburbs of Sydney, at a time when it was a safe to play in the streets. His family where a painful and yet respected component of his life, hanging out with mates was first and foremost a priority, there was a time for daydreaming, castle building and a large backyard to play in. A time when parental supervision was minimal which gave a great scope to the games played and places discovered.

We are more than entertained by the antics that went on at school, many of which readers will relate to all too well, as he moved from primary to high school, with his love of knowledge seeing him and his teammates as challengers on the quiz show ‘It’s Academic’, moving on to become the champions of two states and winning a $500 bank account each: unimaginable wealth back then.

His journey into the sporting arena as required growing up in Australia was at various time painful, enjoyable and reluctant, but always underpinned by a desire to win or at least come out not to badly beaten.

After he had become well known as one of the winning school contestants on It’s Academic, he received considerable fan-mail from girls watching the show, some so ‘red-hot’, it was astonishing but also helped paved the way for his introduction to girls as more than just friends.

As the years move along he has to begin to figure out what it is he wants to do once school ends. His brother Sam has gone on to University but Tom is not sure this is the pathways for him. Journalism beckons with his fall back plan to become eventually a Barrister if all else fails.

Always one to make the most of every opportunity he pushes the boundaries in his final year at school, places a great deal of faith in the supposition that he will find a newspaper who will take him on as a Cadet and sets his sights high.

This is a journey about coming of age; of being divided in culture, looking back at a time when life seemed to be so simple, but was not and eventually finally discovering what home, life, living and making your own pathway is truly all about.

A reflective, funny, wry and totally enjoyable look at just what life was like for the child of an immigrant family struggling to find a way to fit in, to begin again and to eventually become settled members of the Australian way of life, lumps, bumps, relatives, politics and all!


Author Tom Dusevic
Publisher New South Publishers
ISBN 9781742234724
Distributor New South Books
Released May 2016