A Piece of Good Land by Val Carter

In 1955 virgin scrub land was released for agriculture in Badgingarra, a small town in the Shire of Dandaragan, approximately 200km north of Perth. Ron and Val Carter saw an opportunity to create a viable farm with grasses and cattle, a place to raise their young family.

Together they raised five children while they spent over 12 years developing and moving to their property Four Corners, twenty -five miles west of Badgingarra in 1967. Val was widowed in 1996 after she and Ron had retired to Mandurah. Since then Val has doggedly stuck to the task of finally completing this publication, A Piece of Good Land.

What is interesting about this book is the precise documentation of government land prices, crop and stock brands and the role of the Commonwealth Development Bank. It gives an accurate picture of the WA farming community at that time. Glimpses of a time when the ‘whites’ took over Aboriginal land, the story of one mysterious hermit called Fred, who lived in the bush amongst them.

The hard work and community feeling of a group of new land farmers showed their determination as they refused to give up in the face of diversity, forms the basis of this very readable memoir.

Many libraries across WA have already placed orders for this book because of its historical value. More information can be found about this book on valcarter.com.au.

For regional areas in WA, check with your local Community Resource Centre (CRC) or local Historical Society – they may have some copies on hand or you can ask to order it for you.