A Fortunate Life: episode guide

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Part II: Bush Schooling (1905-1908)


Part 2
Screenplay by Ken Kelso
Directed by Marcus Cole

At last, fortune seems to smile on young Bert. He goes to work for the Phillips, a childless couple who treat him as one of the family. It's hard work — clearing and burning off the bush, putting up fences, ploughing the soil, planting crops, looking after the domestic animals. But Bert doesn't mind, because, "I wanted to please and stay with these people."

The Phillips decide to adopt Bert, but his mother won't give them permission. This refusal changes the attitude of the Phillips towards him and so, bitterly disappointed, Bert decides to leave. At the age of 13, never having spent a day at school, Bert goes to work for another couple, the Bibbys.

Then, at Bert's 14th birthday, he receives an invitation from the mother he hasn't seen for twelve years, asking him to visit her in Perth.


  • Bill Kerr as Narrator
  • Anthony Richards as Bert (9 yrs)
  • Benedict Sweeney as Bert (14 yrs)
  • Dorothy Alison as Grandma Carr
  • Carole Skinner as Shalagh Phillips
  • Martin Vaughan as Frank Phillips
  • Bill Hunter as Charlie Bibby
  • Kirsty Child as Mrs. Bibby
  • Pat Bishop as Alice McCall
  • Paul Sonkkila as Archie McCall
  • Dale Randall as Roy Facey
  • John Ley as Eric Facey
  • Leslie Wright as Jack Lander
  • Maurie Ogden as Sergeant
  • Barrie Barkla as Official

also appearing:

  • Doug Wilkinson
  • Donovan Curyer
  • Sasha Janes
  • Sandra Eldridge
  • Raelene Hughes
  • Jodi Haslinger
  • Christopher Rice
  • Chris Wintergreene
  • Rebecca Heath
  • Tanya Heffernan
  • Jeff Hutchison