This is one of the many dingoes bred by my late brother on his farm at Chewton, Victoria. Below is a piece I wrote to be read at his funeral.
My family is an odd one. My father is older than my grandparents. My brother was older than my mother. I am an only child but I have a brother. It is the stuff of Hollywood and my family story is always very entertaining to others and while it does make for interesting conversation it has its down side.
Bruce was thirty when I was born and by then had already launched himself into what ultimately became his obsession so I guess it seemed unlikely from the outset that we would ever be close. This has always been a source of sadness for me. But I have always been immensely proud of what he worked so hard to achieve and remain proud of the legacy he has left to the scientific community and the country as a whole.
Now that I am in my thirties and finally getting my own shit together, so to speak, I was looking forward to forming a closer adult relationship with my brother. I was looking forward to finding out what it was really like to be somebody’s sister. However it was not to be. I tried to come to see him before Christmas last year but he put me off citing this problem and that. I laughed it off at the time, amused at how like his father he was. I thought there would still be time but he chose not to tell us he had a serious heart condition and it will be a while before I can forgive him for gypping me out of a big brother.
We didn’t get to share much but I do at least have the memories of childhood visits with the dingoes, a common artistic flair for photography and above all, and the thing for which I am most grateful, a shared love and passion for all animals great and small, by which to remember him.
It is now more than 9 years since he died and I still find it difficult to think about the loss. I’m not sure it will ever get easier.