chapter  3
The Smith children go out to school – and come home again: place-making among Kuku-Yalanji children in Southeast Cape York, Australia
BySoutheast Cape York, Australia FRANCINE LORIMER
Pages 19

This chapter is an exploration of the place-making activities of KukuYalanji children in Southeast Cape York, Australia. Drawing on my fieldwork among an extended Kuku-Yalanji family in Southeast Cape York, I present a dense description of everyday lives in order to show how the culturally specific shape of the children’s social relationships to places gave meaning to their choices of movement, including movements out to school and back home again. I argue that the children’s experiences of belonging to a network of paternal and maternal kin as well as engaging with bush, sea and town life constituted the grounds of the social world that the children – each in their own way – drew upon as their movements expanded outwards to embrace more distant places. I discuss the schoolattending practices of three children to illustrate how what might to an outsider seem irregular and unpredictable choices on the part of the children were in fact the ways in which each child maximised their particular support network, as they took the big step of leaving home to go to school. I end with some reflections on the experience-near nature of place, and of the experience-distant map that we are left with of the children’s movements to and from school.