The Stringybark Short Stories Award

HIGHLY COMMENDED

SCAB by Kendrea Rhodes

*published in the Stringybark Short Stories anthology, Close to Heaven.

SCAB is the story of a young policeman caught up in the riots and police strikes of 1923 in Melbourne, Australia. This is Kendrea’s first award-winning historical fiction short story derived from family history research. Keep up with developments and follow KendreArt’s blog at the bottom of this post.

The Stringybark Short Stories Award 2019
Close to Heaven contains thirty-three contemporary, award-winning short stories from the Stringybark Short Story Awards. This is a short story anthology of Australian-themed tales by Australian and international authors, edited by David Vernon.

Excerpt from story:

“I heard. But I saw a line of blokes volunteering for the Specials at the town hall,” said Rodier bending down to wipe his boots with a cloth, “they’re gonna replace all the strikers”.

“Don’t bother with ya boots George,” Burges said, attempting to pull him up by the shoulder. “Come to the meeting.”

Rodier pushed Burges’ hand off. He stood and grabbed his helmet, baton and beat-book, and walked away.

“Scab,” Burges spat after him. Several civvy-clad constables turned and stared as Rodier walked out to the muster yard.

The Age headlines, November 5th, 1923:

Rioting And Looting In Melbourne

Police Strike Results In Unprecedented Scenes

Hoodlums And Criminals Smash Windows And Secure Valuables

Damage Amounts To Many Thousands Of Pounds

Ex-Soldier Brutally Murdered In Thronged Thoroughfare


Western Mail, November 8th, 1923:

Police Strike.

… the Victorian police force has been seething with discontent, disputes continually occurring regarding working conditions and pay. Recently the Chief Commissioner (Mr. Nicholson) reinstituted a system of supervision, by which inspections of the night patrols and police in Melbourne were carried out by senior constables in plain clothes [spooks] The men strongly objected to this “espionage” … [and] the night quota refused to commence duty unless the plain clothes supervisors were withdrawn …


The Argus, December 15th 1923:

Police Who Stood Fast

Reward for Loyalty

Members of the police force in the metropolitan area yesterday received in addition to their ordinary pay, £6/4/10 each, portion of The Argus fund raised to reward the loyalty of men who refused to join the police mutineers … 

634 Discharges from Force

In the Victorian “Police Gazette” issued Yesterday appear the names of 634 men who refused duty and have been discharged from the police force …


To read the full story of SCAB & more, get Close To Heaven here

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