The material on which this work is based was a legacy from my father Dr Francis John Antill Pockley. In some respects this project has been part of the journey of the son around the father. In others, remarkably similar to his own journey into the desert in 1933. In conducting this research, I have had to rely on less tangible gifts, incompletely transferred from him to me by example. Words which come to mind are integrity and tenacity - but they lack a sense of the singular qualities that I remember in him. I shrink from thinking how he would feel about the global distribution of this material. He was a very private man averse to the ignominy of being remembered. His own life was shaped by this story and like all family stories it has become part of mine.
Without the assistance of the following people The Flight of Ducks would never have evolved:
Adjunct Professor John Bird who had the vision and understanding of how to work in this medium. My supervisors, Dr Erica Hallebone and Dr Robin Williams who have been patient and generous with their time. Harry Sokol, webmaster for Cinemedia and voice over my shoulder. Russell Naughton, fellow traveller, friend and confidant. David Atkinson for his quiet reason. Andrew Pam whose generosity of spirit, I can never fully repay. Ria Murch for permission to include a chapter form on her book on Arthur Murch. The Late Dr Maurice Joseph for his assistance and recollection of Hermannsburg in 1933. Margaret Phillips at the National Library of Australia who always found time to answer my questions and offer support.
Thanks must go to Liddy Nevile, Philip DesAutels, and Paul Resnick and his students for their help with the PICS filtering architecture.
Thanks must go to Jennifer Hooks and John Smithies at Cinemedia for providing a quiet place to build and maintain this work and a context in which to examine many of the larger issues.
Thanks must go to all those people who have contributed to The Flight of Ducks through their advice and participation. In particular all the central Australian Aboriginal people who have offered on-going consultation and assistance and whose resilient culture this work honours.
Acknowledgment must also go to my wife, Susan, and children Emily, Bonnie and Jack, who for four years have had to put up with an obsessed (and usually absent) husband and father.