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A young Scottish lawyer, Cameron Dunbar, arrives in Australia to construct an appeal for a young Aboriginal man who has been wrongly accused of a homicide in Townsville, North Queensland.

Grappling with racial issues, office procedures and internal conspiracy, he is hailed for his success with the appeal process, only to find himself caught up in a much more complicated reason for his original acceptance as a representative in a homicide appeal.

Memories of his deceased father, who served military time in Townsville during the Second World War, inadvertently assist in his search for information.

A new employment endeavour finally leads to a conspiracy theory he had only suspected.

Rules of immigration work lease in Australia cause him anxiety as he prepares to discover clarification of a theory that had been haunting him. A sense of romantic attachment is secured with a deep respect for the person who introduces him to the peaceful, mystical side of Aboriginal belief.

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ISBN: 978-0-6481607-5-5
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 218
Genre: Fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2018
Language: English


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Author profile 


Forrest H. Cleeton was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, and became an assisted passage migrant to Australia in 1951. Following the building trade in Queensland, he was soon to be tagged with the name Jock. 

Interested in sport, his success on the soccer football field led to years of coaching. As a senior club coach, writing, speaking and performing at club seminars encouraged an overall interest in writing programme agenda.  

Being married and raising four children offered Jock little time to pursue further activity. In retirement, he managed to enjoy writing short stories as a hobby. During his senior years, his interest in writing introduced him to the management head of the local library, a person who had known Jock in earlier years as a football club coach. Jock was encouraged to assist the local library in the establishment of a writers’ group in the growing town of Caboolture in Moreton Shire, Queensland. 

‘Caboolture Writers’ Link’ was born in 2006. Jock was elected chairman and remained in charge of the very successful writers’ group over the next 10 years. He continued writing short stories as part of the group’s monthly exercise agenda and in later years found a further interest in extending one of his short story efforts to create the fictional story Echoes of Alcheringa, which he has written under the name C.J. Forrest.


Considering a need for therapeutic change after the premature passing of his father, Cameron Dunbar was attracted to a notice offering opportunities for British law officers in overseas locations. Working in London, an enduring procedure eventually led to an acceptance of his application for a criminal attorney in Australia. Aspects of case detail, duties, preparation, direction and expectation would be proposed and directed by a principal law office situated in Sydney, New South Wales. Limited time did not allow for prior study of possible variations in Commonwealth law. Cameron’s confidence lay in the knowledge that Australian law followed similar British procedures. A hasty visit to his mother and younger sister in Edinburgh, Scotland, was arranged to fit in with a flight plan booked to coincide with an appointment date in Sydney. Thoughts of Australia nurtured a fresh desire to follow his quest to be more than just a lawyer. Criminal justice was his call.


Australia was considered a vibrant place of opportunity for young ambitious people in 1965. Arriving at Sydney Airport in the warmth of a bright, sunlit September morning, he felt excited with the prospects of his ‘Down-Under’ challenge. Cameron finally settled in a pre-arranged, one-bedroom apartment close to Sydney Harbour. Familiar street names in ‘The Rocks’ area of inner Sydney reminded him of a British influence.

Entering the central city offices of Wallis-Cambridge and Associates the following morning, a mature lady receptionist greeted him.

‘Good morning, Mr Dunbar. Mr Wallis is expecting you.’

A cordial invitation led him into a spacious, sparsely decorated room. Walls of polished timber panels were complimented by large paintings of Australian Outback scenes of sheep, cattle droving, galloping horses and large country homesteads. An overall bigness, space and comfort felt slightly overwhelming.

‘Cameron Dunbar, come in,’ a voice seemed to boom from where a distinguished grey-haired man sat behind a heavily carved desk at the far end. ‘Welcome to Australia. I’m Harvey Wallis, please take a seat.’

The desk was much too wide to lean over and shake hands.

‘I take it you have settled in comfortable accommodation.’

Cameron responded with a mention of appreciation. After discussing the long flight and Cameron’s preparedness to commence with details of duty, the senior law man referred to notes in front of him.

‘I take it you understand your position is an undertaking to conduct the duties of a defence council in a homicide case?’

Cameron agreed, ‘Yes, sir.’

‘I am sure you will be aware of the strict rules of application to Commonwealth procedure in an Australian court of law?’

Cameron nodded.

‘I must point out, Cameron, our company has developed guidelines that include an expectation of all representatives to conduct their lawful duty while maintaining a mutual respect for the company and the interest of the clientele you represent in a non-discriminatory manner.’ He hastened to add, ‘It is my duty to mention these basic internal rules prior to engagement. I hope you understand.’

‘Yes, sir, err, Mr Wallis, I understand.’

Cameron had no reason to question any reference to rules or conduct.

‘Have you participated in military service?’ Mr Wallis enquired.

Cameron offered that his father, William Dunbar, had been a military man most of his life, and had served some years in the South Pacific during the war. A quiet moment followed; the senior barrister leaned backward to clasp his hands across his front and steadied his posture. Behind the unyielding image of this silver-haired, straight-faced man with piercing blue eyes, Cameron sensed he was not finished. Mr Wallis sat upright, his eyes fixed on Cameron.

‘I am aware of the commendable record and reputation you have established back home. However, I feel I must warn you...’

Cameron sat a little more upright.

‘This appeal case will require more than an articulate defence representative with a degree in the study of law. We have sought to acquire a legal advocate from a neutral background to avoid any suggestion of bias, discrimination or racial favouritism in this Queensland case. I’m sure you will appreciate the psychological gulf that separates two extremely different cultures, not simply black and white, but the natural divide between the people of an Australian Aboriginal culture and the variant customs of white European descendants, who themselves have endured a difficult settlement history in Australia.’

Cameron sat respectably poised and graciously interested.

‘Cameron, I hope you will forgive me for wondering if an attorney from the other end of the world, especially a young Englishman, will be able to relate and comprehend the diverse controversy that includes differences within local politics, racial issues, Aboriginal culture, Australian standards, lifestyle and so on.’

Cameron listened with interest while Mr Wallis took time to breathe.

‘This case will include pages of innuendo surrounding land rites, claims, stolen generations, discrimination, misunderstanding, political pressures and biased social behaviour, not to mention climate, living conditions etc,’ he explained before hesitating. ‘To be frank, Cameron, I expected an older man. I hope you will understand my initial observation. Obviously, our company seeks a determined outcome with a satisfactory conclusion to this case and my concern is, will a young English law representative manage to grasp and handle the conflict and confusion that will no doubt surround this particular challenge?’

Mr Wallis leaned forward to reshuffle the dossier on the desk. His carefully worded observation created a measure of angst in the young newcomer’s demeanour. London office superiors had praised his suitability and training as excellent credentials. Cameron’s thinking reached another gear.

‘Am I to believe I have travelled all this way to be considered incapable before I get started?’

Cameron had nothing but respect for this elder law executive who was, in fact, a QC, possibly in his late sixties. Realising that this man sought more than regard for any written qualification offered on his behalf, Cameron could only ponder.

Maybe this is some sort of procedure to test my capabilities. Am I supposed to depend on sheer character performance to bolster my injured psyche and prove myself worthy of my written reference?

London superiors had mentioned this man, Wallis, had a reputation for being a straight shooter. Never once had Cameron prepared himself for this introduction. Patience helped him gather some composure. Mr Wallis waited, also with patience, no doubt expecting some response. Visible through the large plate-glass window in the background, Cameron stared momentarily at the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and city skyline. It reminded him of Edinburgh, the Forth Bridge and, for some reason, his mother.

‘I understand, sir...’ Cameron began.

Mr Wallis indicated no change of expression or posture. Cameron followed a similar approach in his reply.

‘... with regard to my written profile, I would like you to know and understand, there is lenient mention of practical ability I feel requires consideration before any judgement of my ability or character can, or should be assessed.’

The stately executive law man sat quite still, obviously unmoved. Cameron braced his shoulders.

‘Personally, Mr Wallis, it remains of no interest to me what has been written in resume of my suitability, nor am I deterred by the value given to an Englishman’s understanding of racial difference in Australia. I was offered the opportunity to be the one of a chosen few possible representatives. I was considered best suited for the position of a neutral defence council in the case you refer to, by the most influential law principals in Britain. I was finally chosen due to my record of consistent success in this domain, that is, representing the principle process of British and Commonwealth law, in many cases sifting through page upon page of litigation relating to religion, politics, race relations, cultural differences, including detailed considerations dealing with individuals from all walks of life. At all times I achieved a reputation for concluding a truthful outcome by conducting fair expression, without favour or prejudice whatsoever. In their wisdom, Mr Wallis...’ Cameron looked directly into his eyes, ’a choice of a councillor from the other end of the world was, I believe, to present a defence councillor worthy of confirming your preference for neutrality. I realise, sir, judgement in this case will be served by a mountain of documented records containing local, regional, state, possibly national issues, not to mention tribal, personal, family and cultural consequence, all of which I am well aware will require a careful investigation of race relations.’

Cameron noticed Mr Wallis lean slightly to one side in his swivel chair, and before allowing him to say anything further, Cameron shuffled.

‘I would like to mention, sir,’ and he paused, ‘my résumé clearly states that I am the son of a Welsh father and Scottish mother. I was born in Scotland, raised and educated in Edinburgh. I am employed in London. I am NOT English.’

Mr Wallis rose to his feet; a faint smile appeared as he gathered his files. He reached over the corner of the desk, his open hand outstretched.

‘Well said, Cameron. Welcome aboard. I will contact London immediately with a letter of approval in your favour. Miss Arlington will direct you with any further detail you may require. I wish you all the very best. I will no doubt have a progress report in due course.’

On reaching the door, Mr Wallis turned.

‘Goodbye, Cameron, and good luck.’

A clicking sound echoed through the empty room, leaving the young advocate alone with his thoughts. Almost breathless, he allowed his briefcase to fall to the floor as he sank into the soft comfort of the office chair. Absolute quiet seemed to resinate around him while his injured psyche recovered with some deep breathing. Miss Arlington invited Cameron to join the staff in the tea room. 




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