Robert grew up in a small town in rural Victoria – Eildon Weir, as it was known when he lived there. The town nestled under the weir, and he spent a fair bit of time as a child contemplating the thrilling prospect of the wall’s collapse. He imagined the opportunities the flood would provide for the rescue of old people and small children. The newspaper headlines would read: “Eildon Boy Saves Hundreds.”
Fashioning these fantasies of triumph was the beginning of his life as a writer. Whenever a new word came his way, he found a home for it in his ongoing narrative, always awkwardly: “Indefatigable Eildon Boy Saves Hundreds,” and, “Indefatigable Eildon Boy Saves Hundreds From Catastrophic Calamity.” It took him many years of writing before he got back to,“Eildon Boy Saves Hundreds”.