This series contains drafts, notes, newspaper cuttings, research material and correspondence. Sticks that kill was published by University of Queensland Press in 1983. Initially the novel was preceded by a stage play called Goaribari. This series includes drafts, handwritten notes, research material, cuttings of reviews from journals and magazines, and material removed or deleted from the novel.
The novel is set in British New Guinea and covers a very short period from 1900 to 1903. The story centers around John Rhys, newly arrived to Port Moresby, who works as clerk to the Government Secretary, Mr Ellison. During Rhys's time there the tensions of colonial government (with Britain and Australia both having responsibility for the region during this time) , missionaries, and the local population are revealed.