Based on Melina Marchetta's great novel of the same name, I'm glad to say the producers of this movie had the sense to get Marchetta to write the screenplay. She has tweaked the story a little to achieve the right pace for the screen, but the overall sense of the characters and their development is retained.
Josie Alibrandi's story is one I can relate to deeply, being of mixed racial heritage & growing up in Australia during the same period as the book is set. I'm glad to say that it now seems incomprehensible that such racism could occur in our society, even only twenty years on, but the book & film still document a time in our history that is worth remembering - hopefully as a means of preventing a return to such prejudice.
But don't get me wrong - it's not a moral tale. It's a well told story, with great, real characters, who are brought to life beautifully by an exceptional cast. If I try to think of one to mention, I will simply have to list them all. You'll just have to watch it to see what I mean.