The scenes that I remember from this Australian movie is as follows, It is about a man and his family. especially the older of two sons. His father works with a friend on riverboats and I somehow recall that the term river-rats is used to describe their occupation. Early in the movie the mother and boys have to move from their home. Their is a local policeman who has a sexual interest in the mother. They temporarily leave behind their two dogs during the move and the policeman because he is rejected by the mother shoots the boy’s dogs. The mother later develops cancer not sure if she passes or not.