With his 2014 book, Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe presented robust evidence that entrenched assumptions about Aboriginal hunter-gatherer societies were false. Nobody predicted the intense, ongoing interest that would follow. Drawing from the journals of European explorers, Pascoe showed that pre-settlement Aboriginal people engaged in various forms of agriculture.
Dark Emu itself was just the beginning of a series of challenging conversations led by Pascoe about the way Aboriginal people lived before colonisation. At Bendigo Writers Festival, with writer and academic Tony Birch, Pascoe will revisit Dark Emu and expand on the book’s research findings and reception. What does challenging the past of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people mean for the present?
Our bookseller at this event will be Dymocks Bendigo.
Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival.
Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong, Yuin and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. His book Fog a Dox won the Young Adult category of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. His most recent book is Dark Emu: Black Seeds: agriculture or accident, which won the NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award in 2016.
Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River, which won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.
Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, and a regular guest at writers’ festivals. He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.