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Country: Future Fire, Future Farming

“I want us to really love our country and not see it as the problem. Stop talking about sharks and spiders and snakes. Start talking about the beauty of a grassland.”

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Bruce Pascoe and Bill Gammage need no introduction. Both have authored books that changed the conversation about pre-settlement history in Australia and speak to the importance of listening to First Nations wisdom: Bruce with his groundbreaking Dark Emu, which argued that Indigenous people did not follow a hunter-gatherer lifestyle at the time of colonisation, and Bill with his 2011 book The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, which explored how Aboriginal people have managed the land to their advantage for millennia.

Now, Bruce and Bill join forces to continue the conversation in Country: Future Fire, Future Farming, delving into the remarkable agricultural and land care practises of First Nations people. Country examines how, through complex seasonal burning programs, Aboriginal people managed the land to avoid the late season destructive bushfires we fear today.

Together they join writer Sophie Cunningham to discuss how employing Indigenous land management practises is critical to creating a more sustainable future for people and country.

The bookseller for this event was The Paperback Bookshop. 

Featured music is ‘Red Orchard’ by Justnormal, frumhere. Courtesy of Epidemic Sound.

This podcast was recorded on 20 April 2022.

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respect to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.