Archive | March 2014

I’ve been to Paradise but I’ve never been to me?

The world flocks to see the Stonehenge structures in England, but how many Australians have been to Brewarrina to see what are arguably the oldest human constructions on earth.?

Bruce Pascoe
Dark Emu


Bruce Pascoe at Readings, Carlton, on April 22

If you’re in Melbourne and want to see and hear Bruce Pascoe in person talk about a new view of Australian Indigenous history as laid out in Dark Emu, he will be at Readings in Carlton next month.

22 Apr 2014 at 6:30pm

Readings Carlton — 309 Lygon St, Carlton, Victoria, 3053

With his latest book, Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe re-ignites the long-running debate about the true nature of Aboriginal civilisation at the time of European colonisation. Here, Pascoe will talk on the reasoning behind his argument in the book with Overland editor Jeff Sparrow.

Free, but please book on 9347 6633.

Check out the event on the Readings website.

So why weren’t we taught this at school?

“I think it was ignored (by Europeans) because it was evidence of occupation”, says Bruce Pascoe in his first radio interview since the publication of Dark Emu.

Listen to Bruce explain what he discovered here


The first reviews are in!

The Weekend Age and Sydney Morning Herald both ran Dark Emu as their “Pick of the Week” non-fiction read.

Here is what noted author and critic Steven Carroll had to say:  (Click on the clipping for a bigger, readable version).

Age and SMH review

Thanks, Steven.  Glad you liked it and got the message!

Has anyone seen any other reviews?  Let us know!



The truth about our past?


The latest foray into Australian Indigenous history by national award-winner Bruce Pascoe is set to re-ignite the long-running debate about the true nature of Aboriginal civilisation at the time of European colonisation.

Pascoe’s book Dark Emu – Black Seeds: agriculture or accident?, which hits the shelves in March, is a significant new contribution to the academic and social discourse about the true history of pre-European Australia and its Indigenous inhabitants.

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the entrenched, centuries-old notion that pre-European Aboriginal people were hunter-gatherers who did not farm the land they occupied.  This descriptor – so deeply embedded in mainstream Australia’s concept of Indigenous history – is refuted by Bruce Pascoe in easily-read and non-academic prose.

“The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag,” he says.

This premise is supported by scholars Rupert Gerritsen and Bill Gammage in their latest works, but Dark Emu takes it further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie promulgated by colonisers who ignored the possibility of prior Indigenous possession of the land.

Almost all the evidence comes from original records and diaries of Australian explorers —sources academic historians consider impeccable — and presents new material not covered by others.

Says Bruce:  “My book is about food production, housing construction and clothing.

“Gammage opened the debate by revealing that colonists said that Australia looked like an English park.  Dark Emu analyses the reasons why the hunter-gatherer label was still applied to Aboriginal people despite the colonial texts showing an entirely different economy.

“Aborigines did sow, grow, irrigate, preserve and build. Hunter-gatherers do not do that. Time to look again.’

Dark Emu is essentially trying to reinterpret Australian history.