Bruce Pascoe is a crusader. He researches history to tell the right story; grows crops to create commercial futures from native plants; researches language to maintain the flame for future generations and to help them know the strength of who they are.
Bruce is an Aboriginal Australian writer, from the Bunurong clan, of the Kulin nation. As well as being an award winning writer, Bruce has been a teacher, farmer, a fisherman and an Aboriginal language researcher. Currently he is Director of Commonwealth Australian Studies project and is dedicated to increasing awareness of Australian history as it happened. Most Australian history texts tell us of 'Terra Nullius' - a land empty of people. Bruce is the author of Dark Emu a book that researches existing text from early Australian explorers, settlers and officials and uses it to show that the history we have been taught is not what actually happened as far as Aboriginal life and culture are concerned.
Dark Emu challenges the claim that precolonial Indigenous Australians were a hunter gatherer society. The journals of early explorers, newspapers and oficial's records show the agricultural scope and sophistication of Aboriginal Australians when the explorers arrived - illuminating our past in order to light the future.
Bruce is involved in cultivating murnong yams and other indigenous crops to promote their commercial distribution. Did you know that the first bread was baked in Australia over 30,000 years ago, 15,000 years before the Egyptians used flour to bake bread? We have such great stories in Australia - it is time to learn more of them.
Norman Tindale documented aboriginal grain crops covering most of the Australian continent but contemporary grain areas make up less than a quarter of that area. What might happen if we explore those traditional grains and how they were grown in areas we now call desert? There is much to learn from our past to help build a stronger Australian future.
"You can't eat our foods if you can't swallow our history."
You can learn more about Bruce at Magabala Books and get a copy of Dark Emu
Listen to Bruce recount the observations of early explorers about the sophistication and breadth of Aboriginal Aquaculture and agriculture.
Creating the portrait of Bruce Pascoe
Not Hunter Gatherers - Bruce Pascoe