Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe deconstructs over-simplified portrayals of Indigenous life and the discoveries of this country's first people.
Pascoe's work indicates that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer assessment. In this lecture, he also addressed the underlying agendas that have shaped the narrative regarding Australia’s 60,000 years of history.
Pascoe was joined by special guest Dr Michael Westaway, archaeologist and biological anthropologist, who discussed his research and findings from work at both Aboriginal sites and with Australia's megafauna.
"I was told not to use the word 'Aboriginal' and the word 'agriculture' in the same sentence, certainly not side-by-side. Because 'It didn't happen Bruce. It didn't happen'. And it was a fortunate day...because it made me more determined to get to the bottom of these aberrant pieces of information, which were indicating that Aboriginal people were harvesting grains." — Bruce Pascoe.