In March of this year I read a book that changed my whole concept of Aboriginal Australia. Being relatively new to this country I was not surprised that I’d never heard about some of the things that Bruce Pascoe talked about in his book – the advanced agriculture, the fish traps, the bread making the villages – but it made me sick to the stomach to realise that almost every other ‘Australian’ was in the same boat (and what an apt analogy that is). These stories weren’t just quiet they had been actively hidden. As far as game changing books go Dark Emu is in gold medal position if only someone would recognise the cause! My review is here on my Fox Hill Hollow blog.
When I heard that Bruce was coming to the Blue Mountains to give a talk I just had to go and hear the man in action.
Bruce told his stories with a passion grounded in a deep love and affection but sharpened by anger. Like Bruce I feel that we have ignored the true custodians of this land for too long, we have buried their history under a narrative woven to suit Western sensibilities. We have lied and been lied to.
There is no doubt in my mind that the world has entered into dangerous times. Indeed, I’ve felt the winds of change blowing since I first became aware of the state of things back when I was a child. That feeling of unsustainable greed, of despair and inequality. The reality that the world has been dying since before I was born isn’t lost on me and neither is my faith in her ability to fight back and she is.
After reading Bruce and hearing him speak I’m more sure than ever that our future lies in making peace with and returning to our past and there is no deeper, more grounded past than that which lays with Australia’s first people. So let’s hear their stories, feel their love, accept their guidance and save Australia from decline. And let’s do it soon as it is getting late.
Excuse the fan girl look on my face but it’s not every day you get to meet someone who is truly worthy of praise and success. Bruce, you are a good bloke!
PS: Dark Emu is the name of the dark space in the milky way. Baiame is the creator of spirit Emu and Emu Plains is just down the road from here. How very lucky.