Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe

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Of Bunurong and Tasmanian heritage and one of Australia’s most respected indigenous writers, Bruce was born in Victoria and graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Education. He has worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, farm fence contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archeological site worker and book editor.

The author of 27 books including a loosely linked series of five novels, he won the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Literature Award in 1999. His novel Fog, won the Prime Minister’s award in 2013. His stories have won ten national competitions and been published in six languages and nine countries. Over recent years much of Bruce’s work has involved research into indigenous history and indigenous language revival.

In his remarkable 2014 book Dark Emu Black Seeds: agriculture or accident ? Pascoe argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempted to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. He provided compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggest that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.

Dark Emu won both Book of the Year and the Indigenous Writer’s Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and was also shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Award, and the History Book Award in the Queensland Literary Awards.