Top positive review
Refreshing the Dark Emu
Reviewed in Australia on 26 July 2018
After being quite frankly thrilled by Bill Gammage's book The Biggest Estate on Earth - Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu of some years back gave chapter and verse particulars of the civilisation of Indigenous or First Nations Australia. This revised/up-dated edition is timely - given the savage dismissal by our current PM Turnbull of the Uluru Statement from the Heart! It will hopefully become compulsory reading by every politician (no salary until finished reading) and every company/institute CEO/Board and academic - and set for study across the curriculum in our schools. I've been a fan since way back - when Bruce Pascoe edited the popular Australian Short Stories books from the early 1980s. But this book proves beyond doubt that a deliberate conqueror/coloniser wilful dismissal of all the best elements of First Nations democratic ways of living with one's part of the jigsaw of connectedness right across the continent took place - and the ugly trivialisation of the truth continues with the ignorance still being displayed by those who need to hold on to their of this land and its resources - looking at you Gina and Twiggy and the threats of Adani! Bravo Bruce! Thank-you.
In the early-mid-1980s I undertook graduate studies in education about "Aboriginal" Australia - it opened my eyes to the landscape in which I was living, through which I was travelling. Not quite three years ago I spent time in the rural town where I grew up - rode my bicycle, swam in the local streams and climbed all over its regional hills and ranges. Like the back of my hand I knew it - this I knew. I joined the local regional art gallery cultural tour one week-end to learn about it from local significant Gomeroi elder Len Waters. And quickly realised I knew nothing - mere surface landscape - as he explained the land, places of significance, revealed brilliant rock art and scar trees and pointed out all manner of locational features. Bruce Pascoe's book does this for us all - and for folk beyond our shores who want to know the truth!