Aboriginal author Bruce Pascoe will front a guest panel in conversation at the Port Cygnet Cannery (Monday, 13 January 2020). The conversation is a key event of the new Ballawinne Festival which explores Aboriginal culture & knowledge. “The truth telling must go on” is the theme of the festival.

His ground-breaking book Dark Emu details how, long before the arrival of white men in Australia, Aboriginal people had complex and sustainable systems of agriculture in place. Pascoe reveals how “the hunter-gatherer tag” – used to describe First Nation people – “turns out to have been a convenient lie that worked to justify dispossession.”

 Dark Emu is praised as “the most important book about Australia, that should be read by every Australian.” (Marcia Langton).

Bruce Pascoe is a writer of Tasmanian, Bunurong and Yuin descent. He has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. He has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers.

The Dark Emu conversation will discuss where to from here? Our future, the environment, land management, Aboriginal culture, equity and ideas of reconciliation will be on the table.

Tickets for the Dark Emu event are expected to be in high demand and are available through Eventbrite or by calling SETAC Head Office: (03) 6295 0004. Ticket price ($50) includes food and entertainment. The Cannery has a licensed bar with drinks available for purchase.

A vital community conversation on the pathway towards reconciliation, it will be followed by a Truth Telling event for the local Aboriginal community on Tuesday 14 January at Fanny Cochrane–Smith Church, Nicholls Rivulet.

The event takes place on Melukerdee country and is hosted by the South East Tasmanian Corporation (SETAC) in partnership with Reconciliation Tasmania.

Balawinne festival