What do you need to know to prosper as a people for at least 65,000 years? The First Knowledges series provides a deeper understanding of the expertise and ingenuity of Indigenous Australians.
For millennia, Indigenous Australians harvested this continent in ways that can offer contemporary environmental and economic solutions.
Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe demonstrate how Aboriginal people cultivated the land through manipulation of water flows, vegetation and firestick practice. Not solely hunters and gatherers, the First Australians also farmed and stored food. They employed complex seasonal fire programs that protected Country and animals alike. In doing so, they avoided the killer fires that we fear today.
Country: Future Fire, Future Farming highlights the consequences of ignoring this deep history and living in unsustainable ways. It details the remarkable agricultural and land-care techniques of First Nations peoples and shows how such practices are needed now more than ever.
Bill Gammage is a historian at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University. His books include The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War and three prize-winning titles - Narrandera Shire, The Sky Travellers: Journeys in New Guinea 1938-1939 and The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia.
Bruce Pascoe is an Aboriginal Australian writer of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and children's literature. He is the enterprise professor in Indigenous Agriculture at the University of Melbourne. He is best known for his work Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident? which re-examines colonial accounts of Aboriginal people in Australia and cites evidence of pre-colonial agriculture, engineering and building construction by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.