Country: Future Fire, Future Farming

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For millennia, Australian First Nations peoples harvested this continent in ways that can offer contemporary environmental and economic solutions.

Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe demonstrate how First Nations people cultivated the land through manipulation of water flows, vegetation and firestick practice. Not solely hunters and gatherers, First Nations people 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.

About the Authors

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 a Palawa 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 First Nations people in Australia and cites evidence of pre-colonial agriculture, engineering and building construction by First Nations peoples.

About the First Knowledges series

The First Knowledges series offers an introduction to First Nations knowledges in vital areas and their application to the present day and the future. Exploring practices such as architecture and design, land management, botany, astronomy and innovation, this six-book series brings together two very different ways

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 Australian First Nations peoples. of understanding the natural world: one ancient, the other modern. The third book focuses on land and fire management.

The titles in the series include:

  • Songlines by Margo Neale & Lynne Kelly (2020)
  • Design by Alison Page & Paul Memmott
  • Country by Bill Gammage & Bruce Pascoe (2021)
  • Plants by Zena Cumpston, Michael Fletcher & Lesley Head (2022)
  • Astronomy (2022)
  • Innovation (2023)

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, Country: Future Fire, Future Farming, <>, retrieved 22 June 2024

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