Changing Courses event with Bruce Pascoe
26 April 2017
As part of my work Changing Courses there is a program of discussions houses within the structure to explore various aspects of displaced and changing food culture in Australia.
The first in the series:
Indigenous food culture
“Join author Bruce Pascoe for a discussion on the displacement of Indigenous food cultures in Australia. In this conversation, we look at colonisation’s imposed methods of agriculture, focusing on the first colonial farming attempt in an area next to the Gallery, formally known as Farm Cove. Together we sample food made from local Indigenous plants alongside some of these imposed colonial crops.”
Bruce discussed how the thriving Indigenous agriculture and food culture was displaced by colonial approaches food and land and how he is involved in ‘relearning’ these farming methods, including having grown a test crop of kangaroo grass to harvest for grain.
The food was made by local fermentation club, A Ferm Handshake and consisted of a take on the colonial afternoon tea – serving Indigenous riberry jam and lemon myrtle tea along with the scones. The scones served as a way to reimagine baking with kangaroo grass and native millet – two of the grains Bruce has discovered in his research as being for baking used by Indigenous Australians as he describes ‘the world’s first bakers’.
Bruce Pascoe is of Tasmanian, Bunurong and Yuin heritage. He is a prolific writer and editor of fiction, essays and history. Pascoe’s most recent publication is Dark Emu 2014. He is a board member of First Languages Australia and Past Secretary of Bidwell-Maap Aboriginal Nation.