Recommended Reading, music and film etc


Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe

Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviors inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

This is an important book that advances a powerful argument for re-evaluating the sophistication of Aboriginal peoples’ economic and socio-political livelihoods, and calls for Australia to embrace the complexity, sophistication and innovative skills of Indigenous people into its concept of itself as a nation.” The review by Dr Michael Davis, honorary research fellow at the University of Sydney.



The Biggest Estate On Earth – Bill Gammage

– The Australian Estate –
This book describes how the people of Australia managed their land in 1788. It tells how this was possible, what they did, and why. It argues that collectively they managed an Australian estate they thought of as single and universal.Gammage
The Australian estate was remarkable. No estate on earth was on so much earth…
The book rests on three facts about 1788.
1. Unlike the Britain of most early observers, about 70 per cent of Australia’s plants need or tolerate fire. Knowing which plants welcome fire, and when and how much, was critical to managing land. Plants could then be burnt and not burnt in patterns, so that post-fire regeneration could situate and move grazing animals predictably by selectively locating the feed and shelter they prefer.
2. Grazing animals could be shepherded in this way because apart from humans they had no serious predators. Only in Australia was this so.
3. There was no wilderness. The Law—an ecological philosophy enforced by religious sanction—compelled people to care for all their country. People lived and died to ensure this…
Successfully managing such diverse material was an impressive achievement; making from it a single estate was a breathtaking leap of imagination…
Edward Curr glimpsed this. Born in Hobart in 1820, pioneer squatter on the Murray, he knew people who kept their old customs and values, and he studied them and their country closely in the decades of their dispossession. After 42 years in Victoria he wrote,
1788 management made resources as predictable as farming, and in times of drought and flood made them more predictable. Mere sustainability was not enough. Abundance was normal.
Like landowning gentry, people generally had plenty to eat, few hours of work a day, and much time for religion and recreation. A few Europeans recognised this, but for most it was beyond imagining. They thought the landscape natural and they preferred it so.
They did not see, but their own records show how carefully made, how unnatural, was Aboriginal Australia. It is time to look again.
Three rules directed 1788 management:
• Ensure that all life flourishes.
• Make plants and animals abundant, convenient and predictable.
• Think universal, act local.
These rules imposed a strict ecological discipline on every person. A few non-Aborigines have begun to think this worthwhile, but even on a district scale, let alone all Australia, none can do it.
How Aborigines did it is the story of this book…
“on barren or sandy ground, its character is that of open forest without the slightest undergrowth save grass . . . In many places the trees are so sparingly, and I had almost said judiciously distributed as to resemble the park lands attached to a gentleman’s residence in England.”
– Sturt
“…Two remarkable conical hills, perfectly free from timber, rose in the middle of the largest plain . . . The whole, as far as the eye could reach, was clothed with a thick coat of grass, rich and luxuriant, as if the drought, so destructive elsewhere, had never reached this favoured spot. It was Omio plain. By what accident, or rather by what freak of nature, came it there? A mighty belt of forest, for the most part destitute of verdure, and forming as uninviting a region as could well be found, closed it on every side for fifty miles; but there, isolated in the midst of a wilderness of desolation, lay this beautiful place, so fair, so smiling.”
– Haygarth
“truly beautiful: it was thinly studded with single trees, as if planted for ornament . . . It is impossible therefore to pass through such a country . . . without being perpetually reminded of a gentleman’s park and grounds. Almost every variety of scenery presented itself. The banks of the river on the left of us alternated between steep rocky sides and low meadows: sometimes the river was fringed with patches of underwood (or brush, as it is called) . . . in Australia, the traveller’ s road generally lies through woods, which present a distant view of the country before him . . . The first idea is that of an inhabited and improved country, combined with the pleasurable associations of a civilized society.”
– Dawson
“…typical of a great portion of the pastoral lands of Victoria. It consisted of undulating open forest-land, which has often been compared, without exaggeration, to the ordinary park-scenery of an English domain; the only difference which strikes the eye being the dead half-burnt trees lying about. To bring it home to the comprehension of a Londoner, these open forest-lands have very much the appearance of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, presenting natural open glades like the east end of the former.”
– Haydon

– Explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people… rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. –
Winner, Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, 2012
Winner, Victorian Prize for Literature, and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards (Prize for Non-Fiction), 2012
Winner, ACT Book of the Year Award, 2012
Winner, Queensland Literary Awards (History Book Award), 2012
Winner, Canberra Critics’ Circle Award, 2012
Winner, Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards (Individual Category), 2011
Short-listed, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (Douglas Stewart Prize), 2013
Short-listed, Australian Book Industry Awards (General Non-Fiction Book of the Year), 2012
Short-listed, Australian Historical Association Prizes (Kay Daniels Award), 2012

Music –

Black Australian music is by no means restricted to playing the didgeridoo, but is just as diverse as white Australian music. Would you have thought that some Indigenous artists play Reggae, Hip Hop or Country?


This is my dad in the early days of Radio Redfern, where i got my love for music of course.
0.14% Percentage of Aboriginal music on Australian commercial radio in 2008 [2].

4% Percentage of Aboriginal music on community radio in 2008 [2].

1.37% Percentage of Aboriginal music on the Australian Broadcasting Cooperation (ABC) in 2008 [2].

Source: a b c ‘Television ad inspired welder from the bush to a lifelong love of dance’, SMH 28/5/2010

How many of our artists have u heard of from this list?

Abie and Warwick Wright
Adam James
Adrian Burragubba
Adrian Ross
Agnes Ware
Aim 4 More
Alan Dargin
Alan Maralung
Ali Arjibuk (Allyson Jean) Mills
Alice Haines
Amos Roach
Amy Saunders
Angus Rabbit
Archie Roach
Ash Dargan
Ashley Coleman
Auriel Andrews
Baamba (Stephen Albert)
Bapu Mamus
Bart Willoughby
Bartlett Brothers
Baydon Williams
Black Arm Band
Black Image Band
Black Lace
Blake Ralph
Blekbala Mujik
Bob Mcleod
Bob Randall
Bob Wilson
Boomerang Road
Briscoe Sisters (Deline Briscoe)
Broken English
Brotha Black
Buddal Lardil
Buddy Knox
Bunna Laurie
Bush Kids
Casey Lee Donovan
Charlie Trindall
Charmaine “Dizzy” Doolan
Christine Anu
Chrysophrase Band
Cindy Drummond
Coloured Stone
Country Lads
Country Wranglers
Cyclone Sun
Dale Robert Huddleston
Dan Sultan
Darah Morris
Darknis and Karnage
Dave Arden
Dave Quinlan
David Blanesi
David Hudson
Dawn Daylight
Dean Brady
Deborah Cheetham
Dewayne Everettsmith
Djolpa McKenzie
Dougie Young
Dr. Didg
Dusty Fraser
East Journey
Echo Island
Emily Foster
Emma Donovan
Ernie Dingo
Eskatology (Jonathan Stier)
Felon Mason
Fitzroy Xpress
Francis Peters-Little
Frank Yamma
Galarrwuy Yunupingu,
Ganpanbulu Yunupingu
Garrangali Band
Gary Cannell
Genevieve Lacey
Geoffrey “Gurrumul” Yunupingu
George Rrurrambu
Gina Williams
Glenn Skuthorpe
Greg Drahm
Gus Williams
Harold Blair
Harold Dalywaters
Harry Wilson
Headley Johnston
Ian “Moonie” Atkinson
Impossible Odds
Indigenous Intrudaz
Indij Hip Hop Allstars
James Asher
James Henry
Jason Lee Scott
Jayden Lillyst
Jess Beck
Jessica Mauboy
Jimmy Chai
Jimmy Langdon
Jimmy Little
Joe Geia
John Albert
John Bennett
Johnny Huckle
Judy Quinlan
June Mills (Gunluckii Nimul)
Kaiyu Bayles
Kathy Kelly
Kerrianne Cox
Kev Carmody
Kevin Bennett
Kineman Karma
Kutcha Edwards
L J Hill
Lady Lash
Lajamanu Teenage Band
Lance O’Chin
Lazy Late Boys
Leah Flanagan
Leah Purcell
Lee Morgan
Letterstick Band
Lionel Rose
Local Knowledge
Lou Bennett
Ltyentye Apurte Band
Lucy Cox
Mac Silver
Maggie Walsh
Mantaka Band
Manny West
Marcus Corowa
Mark A Hunter
Mark Atkins
Marlene Cummings
Maroochy Baramba
Mathew Doyle
Matty Devitt Band
MC Murri’s
MC Rival
Microwave Jenny
Mills Sisters (Darwin)
Mills Sisters (T.I)
Miss Hood
Mixed Relations
Monica Weightman
Mop n The Dropouts
Mr Morgz
Nancy Bates and Friends
Nangu Red Sunset
Naomi Hicks
Naomi Pigram Band
Native MC
No Fixed Address
North Tanami Band
Owen & Daniel Karpany
Patrick Mau (Mau Power)
Paul Brimble
Paul Patten
Peter Brandy
Philly (Philip Murray)
Radical Son
Randy Gravens
Red Ochre Band
Rhubee Neale
Richard Frankland and the Charcoal Club
Richard Walley
Rita Mills
Robert Wharton
Roger Knox
Ronald “Triks” Cora
Ruby Roach
Saltwater Band
Sammy Butcher
Samson James
Sarina Andrew
Scrap Metal
Seaman Dan
Sharnee Fenwick
Sharon “Shaz” Lane
Sharon Carpenter
Sharon Mann
Shellie Morris
Shelly Atkins
Sista Act
Soft Sand Band
Sonny Keeler
Southeast Desert Metal
Stephen Pigram
Steve Roach
Stiff Gins
Street Warriors
Sue Ray
Sunrize Band
Sweet Cheeks (formerly Tiddas)
Teila “Ancestress” Watson
Tha Deadly Boyz
The Grenadines
The Last Kinection
The Medics
The Pigram Brothers
Thelma Plum
Thelma Barton
Theresa Creed
Tim Gibuma
Tjapakai Dancers
Tjintu Desert Band
Tjupi Band
Tom E. Lewis
Tracey Lee Gray
Trevor Adamson
Trevor Deshong
Tribal SUNZ
Tribe of Jubal
Troy Brady
Troy Cassar-Daley
Troy N Trevelyn & The Tribe
Tru Kulaz
Ursula Yovich
Vic Simms
Waak Waak Jungi
Walkabout Boys
Walker River Clan
Wandjuk Marika
Warren H Williams
Warumpi Band
Wedgetail Eagle Band
Western Desert Band
Wilcannia Mob
William Barton
Wilma Reading
Wire MC
Wirrinyga Band
Yabu Band
Yothu Yindi
Yung Warriors
Zennith Boyz

Based on personal knowledge from being around community radio for 3 decades. Some of the info also came from

Film –

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A little about page admin Kaiyu Moura (Bayles)

Now living in QLD raising her children on their traditional country, gathering food, learning the old art of building shelters, dance and the local language. For the past 20 years with her late Grandmother Maureen Watson and a dance group with 6 of her sisters Kaiyu travelled schools, festivals, events etc sharing the beauty of First Nations Culture through song and dance, stories, art, theatre, nursery rhymes, poetry etc and engaging all ages in different projects that inspire positive change. Also a poet, documentary maker, songwriter, artist, event organiser, media consultant, testing the waters of micro social enterprise by starting her own tshirt and sublimation printing business and with her own label, Kaiyu creates what she calls Freedom Threads.

After building their own home on Tribal Sovereign land, Kaiyu is now homeschooling and teaching the kids about making our own tinctures, learning about bushtucker and mushrooms, growing food, building with aircrete, setting up wind turbines, composting toilets and ram water pumps... Really learning what it truly means to thrive. This is our Group where we share alot of what we do

Kaiyu and the Tribe
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