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Source: Adelaide Festival website
Bruce Pascoe Bruce Pascoe i(A30613 works by)
Also writes as: Murray Gray ; Leopold Glass
Born: Established: 1947 Richmond, East Melbourne - Richmond area, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Boonwurrung / Boonerwrung / Bunurong ; Aboriginal Yuin
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Bruce Pascoe, a Bunurong man, is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria, and an award-winning Australian writer, editor, and anthologist. His works have been published nationally and internationally, and have won several national literary competitions. He has combined writing fiction and non-fiction with a career as a successful publisher and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. He has also worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, farm fence contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker, and editor. He appeared in the SBS TV program, First Australians.

His Jim Fox series of novels were partially set in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua). As a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Pascoe edited school readers on the history and language of the Wathaurong people, demonstrating his interest in Indigenous language retrieval and teaching. He has spoken at conferences on Aboriginal culture and edited several anthologies and translations of Australian stories.

Pascoe edited and published Australian Short Stories (1982-1998), a quarterly journal of short fiction. Publishing experimental and traditional short stories by established writers and enabling new writers to demonstrate their potential, the journal continued under the editorship of Howard Firkin at Moolton Press until 2000. Pascoe has run Pascoe Publishing and Seaglass Books with his wife Lyn Harwood.

His book exploring the history of Aboriginal agriculture Dark Emu : Black Seeds : Agriculture or Accident? has attracted considerable attention for its discussion of land management practices in Australia prior to colonisation.

In 2020, he was appointed Enterprise Professor in Indigenous Agriculture at the University of Melbourne.

His non-fiction works include:

  • With Krishna-Pillay, Dictionary of Wathawoorroong, (1st ed, Geelong, Vic: Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, 2007.
  • With Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative & Coast Action, Wathaurong: The People Who Said No. Nth. Geelong, Vic: Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative, 2003.



Most Referenced Works


  • Who's Who of Australian Writers notes that Pascoe was the author of a play Dearly Beloved (1982). It has not been traced.

Personal Awards

2021 winner ASA Medal
2018 winner National Dreamtime Awards Dreamtime Person of the Year
2018 recipient The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund to attend the UK release of his book on Aboriginal agricultural history Dark Emu (Magabala)

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Loving Country : A Guide to Sacred Australia Richmond : Hardie Grant Books , 2020 20885959 2020 single work prose travel

'Loving Country is a powerful and essential guidebook that offers a new way to travel and discover Australia through an Indigenous narrative. In this beautifully designed and photographed edition, co-authors Bruce Pascoe and Vicky Shukuroglou, in consultation with communities and Elders across Australia, show travellers how to see the country as herself, to know her whole and old story, and to find the way to fall in love with her, our home.
'Featuring 18 places in detail, from the ingenious fish traps at Brewarrina and the rivers that feed the Great Barrier Reef, to the love stories of Wiluna and the whale story of Margaret River, there is so much to celebrate. This immersive book covers history, Dreaming stories, traditional cultural practices, Indigenous tours and the importance of recognition and protection of place. It offers keys to unlock the heart of this loving country for those who want to enrich their understanding of our continent, and for travellers looking for more than a whistle-stop tour of Australia.
'In Loving Country, Bruce and Vicky hope that all communities will be heard when they tell their stories, and that these stories and the country from which they have grown will be honoured. Readers are encouraged to discover sacred Australia by reconsidering the accepted history, and hearing diverse stories of her Indigenous peoples. It is a roadmap to communication and understanding, between all peoples and country, to encourage environmental and social change.' (Publication summary)

2021 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Illustrated Book of the Year
y separately published work icon Found Broome : Magabala Books , 2020 19693203 2020 single work picture book children's

'This gentle story set in the rugged Australian bush is about a small calf who becomes separated from his family. The little calf is alone and simply wants his mother, sisters and brothers. He can see other animals, and after running to the river, manages to ask some horses if they are his family. The calf's family have been taken away in the back of a noisy truck. So begins the little calf's journey to find his family.

'In Found we share the calf's point of view in an evocative story, accompanied by stunning illustrations.' (Publication summary)

2021 shortlisted REAL Awards Picture Story Books
2021 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year
y separately published work icon Young Dark Emu Broome : Magabala Books , 2019 15601694 2019 single work prose children's fiction children's

'Bruce Pascoe 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. Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived – a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu - A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature South Australian Literary Awards Children's Literature Award
2020 winner Booksellers Choice Award BookPeople Book of the Year Children's Book of the Year
2020 winner CBCA Book of the Year Awards Eve Pownall Award for Information Books
2020 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Books
2020 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year for Younger Children
2020 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Eve Pownall Award
2020 shortlisted Indie Awards Children's

Known archival holdings

Pascoe Publishing Company manuscript collection of drafts, typescripts, galley proofs and correspondence relating in particular to 'Australian Short Stories' University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy Australian Defence Force Academy Library (ACT)
Papera of Bruce Pascoe and Pacsoe Publishing National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 12 Nov 2021 10:08:09
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