Dark Emu

Bruce Pascoe, Comfortably in the Black

Would-be Aborigine Uncle Bruce Pascoe is Melbourne University’s Enterprise Professor in Indigenous Agriculture. It’s a red-letter day when his entities deliver their annual reports. I’m feasting on these just-out 2022-23 accounts like a seagull at a packet of chips.

His directorships are at Twofold Aboriginal Corporation, a welfare co-op based in Eden NSW, and a charity, Black Duck Foods , which picks up the costs of Yumburra, a 60-hectare native-grass and tuber farm at Gypsy Poin near Mallacoota, just south the NSW border. The farm is owned by Bruce’s personal business, Pascoe Publishing P/L.

Melbourne University doesn’t hand out its Enterprise Professorships to every Tom, Dick and Harry in business  (better make that, “Harriett”). The uni guidelines say,[1]

Enterprise appointments are highly selective to ensure appointees bring distinctive knowledge and skills that would be otherwise unavailable to the institution. Professorial-level Enterprise appointments are highly distinguished positions… individuals must

♦ Have an eminent and sustained record of peak level leadership, entrepreneurship and influence;

♦ Be widely recognised for their outstanding achievements in industry, business, professions and/orgovernment; and

♦ Demonstrate specialist expertise and a highly developed industry/business knowledge base that matches in breadth and depth what is expected of all professors of the University.

To illustrate Bruce’s such credentials, he bought the “old buggered-up” farm, the only one he could afford (his words, at 2.05mins) a decade ago with the proceeds from selling a family shack at Cape Otway. As he put it three years ago, “We have about $7000 worth of second-hand equipment and are lucky to have a couple of philanthropists backing us with modest funding. We live on a rag, it’s not even oily. We’re a tiny operation and the only way for us to be able to meet market expectations is to receive the warmth of the Australian heart.”

Now fasten your seatbelts, everyone. By last June, “the old buggered-up farm”  had attracted $2.21 million since 2019 in donations and government grants, including $300,000 from the warm-hearted Murdoch family via Rupert’s sister, Eve Kantor, and her Dara Foundation.[2] He also persuaded donors that native-food agriculture could rocket Labor to fulfilment of its 2030 anti-emissions target, helping in the nick of time to subdue planetary heating.

Sadly, only $208,453 of the $2.21 million was left last June. And at 2022-23’s rate of loss ($235,989), there would be nothing left by next June 30. In the four years that donors and taxpayers’ $2.2 million has kept Pascoe’s farm afloat, its sales of native-grass seed and tourist homestays have totalled a modest  $37,949.[3] If all this isn’t “enterprise” on Bruce’s part, what is?[4]

But let’s start with last year’s accounts of the Twofold charity. The Aboriginal-only co-op arranges housing and aged care for its community around Eden. Thanks to $1 million or so prior losses run up by its construction arm, Mundabaa, it has negative current assets of $796,911. Twofold has euthanased Mundabaa, or in the CEO’s words, put it into hibernation. The auditors, I’m sorry to say, have now qualified Twofold’s accounts for four years running as a going concern.

Twofold director Professor Uncle Bruce’s “specialist expertise and a highly developed industry/business knowledge base” will doubtless turn this co-op’s finances around, I’ll let you know when.

Meanwhile Dr Jenny George, Dean of  Melbourne University’s Business School, can use Twofold as a case study.[5] For example, instead of sticking to aged-care and meals-on-wheels, Twofold struck up a “Continuing And Growing Relationship” with Bruce’s old buggered-up farm down the road. As the Wheeler Centre put it in 2021, “Bruce Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man [that’s a stretch] and farms his property at Mallacoota in cooperation with Black Duck Foods and Twofold Aboriginal Corporation.”[6]

You might be wondering what pink-cheeked fair-skinned Cornishman Bruce is doing on the Aboriginal-only roll of the co-op, and I’ll revisit this issue later, along with my gripes about less-than-rigorous supervision of Twofold by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).

On Black Duck Foods, I chronicled the back story a year ago but you might need a refresher. Bruce’s Dark Emu “history” books since 2014 for credulous adults and vulnerable schoolkids are about the Aborigines’ farming towns in the pre-contact era – think novelist Thomas Hardy and Wessex. Pascoe’s claims have been manna for the wokerati, the ABC [7],  indoctrinators from pre-school to university and as I mentioned last week, Australia’s PhD-toting museum curators.

His aim with his farm is to display successful Aboriginal farming (pre-contact style) to Australia and the world, inspire an Aboriginal-foods industry and ensure profits goes to Aborigines.[8]

The success of this pilot study would lead to shifting Australia’s colonial-settler wheat and barley output into mixed fields of yam daisies and kangaroo grass, to be hand-harvested if necessary by sizeable teams of Antipodean peasantry.[9] By 2030 farmers’ redundant fence posts would be inputs to the furniture-making industry. Flour from his seed harvests, with a 30,000 year pedigree, would be toasted into tasty and nutritious native bread. In Bruce’s mind-map, the native veges would supplant iceberg lettuce [at 18mins] at Coles and Woolies and “produce a truly Australian cuisine that overseas visitors will travel to experience.” 

Between wages for three or four Aboriginal workers, material costs and sadly getting burnt boundary-to-boundary in 2020 (his house survived), he was operating well out of pocket. It was from his Dark Emu royalties and spin-offs, which I’ve estimated at close to a million dollars, that he was keeping  farm and workforce afloat.[10] This wasn’t much of a business model, especially for an Enterprise Professor. To make matters worse he was playing involuntary host to white settler rubber-neckers “stealing Spirit, stealing [my] time.” [11]

His response was twofold (pardon the pun).

♦ He set up the farm-stay business at $800 a night per person [12] and $300 an hour for campfire yarning to tourists on starry nights about pelicans talking to him in the Yuin language of his supposed ancestors.[13] For a Welcome to Country? – $500 plus travel. Buy native seeds? Sure. Although three out of five of his lines remain unavailable (labelled “Out of Stock”), grab 250gm of Mitchell and Button Grass Seeds in a classy paper bag. Ninety bucks.[14]

♦ He leased his farm to Black Duck Foods for a modest $140,000 paid in 2021-22, dubbed by Pitcher Partners as “Occupancy Expense”. He had earlier sold Black Duck $82,000 worth of his above-mentioned used farm gear including, I guess, his tractor.

Black Duck’s articles say that its committee (Bruce, his son Dr Jack Pascoe[15], his ex-wife Lyn Harwood and associates), can’t distribute any profit to themselves, but they are entitled to good-faith payment for goods and services rendered – (s2.3.c,i). Whatever labour, improvements or fixes the farm needs, the charity pays for. What’s not to like?

Pascoe’s native-food-revolution was, as mentioned, irresistible to donors. Taxpayer-funded Aboriginal entities and foundations also decided to throw cash at Black Duck. Finding projects to ease their bulging coffers must be a tough gig.[16]  

I do detect in 2022-23 accounts a cooling of donor enthusiasm about Bruce’s farm. “Donations” tumbled from $263,717 in 2021-22 to only $84,893. Government and suchlike grants shrank from $396,400 to $232,468. “Other income” (mainly consulting services]), was down from $115,097 to $31,492. The item which saw a bit of an increase was “Farming income”, up from $1500 to a mighty $14,404, although “farming direct costs” also suffered a mighty increase from $21,854 to $44,402.

All this led to Black Duck’s gross surplus falling 60 per cent, from $754,861 to $318,855. After expenses including nearly $400,000 in wages,  $21,000 to lawyers, and motor vehicle costs (I wonder who drives what?), the net result for Bruce’s farm was a loss of $235,989, compared with a $180,689 loss in 2020-21. This reduced Black Duck’s funds to $208,453, which I hope can be eked out until June 30.

So how will the Pascoes stop Black Duck copping a load of shotgun pellets, fiscal-wise? In its 2023 “information statement” the Charities Commission has asked, “Does the charity intend to fundraise in the next [2023-24] reporting period?” Black Duck has answered, “No”. So heavy spending cuts seem called for.

My eyes darted to the item Rent (to Pascoe): in 2022-23 he had already cut the rent from $140,000 to only $7930. He also switched from pricey Pitcher Partners in Melbourne’s Southern Cross tower to Black Duck’s original small advisor Collective Works Pty Ltd. at St Peters, NSW, with sign-off on Black Duck by Ms Natalie Ducki. (No, I haven’t made that name up).

The farm’s big cost is labour, and last year the four full-time-equivalent paid Aboriginal workers were supplemented with a horde of 50 volunteers. The year before, it was three paid workers and, in 2020-21, five paid workers, plus 10 volunteers. In total Black Duck’s paid wages of $1,214,755.  Pascoe does deserve credit for having given good jobs to local Aborigines, albeit with other people’s money.[17]

On the academic front, Professor Bruce has hauled in one research grant for Melbourne University, namely $125,571 from AIATSIS in 2022 about yam daisies.

Australian agriculture relies on crops imported from Europe, ignoring the productive plant foods farmed before colonisation. Here, we will study the historical distribution & cultivation systems of murnong (yam daisy) on Eastern Maar lands.

The four researchers include Bruce and his son, Dr Jack Pascoe. According to AIATSIS, there are no outputs yet.

The project also has a Closing the Gap focus whereby “People maintain a distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationship with their land and waters.” Some might think gap-closing funds could better be used directly for, say, reducing infants’ scabies in the crowded unhygienic remote settlements – the scabies rate is more than six times worse than in other developed countries.[18] No wonder Jacinta Price wants an audit of spending by the Aboriginal Industry.

Pascoe’s kangaroo-grass plot thickens with duplication when one discovers that, in 2019, National’s senator and Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie tipped $1.82 million into the Bendigo-based Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (now called Djaara, with $26 million net assets), “to unlock the potential of Kangaroo Grass as a viable cropping option in the face of climate change.” Djaara is some 700km west of Pascoe’s spread at Gypsy Point. The project, involving half a dozen universities and government agencies will finish within a few months, and Melbourne University got a preliminary science paper published 15 months ago. Urging further research, it  concluded about ‘roo grass,

Key agronomic constraints include low and variable seed yields, limited knowledge of important aspects of crop management and difficulties in broadacre crop establishment associated with its seed diaspore morphology, low seed quality, germination requirements and weed competition.

NOW back to Pascoe’s board seat on that Aboriginal-only co-op, Twofold. Even Melbourne University no longer refers to Uncle Bruce as Aboriginal, as it did upon his appointment, for them he’s now merely a “writer and farmer”. My concern for Twofold’s native-only membership is doubly pertinent because in 2020 ORIC ordered a special examination of Twofold and discovered that a white office lady had been enrolled as a co-op member. The Registrar told Twofold to kick her off the roll, which it did.[19] Two years ago, I emailed ORIC:

Mr Pascoe has never been able to name an Aboriginal ancestor and all his relevant ancestors appear to be British residents. He has made multiple claims to ancestry from various Aboriginal nations  but has never named such an ancestor. In view of your previous action disbarring a non-Aboriginal from Twofold membership, can you please tell me whether you have taken any action regarding Mr Pascoe’s membership, if so with what result?

The bland reply from ORIC (10/2/2022):

The rule book of Twofold Aboriginal Corporation says that if a member is not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person their membership can only be cancelled by members at a general meeting passing a special resolution to do so. 

Obviously, this hasn’t happened.

My other beef with ORIC is that its public register of Twofold accounts — and at least one other corporation’s accounts – is deficient. For example, a year ago Twofold’s important 2020-21 result (loss of $498,600, auditor’s going-concern qualification) was there to download; today it’s gone. Yet the register’s heading for Twofold promises (my emphasis), Documents (link to all documents for this corporation)”. By request, ORIC sent me (promptly) the 2020-21 accounts by email, with an explanation:

The website view of the Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations is limited to display documents for the 2 most recent reporting periods. The document you refer to is still available from the register and I have attached it for you.

This is baffling  as the website view of Twofold documents actually stretches back to 2003, including around 30 items of old trivia. The annual financial and general reports stop at 2021-22, but for some reason Auditor’s Reports for 2012 and 2011 can still be found there (both qualified, and without accompanying financial accounts). I sampled another corporation’s records at ORIC showing three years’ accounts. They were followed by none of the earlier ones but much trivia and, coincidentally, auditor’s reports for 2012 and 2011. The flow of documents ceased at 2009.  My beef to ORIC was about the Twofold 2020-21 and earlier financial reports being removed. This would never happen at say, the Australian Charities and NFP Commission (ACNC).[20]  Transparency is  vital concerning faction-ridden  ORIC corporations – where one family might be hogging or misusing royalties and benefits at the expense of other member clans. I’m inclined to the view  that the ORIC Registrar, on $325,750 a year, needs to review the Register’s website view. 

Tony Thomas’s new book from Connor Court is Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. $34.95 from Connor Court here


[1] Bruce’s paypacket as Enterprise Professor has never been disclosed but if a full-time post, he’d be on $200,000 plus endless perks. Obviously Bruce isn’t full-time as he’s a busy farmer and writer as well as propagating his “peak level leadership, entrepreneurship and influence.”

[2]   $1,009,864 in donations and $1,206,760 in grants

[3]   But $115,407 farm costs.

[4]  See here for data on Pascoe’s previous farming fails.

[5] Associate Provost Professor Marcia Langton: “Bruce Pascoe’s commitment to the recovery of Indigenous agricultural practices and native plants will enrich our curricula and contribute to the recognition of Indigenous knowledge as part of the mission of our University community.”

[6]  Other listed supporters include the super-woke Melbourne University, the troubled PWC, lawyers Arnold Bloch Leibler and Minter Ellison, and First Australians Capital.

[7] ABC radio’s Life Matters compere Hilary Harper, in an adoring interview with Pascoe, asked him this corker (at18mins):

Dark Emu busted a lot of myths about what Aboriginal people did when it came to food production. Do these myths persist and affect some of the work you are trying to do? Do you still need to deal with that misinformation about how Aboriginal people used to care for their land?

Pascoe: Some people are resistant, very few…

Ms Harper is a 30-year radio veteran with a degree in English Lit and Cultural Studies.

[8] Pascoe: “If we could convert just 5% of our agricultural lands to these environmentally friendly grains the contribution to reducing greenhouse gasses would be enormous … so maybe it is up to the Australian people to adopt these new plants and new farming techniques and convince government that the benefits far outweigh any residual colonial guilt. Let’s do it together for the sake of Mother Earth.” 5% of Australia’s grain belt is almost the area of Victoria.

[9] See 2019 UTS podcasts in which “Senior Uncle Bruce” proposes harvesting mixed grains by hand, as per Episode 5: “Instead of harvesting 1000 hectares of wheat, allow families [of native plants] to grow together and harvest them separately … If we have to revert to harvesting by hand it would put a stop to unemployment...” [at 4.00]

[10] His main revenue has been from Dark Emu royalties from Magabala Books. Magabala Book put his Dark Emu sales to mid-2021 at more than 300,000, plus 95,000 for Young Dark Emu spin-off for schoolkids. Assume by now sales are 350,000 at $18 and 100,000 at $20.50, or $7.5m after GST. At 10 per cent royalty, that’s $750,000 for Bruce, plus whatever comes from sales of numerous other books and his incessant paid-speaker gigs.

[11] UTS podcast, Episode 7 at 10.20mins.

[12] This includes a Welcome to Country.

[13] Pascoe of the pelican: “He’s like my speaking coach, if you live in country, this happens.” [here at 44.30 mins] He talks in Yuin to other animals as well, “in a culturally appropriate way because they’re my cousins”.

[14] The on-line shop went live on March 31, 2023, nearly four years after Black Duck started.

[15] Dr Jack Pascoe, by descent from Bruce, is described as a “Yuin man”. He’s an ecologist and co-founder and present chair of Black Duck Foods.

[16]  Under the “Grants” money-go-round 2020-21, Indigenous mini-bank First Australians Capital (itself a charity) put in $100,000 (2020) and $50,000 (2021). A $7 million Indigenous charity, FVTOC, paid in a handsome $180,000 Djakitjuk Djanga (tr. “Country’s food”) grant (2021), and the federal statutory Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation ponied up $50,000 (2020). Even the Victorian “Framers” (sic) lobby put in $5000 (2020), but a paltry $600 in 2021.

[17] The 2023 accounts list “wages and salaries” as $376,567, while its information statement lists four full-time workers. That looks like $94,000 per worker, before super of another $9000 each.

[18] “In remote Aboriginal communities in Australia, scabies affects 7 out of 10 children before their first birthday. This is more than six times the rate seen in the rest of the developed world. Scabies infestation is frequently complicated by bacterial infection, leading to the development of skin sores and other more serious consequences, such as septicaemia and chronic heart and kidney diseases.”


Member eligibility

  1. Contrary to rule 3.1, the corporation has accepted a non-aboriginal person as a member.

The examiners reported that:

  • there is a non-aboriginal person entered on the register of members. They were advised at the time that this person was on the register due to work she had previously done in the past for the corporation. Since the examination, the corporation has advised that the member in question will be removed from the register of members in accordance with section 150-20 of the CATSI Act.

[20] However, I see ACNC has permitted Black Duck to file latest accounts with blanks where the directors’ names and meetings ought to be. Moreover, Black Duck’s operating deficit is stated by the un-named chairman as $311,443 (p4) but this figure appears nowhere else in the accounts, which put the deficit at $235,989 (p6).

26 thoughts on “Bruce Pascoe, Comfortably in the Black

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    This outrageous scam seems to be totally immune to the laws that govern the rest of us. Why?

    • lbloveday says:

      I hope that was a rhetorical question Michael.

      • Doubting Thomas says:

        It’s an interesting issue. What is it about these sorts of things that lead to the complete inability of entire populations to control actual hysteria? The South Sea Bubble, the Dutch Tulip thing, global warming and climate change are examples.
        Objectively, even ignoring his rather dubious claims to aboriginality, Pascoe has been exposed as something considerably less than a credible authority on aboriginal agriculture. Yet, far from accepting thorough research by credible historians that his interpretation of pioneer reports was utter nonsense, nobody in authority has dared to take legal action against him for his obvious subsequent financial fraud.
        Academia, “their” ABC, the mainstream media, and the lumpen left have all swallowed his rubbish because it suits their “narrative”. But Governments should enforce the law.

  • Brian Boru says:

    “250gm of Mitchell and Button Grass Seeds in a classy paper bag” at $360 a kg whilst the flour is only $350 a kg ? Coles and Woolies shareholders must be really worried about that sort of competition.
    Keep up the good work Tony. I note that Uncle Bruce hasn’t sued you yet. I bet he wouldn’t even be able to get a no win, no fee legal firm to take it on. But watch out for the Environmental Defenders Office.
    Seems that Bruce has been personally very successful with his enterprises. No wonder he is a Professor at Melbourne University.

  • Lawriewal says:

    Two urgent much needed National Projects:

    * A legal definition of the persons who are entitled to be recognised as Aboriginal
    * An Official much researched history of Aboriginal Culture at least since Captain Phillip’s “Invasion” on 18 January 1788.

    As a male who is fast approaching his 100th birthday and was born to poor white parents in outback Queensland, my own recollections of the life of the 3 tribes with whom we lived in harmony, is very different from that which is described today by various Politicians, Academics and Media people.

    • call it out says:

      In Adelaide, the Kaurna and the Peramangks are still fighting over who gets to do the lucrative welcomes to country. In the 1840’s it was the more numerous Narrandjeri who swarmed to the bright lights of Adelaide, pushing the diminishing Kaurna tribes aside.
      History rarely follows the monochromatic anti-colonial narrative.

  • Tony Tea says:

    Pity that while mob-shopping he never claimed membership of the Yorta Yorta, then we could call him Uncle Rorta Rorta.

  • Garry Donnelly says:

    From what I read here and elsewhere, the “Uncle” should be behind bars for fraud.

  • jbhackett says:

    Pascoe’s latest contribution to the literary world comes out in March. Titled ‘Black Duck’, it’s a memoir co-authored with Lyn Harwood and published by Thames and Hudson. If readers want a good laugh, I’d recommend they read the publisher’s and the book sellers’ blurbs pushing this piece of nonsense.

    • Tony Tea says:

      JB, surely you don’t doubt the influence on Country with an upper-case C and colony with a lower-case c of “the man behind the book that changed the nation” and which “was adopted by Australia like a new anthem.” Personally, I found his influence on my own colon-y “profoundly cleansing.”

  • pmprociv says:

    Thanks so much, Tony, for so diligently (and light-heartedly) keeping us informed of this flagrant, seemingly endless, fraud. I wonder how many other “enterprise professors” Melbourne Uni maintains, and what they might be thinking of this saga — or are they all shonks as well? It’s a very sad relection on Australian academic standards, for Melbourne Uni is not alone in its stupidity, and irresponsibility,

    As for the $1.82 million squandered by the government to prove kangaroo grass was not a candidate for broadscale agriculture, I could have told them this years ago, for a fraction of the cost (or even gratis). But I do like the idea of sending workers back in the fields as a solution to unemployment — in fact, it might even happen without kangaroo grass. Not so sure they’d be able to feed 8 billion people, though, but doing away with tractors might help climate change! However, to ensure things run properly, we’ll need to recruit an army of feudal landlords . . .

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    errr … I think there might be an employee named Mary Jane missing from the accounts … ?

  • cbattle1 says:

    Great work Tony!
    Uncle Bruce Pascoe’s influence on Australian agriculture may well become as great as Trofim Lysenko’s in the Soviet Union!
    This sort of religio-political pseudo-science can easily germinate and thrive in human minds, and may express itself as a quirky harmless fad, or given the support of a Stalin or Mao, could grow into something pathological.
    Let us not forget the much touted fad “Permaculture”, a sort of agri-cult engendered by Tasmania’s Bill Mollison, and Rudolf Steiner’s “Biodynamic” system of farming/mysticism has firmly established itself in soils made active by “Preparation 500”, which is created by filling a cow horn with cow dung and burying it for a winter’s duration.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

      A Walter Mitty charlatan without doubt but what to do for like all good con men he has fooled the people who matter. Remember T Lobsang Rampa the Tibetan Llama who wrote mind boggling true accounts about the mysterious Orient, the third eye, and stuff like that had a lot of us spellbound and who much later turned out to be a plumber from Devon, way of the World. The best one I ever encountered was a Guru who visited us on our property in the FNQ bush during the forties, was invited to stay for a meal and the night as was the custom, and he sold the womenfolk some electronic devices encased in glass tubes that supposedly cured everything. He was gone before daylight with a cheque in his pocket and some of the family crystal and silver in his saddle bags. The irony of it all was the electronic devices needed electricity to operate if indeed they did operate, and there wasn’t any electricity around for many miles and wouldn’t be until the mid 1950’s.

  • depths says:

    My late sibling was an honoured professor of the University of Melbourne.

    In honour, I have contributed to UM’s fundraising in the past.

    Since UM sacrificed its scholarly reputation to hoist a discredited woke shamster into what had been a UM top science (vet science and agriculture) association of faculties, I have cancelled any further donations to UM.

  • Brian Boru says:

    Melbourne University has about 40% of its students from overseas. A great many of whom would be from China and India.
    The parents of these students, some rich, others struggling to pay, believe MU is worth the effort.
    Tony, maybe your well researched article should be published in those countries. Then parents of potential students could be fully informed of the quality of MU professors.
    This would have two positive outcomes. Firstly, the parents would be informed, secondly, MU might wake to the seriousness of the matter. MU recruiters in those countries would quickly pass the message back as soon it was given coverage.

    • pmprociv says:

      Brilliant suggestion, BB! The challenge is: how to get the massage into China, especially at a high profile level?

      • mrsfarley2001 says:

        Just send back all those Asian massage parlour employees. But, seriously guys, anyone who believes Australian Yooni education is still worthwhile is delusional. For Chinese students it’s a bit like coals to Newcastle, Indians, not sure just yet.

        There are now 3 certainties: death, taxes & snake oil.

        • lbloveday says:

          The Malaysians I utilised 15-20 years ago told me they were on Student Visas at some English Language institution where they did not have to attend, just pay the fees.

    • NarelleG says:

      Brilliant suggestion Brian
      ‘Tony, maybe your well researched article should be published in those countries. Then parents of potential students could be fully informed of the quality of MU professors.
      This would have two positive outcomes. Firstly, the parents would be informed, secondly, MU might wake to the seriousness of the matter. MU recruiters in those countries would quickly pass the message back as soon it was given coverage.’

  • cbattle1 says:

    Pascoe is not unique in the promotion and commercialisation of Australian native plant foods, AKA Bush Tucker, nor has he been among the early proponents. Since the 70s, people have written about the subject and developed products for the market. One in particular as author and entrepreneur is Vic Cherikoff, who has been employed at the University of Sydney as a research scientist in the relevant field. I attended one of his native foods tours of the Royal Botanic Gardens, back in the day, and an internet search will provide a lot of information about his career, as well as the others who were active in this field. What distinguishes Uncle Bruce from the others is his proclamation of Aboriginal ancestry, and that is exactly what has promoted him to celebrity/cult/respected elder status. While we are at it, let us not forget the original “Bush Tucker Man”, Les Hiddens, and his TV series of the 80s.

    • mrsfarley2001 says:

      Ah yes – the man with the big hat. He’d boil up anything: great fun, and didn’t come across as a gyp artist. Pascoe has neither shame nor cred. Uncle Rorta-rorta is an excellent coinage

  • wstarck says:

    Across hundreds of diverse human societies in all inhabited continents and climates, agriculture has been accompanied by associated implements, words, works, mythology, art, and ceremonies, as well as domesticated varieties of plants and animals. None of these things seem to be present in Aboriginal cultures. In addition, there also seems to be no clear mention of any Aboriginal farming, settlements, or domestic animals (other than dingos) by any of the early explorers, settlers, missionaries, researchers, administrators or other early European contacts with Aboriginal groups. it is truly remarkable that despite the virtually complete absence any such evidence, there has been a recent uncritical wholesale groundswell of academic and activist acceptance and teaching of the notion that Australian Aboriginal cultures were not actually hunter- gathers but had in fact enjoyed an extensive well developed agricultural society.

    Stranger still, this claim was initiated almost entirely by a self-proclaimed Aboriginal with no formal research qualifications, who’s recorded ancestry is entirely European, and who’s claims of Aboriginality appear to remain either unconfirmed or denied by all of the claimed ancestral groups. Of course, any doubt in this regard could easily be settled quickly and conclusively by a DNA analysis. However, in the postmodern realm of academia and Woke ideology any mention of truth and reality or reason and evidence is forbidden. So, the case rests on the basis of few highly speculative suggestions regarding a handful of out of context comments or misquotes from several well-known historical accounts while ignoring an overwhelming body of conflicting reason and evidence.

    As for the farm and the professorship, the ongoing record of near zero production for a million dollars at the Black Duct farm pretty clearly demonstrates everything we need to know about the potential of Aboriginal agriculture.

    As for the University of Melbourne Enterprise Professorship in what overwhelming evidence indicates is entirely, obviously and irrefutably a fiction from a dubious source: This tells us everything we should begin to recognise about the current state of academia as well as it’s influence throughout the entire education system, the media, and the very nature of public discourse.

    The quote from the U of M guidelines regarding the Enterprise Professorships is especially revealing in regard to the Professorship in Indigenous Agriculture:

    Enterprise appointments are highly selective to ensure appointees bring distinctive knowledge and skills that would be otherwise unavailable to the institution. Professorial-level Enterprise appointments are highly distinguished positions… individuals must

    ♦ Have an eminent and sustained record of peak level leadership, entrepreneurship and influence;

    ♦ Be widely recognised for their outstanding achievements in industry, business, professions and/or government; and

    ♦ Demonstrate specialist expertise and a highly developed industry/business knowledge base that matches in breadth and depth what is expected of all professors of the University.

    That the U of M deems that this field of study and it’s professor meet such standards should certainly be worth a very careful decision for anyone considering the value of plunging into a decade or more of student debt to obtain a degree from them.

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