Australia has always known fire, but not like last summer – not everywhere, all at once. How do we as a nation process the scale of destruction? How can we reduce the severity of future fires, especially in the face of global warming, and incorporate Indigenous expertise as we look after our land? Hear from Alice Bishop, whose book A Constant Hum grapples with the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires; Dark Emu author and volunteer firefighter Bruce Pascoe; and Indigenous fire practitioner and author of Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Save Australia Victor Steffensen. In conversation with Hamish Macdonald.
Victor Steffensen (Australian)
Victor Steffensen is a Tagalaka descendant from Far North Queensland. His works specialize in the application of traditional knowledge for the well-being of cultural and environmental well-being. He has developed the practice of influencing traditional teachings with many Elders from related clan groups within his region. Through a powerful combination of filmmaking, writing, and musician skills, Victor has succeeded the many challenges of applying traditional knowledge values to a changing world. This has lead to the opportunity of working with many people and cultures in developing their own aspirations all over Australia and other parts of the world. Throughout Australia, Victor plays a strong role as a indigenous fire practitioner and continues to influence indigenous and non-indigenous people with his practice. His book Fire Country is a powerful examination of how the revival of cultural burning practices, and improved 'reading' of country, could help to restore our land.
Alice Bishop (Australian)
Alice Bishop is from Christmas Hills, Victoria. Her debut book, short story collection A Constant Hum, tracks the aftermath of bushfire in Australia through researched short fiction. A Constant Hum was shortlisted for the 2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and was longlisted for the 2019 Indie Book Awards.
Bruce Pascoe (Australian)
Bruce Pascoe is an award-winning writer and a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man. He is a Board member of First Languages Australia and Professor of Indigenous Knowledge at the University of Technology Sydney. In 2018, he was named Dreamtime Person of the Year for his contribution to Indigenous culture. Salt is a collection of his best and most celebrated stories and essays, which traverses his long career and explores his enduring fascination with Australia’s landscape, culture and history.
Hamish Macdonald (Australian)
Hamish Macdonald is a broadcast journalist and news presenter. He is the host of the ABC's Q+A political panel discussion show, regular presenter of Radio National Breakfast, reporter for Foreign Correspondent and appears on The Project on Network Ten. Hamish has won a Walkley award for current affairs journalism and was named Young Journalist of the Year by Britain's Royal Television Society in 2008. In 2016 he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University; he now sits on the Walkley’s Judging Board.