One of the surprises of our travels has been the discovery of the Aboriginal Brewarrina fishtraps on the Darling River in New South Wales. These are considered by some to be the oldest stone structures known to man. We know so little of our first Australians.
On the evening of July 20 2017 we were lucky to meet Fiona and Doc from Newcastle, ironically at Outback Queensland's `Combo Waterhole'... part of the Old Dagworth Station and possibly one of white Australia's most `sacred' sites, being the spot where Banjo Paterson was inspired to pen `Waltzing Matilda'.
And it is Fiona and Doc who we thank for telling us of this stunning, but often depressing book of opportunities lost - a volume that highlights possibly the cruelest cut of all dealt to the Aboriginal nations of this country, a book that includes verified quotes of the early white explorers themselves... that cruelest cut being the newcomers' insistence that the first people here were simply `hunter gatherers' and of no worth as a civilization - despite the evidence, a blatant denial of any pre-European agriculture, building or animal husbandry.
... That humiliating ongoing denial being heaped on top of the already well-documented inhumane treatment to Aboriginal nations including murder, kidnapping and genocide.
Pascoe has set out to correct all that we as whites have been taught, and it does make for an enlightening read.