Explorer Charles Sturt offered Roast Duck and Cake by the First Nations people in the desert

Dec 24, 2016, 10:39 PM

Bruce is a prolific writer and editor of fiction for adults and young people, and he also writes essays and history.

His most recent work presents a radically different picture of Australia's original inhabitants, and how they maintained their culture over millennia.

From the journals and records of early explorers and surveyors, Bruce has accumulated astonishing descriptions of a pre-colonial Aboriginal life.

Mitchell, Sturt and others describe scenes all around the country of Aboriginal people engineering sophisticated dwellings and irrigation systems.

They also describe the cultivation of vast areas of land for yam fields, and the harvesting, storage and milling of grain crops.

Bruce is of Tasmanian, Bunurong and Yuin heritage and he lives on country, deep in the Victorian bush.