Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford St, Newtown NSW 2042 | 26 Mar 2020 06:30 PM
Join us to hear Victor Steffensen in conversation with Larissa Behrendt as they discuss Victor's powerful new book, Fire Country.
This summer has seen unprecedented fire catastrophes. Indigenous land management expert Victor Steffensen discusses Fire Country, his plea for the revival of cultural burning practices, and improved 'reading' of country, and how they can help restore our damaged land. He chats with Larissa Behrendt.
About the Book:
From a young age, Victor has had a passion for traditional cultural and ecological knowledge. This was further developed after meeting two Elders, who were to become his mentors and teach him the importance of cultural burning. Developed over many generations, this knowledge shows clearly that Australia actually needs fire. Moreover, fire is an important part of a wholistic approach to the environment, and when burning is done in a carefully considered manner, this ensures proper land care and healing.
Delving deep into the Australian landscape and the environmental challenges we face, Fire Country is a powerful account from Indigenous land management expert Victor Steffensen on how the revival of cultural burning practices, and improved 'reading' of country, could help to restore our land.
Victor's story is unassuming and honest, while demonstrating the incredibly sophisticated and complex cultural knowledge that has been passed down to him, which he wants to share with others.
Fire Country is written in a way that reflects the nature of yarning, and while some of the knowledge shared in this book may not align with Western views, there is much evidence that, if adopted, it could greatly benefit all Australians.
For every copy sold, Hardie Grant will donate $1 to Firesticks, which empowers Indigenous fire management practitioners to revive cultural burning.
About the Author
Victor Steffensen is an Indigenous writer, filmmaker, musician and consultant applying traditional knowledge values in a contemporary context, through workshops and artistic projects. He is a descendant of the Tagalaka people through his mother’s connections from the Gulf Country of north Queensland.
Much of Victor's work over the past 27 years has been based on the arts and reviving traditional knowledge values – particularly traditional burning – through mentoring and leadership, as well as on-ground training with Aboriginal communities and many non-Indigenous Australians.
He is also the co-founder of the National Indigenous Fire Workshops, which have so far been hosted in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Victor has also connected with First Nations communities in California, Canada, and the Sámi people of Scandinavia, sharing cultural knowledge practices related to caring for country.
About Larissa Behrendt:
Larissa Behrendt is an award-winning filmmaker and author of fiction and non-fiction with a passion for telling the stories of Indigenous Australia. She has a legal background, is an experienced researcher, and is involved with several arts organisations and educational programs. She is currently Distinguished Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney and the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio.
Day: Thursday 26 March 2020
Venue: Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford St, Newtown NSW 2042
Tickets: Tickets to the event are $5 each - or free when you pre-order a copy of Fire Country. Register here.
For every copy of Fire Country sold as part of this event, Better Read Than Dead will donate $3 to Firesticks, which empowers Indigenous fire management practitioners to revive cultural burning. A portion of tickets sales will also go towards assisting Indigenous communities affected by the recent fires.