Bruce's cover image

Bruce PASCOE

Year of Award: 1987 Award State: Victoria Multimedia > Print, Publishing And Journalism
To develop professional skills by working with editors of internationally acclaimed magazines in order to improve the opportunities available for publication to Australian short story writers - Singapore, Italy, UK, Canada, USA
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Storytelling is a crucial part of the cultural expression and identity of a nation. Stories can be told in paint or fibre, marble or movement, sound or celluloid (or digitally). The Churchill Fellows below travelled overseas to improve their field of literature and books.

Bruce Pascoe, a Bunorong man, and member of the Wathaurong Aboroiginal Cooperative of Southern Victoria is an award winning writer, editor and anthologist who has worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, farm fence contractor and Aboriginal language researcher. Bruce was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1987 to explore the American publishing industry. What he learned influenced his own publishing company and he exported books to the United States and Europe and initiated the exchange of fiction with magazines in the US, Canada and France.

Bruce Pascoe’s novel Fox was mostly written at night on his Fellowship. As he wrote to Churchill CEO, Ian Richards on 8 February 1988, ‘Discos and casinos hold no allure for this boy from the bush, so each night I wrote more of Fox.’

The novel was later published by McPhee Gribble. Bruce Pascoe went on to publish a long series of volumes of Australian short stories. He was a proponent of Australian literature, believing that ‘if we don’t have art, we won’t have a soul,’ as he expresses in his report.

Bruce Pascoe’s publishing house Magabala Books has been a driving force in publishing Indigenous authors since 1990. Bruce’s recent book, Dark Emu, which uncovers the nature of Aboriginal society at the time of first settlement, has been shortlisted twice for major book awards.

Excerpt from “Inspiring Australians” written by Penny Hanley (2015)

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