Treading Lightly

Australian Aboriginal society's model for sustainability has the longest proven track record on earth. While societies outside Australia emerged, prospered and went under, Aboriginal society withstood and proved its sustainability over tens of thousands of years of dramatic events, until the Europeans' arrival in 1788-89. It is an extraordinary achievement, especially considering that this is something humanity is now struggling with: the way to build a truly sustainable society on this earth.

How did the Aborigines do it? How did they organise for sustainability? What type of leadership did it require? They must have had a 'recipe for success'. What was it? Could we reconstruct it?

My co-author Tex Skuthorpe is the last custodian of the Nhunggabarra law stories, a painter and lecturer at university of Newcastle, Australia. He helps the reader to uncover the knowledge hidden in the ancient stories and this allows us reconstruct the ways his people applied to sustain their society, their land and the plants and animals.

Read the stories, see the paintings, listen to the song and walk the land!

  • Author
    Karl-Erik Sveiby and Tex Skuthorpe
  • Published by
    Allen & Unwin, Australia may 2006
  • ISBN
    9781741159646 (ebk)