Caring for Country: #Not a Lifestyle Choice

This seminar was recorded on Tuesday 11 September at the Australian National University. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) will host the University’s first Garrurru Visiting Scholar, Mr Eugene Bargo, under the CAP Garrurru Visting Fellowship Program. As part of the visitation, RegNet will host a special student-focused seminar and to offer ANU students an opportunity to engage with Mr Bargo and to hear about his experience, perspective and ideas on Aboriginal education and empowerment. We encourage all ANU Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to attend and engage in this event.

Eugene Bargo, known to many as Uncle Eugene Bargo, is a proud Goreng Kabi man whose country is Burri Burri and Nargo. He is a concerned Aboriginal Elder who endeavours to educate and inspire others. He lives a very simple life in rural Brisbane that most would struggle with, but others may envy.

For decades, Eugene has walked the boundaries of his Country on cultural business and yearly travels take him where his ancestors gathered. He has a real passion to educate his people, especially youth. He organises bush camps for the young men on his Country to inform them about men’s business and identity. Eugene believes Aboriginal culture is fractured for some people and wants traditional stories to be taught in schools. This is very important to Eugene because he believes cultural stories need to be told to the next generation.

Eugene purchased the property he now owns, which is his Country, and where his great grannie and mother grew up, and he is proud to share it with his children and grandchildren, which make it a total of six generations. He has lived on traditional Country without electricity or television for over 17 years. On this property he has built his own botanical garden from which he now runs a successful propagation business and floristry, specialising in Australian native flowers and plants.

Prior to becoming a florist, Eugene was a qualified social worker. In 4.5 years, he completed TAFE studying welfare, social work, and drug and alcohol support. He also took courses in business and horticulture. Eugene worked for 12 years as a welfare officer in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane in jails, mental hospitals, and advice to government on cultural issues including Aboriginal incarceration.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet