The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has dismissed an allegation disputing the Aboriginal heritage of author and historian Bruce Pascoe.
- The complaint accused Pascoe incorrectly claiming to be Indigenous
- The AFP said “no Commonwealth offence had been identified” and the matter was now “finalised”
- Bruce Pascoe has previously labelled the claims “hurtful”
It was reported by The Australian newspaper earlier this month that the complaint from Aboriginal businesswoman Josephine Cashman, which accused Mr Pascoe of financially benefiting from incorrectly claiming to be Indigenous, was referred to the AFP by the office of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
The AFP confirmed in a statement that it was “referred correspondence in relation to alleged fraudulent activity against the Commonwealth by Professor Bruce Pascoe” on Christmas Eve.
Today, a spokesman said “no Commonwealth offence had been identified” and the AFP had now “finalised this matter”.
The AFP said Pascoe’s “Aboriginality was not relevant in determining whether a Commonwealth offence had been committed” and so those inquiries had not been undertaken.
Speaking to ABC Hobart earlier this month, the Dark Emu author said it was unclear why he had been referred.
“It’s hurtful, but a lot of hurtful things go on in life and you’ve just go to try and survive them,” he said.
“Some people think that my association, family association, is too slim to worry about.
“I’ve said that all along that these are distant relationships, but they’re important to me, as is every relationship in my family.”
The ABC has contacted Mr Dutton’s office and Ms Cashman.
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