(Image: Private Media)

If Dark Emu is as flawed as scholars Professor Peter Sutton and Dr Keryn Walshe suggest in their book Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate, where does this leave Australia's literary and cultural institutions which have embraced Dark Emu and its author, Bruce Pascoe?

Veteran publisher Richard Walsh has several decades at the top of the industry in Australia and says Dark Emu has been a publishing phenomenon because ultimately it represents something Australians want to believe in, though it now "desperately" needs to be revised.

"I don't believe it is a fatal blow intellectually," he said. "The core argument is correct but some of the peripheral material needs to be re-evaluated."