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Lecture. Farming the Mallee: Visions and Realities 1890-present
November 12 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pmFree – $20
We are honoured that our last major lecture for 2019 will be delivered by Professor Katie Holmes, Director, Centre for the Study of the Inland and co-author of the soon-to-be-published Mallee Country: Land, People, History together with Richard Broome, Charles Fahey and Andrea Gaynor.
In the early 1890s the Victorian Mallee was seen as a ‘howling wilderness’ covered in ‘dismal scrub’. As surveyors began to subdivide the large pastoral stations into 320 acre blocks, the Mallee boosters envisaged an area as a vast granary of golden fields and 5000 acres wheat farms. The subsequent 130 years would see the vision of extensive wheat farms become a reality but the process of transformation came at significant personal and environmental cost.
This talk will explore the cycles of drought and abundance, hope and despair that have characterised Mallee farming; the impacts of social, economic, technological and environmental change on farming practice; and some of the challenges ahead for Mallee communities.