‘Returning the Kulkyne’ traces the use of land from the squatters to the present, examining its impact on the land and its people. It also explores the possibility of returning the Kulkyne to some semblance of its former state.
The Kulkyne is formed of floodplains, semi-arid woodlands and semi-permanent lakes, which made it densely settled Aboriginal land and a desirable place for squatting. The squatters grew Kulkyne Station into a 3,000,000-acre business before it collapsed under the pressure of land reform and rabbits. Already seriously compromised, the land then became State Forest and was logged until exhausted. The Mildura railway, finished in 1903, opened the area up and led to the natural values of the Kulkyne being identified. In the 1930s Mildura resident Les Chandler initiated the campaigns that led to the creation of Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in 1980.