Farming as cultured practice of place? - In conversation with Ross Lake OAM

Event status:

Join us for this thought provoking lecture as Melinda Hinkson explores human scale perspectives on transformations in farming in the Mallee

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Thursday 14 September 2023 05:30 pm until Thursday 14 September 2023 07:30 pm (Add to calendar)
Rebecca Crossling
Presented by:
Melinda Hinkson and Ross Lake OAM
Type of Event:
Public Lecture

We are delighted to welcome back on campus, Melinda Hinkson, Executive Director of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies, to present this public lecture, Farming as Cultured Practice of Place? in conversation with Ross Lake OAM.

Following Melinda’s recent Murray Talk at the 2023 Mildura Writer’s Festival, this lecture will present observations from ongoing research she is conducting with farmers and fruit growers in the Mildura region. Melinda’s presentation will be followed by a response from local businessman and community leader Ross Lake OAM.

As part of the global trend towards industrially scaled agriculture, between 1980 and 2000, the number of farms in Australia halved. As farm sizes have expanded, so too has Australian agriculture been refigured in terms of celebrated national export. Yet pictures of booming productivism and export growth are disconnected from the more complex situation on the ground in the places where food is grown.

Mildura is a unique experiment in agricultural place making. Drawing on conversations with current and retired farmers and fruit growers in the Millewa-Mallee, this talk explores human scale perspectives on transformations in farming and farming communities.

It asks, while farming may now be a high-tech enterprise involving local-global work, is it still possible to identify a reflexive, place-based, cultured practice of farming, with unique values and orientations? What distinguishes such practice from the tendencies of financialised agriculture, and what might recognising farming in these terms contribute to urgent debates about the growing of food, the well-being of rural communities, city-country relations, and national security?

Following this lecture, on Friday 15 September, join us for a La Trobe University Research Showcase - Future Thinking: Water, Agriculture and Social Change

Please note, the event will open for networking and refreshments at 5.30pm, with the lecture commencing at 6.00pm. The event will close at 7.30pm with drinks and canapes, thanks Verdict Catering. Their menu, inspired by local produce, will allow for the conversations to continue.

About Melinda Hinkson

Melinda Hinkson is a social anthropologist with wide ranging interests in the fault lines of settler colonial Australia. She has written widely on Warlpiri visual production and politics of representation; on the history of Australian anthropology; on the transformation of Indigenous governance in the Northern Territory; and on displacement and postcolonial placemaking. Since 2020 Melinda has been conducting research in and around Mildura on changes in farming practice over time. She is Director of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies and a visiting scholar at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.

About Ross Lake OAM

Educated at Mildura West Primary and Mildura High School Ross went on to Economics, Law and Education degrees at Monash University. Short stints in teaching, social work and the law ultimately saw him enter the family business in the oil industry, Ross is the Managing Director of Tasco Inland Australia. Ross has involved himself in a number of local community enhancement activities. These include issues around the delivery of human services, water politics, arts organisations and regional development initiatives.

Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre, La Trobe University

471 Benetook Avenue, Mildura



3 Mar 2024 10:20 am

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