Researching Australian history, culture

La Trobe researchers and their teams have been successful in the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiative for Australian Society, History and Culture.

Professor Katie Holmes - Parched: cultures of drought in regional Victoria

Drought is a recurrent feature of Australian climate and a formative influence on Australian history, culture and identity. This project will generate new knowledge about the cultures of drought; the changing ways Victorians have lived with, imagined, understood and represented drought. Researchers working in environmental humanities and climate science will partner with regional art galleries and museums (including Bendigo Art Gallery, Murray Arts Museum Albury, Shepparton Arts Museum and the Mildura Art Vault), to develop a deeper understanding of the cultural legacies of drought and their impacts on current environmental practice and policy and identify new resources for cultural and social resilience for future periods of water scarcity. Professor Holme’s team includes Professor Sue Martin, Professor Lawrie Zion, Associate Professor Jacqueline Millner and Dr Tom Ford.

Professor Susan Lawrence - Fire, Flood and Food: People and Landscape Change in Northern Victoria

The project aims to explore how access to water and the use of fire have shaped land use from ancient times to the recent past. By linking Aboriginal and historical archaeology and Aboriginal Studies the project will seek to develop an innovative integrated data set that spans the entirety of human history in Australia. Outcomes of this important project will include new knowledge about how people have responded to environmental and social change – along with increased capacity for Aboriginal people to achieve their educational and land management goals. The project is a collaboration with the Yung Balug clan and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation. Professor Lawrence’s team includes Dr Jillian Garvey, Professor Richard Cosgrove, Associate Professor Nicola Stern, Dr Julie Andrews, Dr Anita Smith, Dr Peter Davies, Dr Rebekah Kurpiel and Dr Kath Thomas.

Associate Professor Katherine Ellinghaus - Indigenous Australia: A History of Documents 1770-2000

This project will produce a four-volume documentary history of Indigenous Australia by applying new methodologies that are based on collaboration, reflexive approaches, and the privileging of Aboriginal wellbeing and Indigenous perspectives. It aims to change the way documentary collections have shaped our past, thereby creating innovative insights into Australia’s history and new understandings of Indigenous peoples shaped partly by themselves. The team on this important project includes Emeritus Professor Richard Broome and Professor Barry Judd from the University of Melbourne.at the University of Melbourne.

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