Mallee Country: Land, People, History
Paperback | Nov 2019 | Monash University Publishing | 9781925523126 | 416pp | 234x153mm | GEN | AUD$39.95, NZD$47.99
Country tells the powerful history of mallee lands and people across
southern Australia from Deep Time to the present. Carefully shaped and managed
by Aboriginal people for over 50,000 years, mallee country was dramatically
transformed by settlers, first with sheep and rabbits, then by flattening and
burning the mallee to make way for wheat. Government backed settlement schemes
devastated lives and country, but some farmers learnt how to survive the
droughts, dust storms, mice, locusts and salinity – as well as the vagaries of
international markets – to become some of Australia’s most resilient
agriculturalists. In mallee country, innovation and tenacity have been
neighbours to hardship and failure.
Mallee Country is a story of how land and people shape each other. It is the story of how a landscape once derided by settlers as a ‘howling wilderness’ covered in ‘dismal scrub’ became home to citizens who delighted in mallee fauna and flora, and fought to conserve it for future generations. And it is the story of the dreams, sweat and sorrows of people who face an uncertain future of depopulation and climate change with creativity and hope.