Parched: Cultures of Drought in Regional Victoria will explore how people and communities have lived through and managed drought over time and in different regions of Victoria.
Big dries affect individuals, families, communities, economies, landscapes and ecosystems. They stretch the physical and mental resources and resilience of farms and regional centres. The meanings and experiences of Australian drought have changed over time and responses to it have always been contingent on local, social and cultural contexts.
This project aims to expand our knowledge of how we can better adapt to the environments on which we depend. We will concentrate on four Victorian regions and their NSW borderlands – Mildura, Bendigo, Albury/Wodonga and Shepparton – to explore the historic, artistic, media, cultural and scientific aspects of past and present droughts. In particular, we will focus on four droughts: those of Federation (1895–1903), World War II (1937–1945), the Millennium (1997–2009), and the recent drought (2017–2020).