An understanding of place is crucial to our project.
We look at drought across four different regions and the major towns embedded within them – Mildura, Shepparton, Bendigo and Albury/Wodonga – on the traditional lands of the Latji Latji, Ngintait, the Dja Dja Wurrung, Yorta Yorta and Wiradjuri, Waveroo and Dhudhuroa people. Like other areas within the Murray Darling Basin, these regions have all undergone profound changes. They host farming communities as well as busy urban centres with complex infrastructure needs.
These regions also span three distinct climates and four ecological regions. While Mildura in the far north west of Victoria is an irrigation and dry-land cropping region with sparse annual rainfall (298mm), Bendigo in central Victoria has a gold-mining history and a hinterland of viticulture and mixed farming enterprises. On the northern Victorian riverine plains, Shepparton is a fruit growing and irrigation region. Further to the north-east, the Murray River separates the border towns of Albury-Wodonga, an area of generous annual rainfall (744mm) and productive agricultural lands.
We will ask questions such as: How have the different environmental conditions in each place fostered different ways of responding to drought? What similarities are there? Has each region developed local, place-specific knowledges of drought?