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Centre for Sustainability Seminar – Justice and Sustainability on a city river

What might sustainability goals be for a city river? And how might environmental historians contribute to a more just approach to sustainability than is usually developed in urban water management planning?

My case study is the estuary of the Georges River, which today runs through the south western suburbs of Sydney, a densely-populated, culturally-diverse and often highly conflictual area in one of the largest cities in Australia. My focus is on aquatic life, riverbank vegetation and human social life in interaction with the river, from 1945 to the 1980s.

Does a recognition of relational environment change – which includes human communities as well as the biology, geology and hydrology of the river – offer more sensitive planning for sustainability?

About the speaker

Heather Goodall is a Sydney historian, whose early research with Indigenous people was on the centrality of land issues in Aboriginal politics in New South Wales, published as From Invasion to Embassy (1996).

While living in Central Australia, in 1984, she was employed by the Pitjantjatjara Council to research for their case to the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Testing in Australia.

Heather has since published on the cultural and environmental relationships of urban communities in south-western Sydney with Indigenous Australians, Arabic-speakers, Vietnamese Australian and Anglo-Irish residents in publications including Rivers and Resilience (2009), Waters of Belonging: Al-miyahu Tajma'unah (2012) and most recently, Georges River Blues: Swamps, Mangroves and Resident Action, 1945–1980, (2022). She has co-edited books on environmental justice, including Echoes from the Poisoned Well (2006), Water, Sovereignty and Borders (2009) and Telling Environmental Histories: Intersections of Memory, Narrative and Environment (2017).

Streaming details

Zoom link:
Password: 008743

Date Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience Public,Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff
Event Category Humanities
Event Type Seminar
DepartmentCentre for Sustainability
LocationCentre for Sustainability Toroa Seminar Room, 563 Castle St, Dunedin
Contact NameMary-Jane Campbell or Nicki Topliss
Contact Phone+64 3 479 5220

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