Saturday, 8 October 2011


Associate Professor Don Garden
 Victorians are invited to don their hiking boots and unearth the history of bushwalking as the Royal Historical Society of Victoria presents their October talk topic, “Becoming Comfortable in Our Land”.

To be held on Tuesday 11 October at 5.45pm, environmental historian Associate Professor Don Garden will explore Victoria’s environmental history and the role that bushwalking has played in it.

“In the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century important changes occurred in the relationship between the Australian colonists and the Australian natural environment,” said Associate Professor Garden.

“For a variety of economic, technological, scientific and cultural reasons, the ‘bush’ came to be seen as less alien and threatening than it had been in the early decades of colonisation.

“For many people the bush increasingly became something to enjoy for recreation, exercise and study – a place for leisure and pleasure.

“One manifestation of this changing view was the number of people who took up bushwalking as a recreational hobby.

“Bushwalkers also played a significant role in the early stages of environmental protection campaigns, and notably in efforts to establish national parks.

“Our talk will explore just how bushwalking has evolved to become the popular cultural and social activity it has today.”

Associate Professor Don Garden is President of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies, a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University’s Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society, a Principal Fellow in the School of Historical Studies, and a Fellow and Councillor of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

The event will be held at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in the former Australian Army Medical Corps Drill Hall - an impressive Art Deco space, listed on the Victorian Heritage Register for its state-wide architectural and historical significance.

Formed in 1909, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) is committed to collecting, researching and sharing an understanding of the history of Victoria. Housing the most extensive single information resource on the history of Melbourne and Victoria, collections are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm. 

Date:                            Tuesday 11 October
Time:                            5.15pm tea/coffee; 5.45pm – 6.45pm lecture.
Address:                      Royal Historical Society of Victoria
239 A’Beckett Street
Melbourne  (entry via William Street)
Cost:                            $5.50 non members; free for members
Bookings:                   t: (03) 9326 9288   

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