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Sludge: An Environmental History of Water and the Gold Rush

24 May 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEST

External event presented by National Archaeology Week (NAW) in partnership with the Royal Australian Historical Society.

Rivers are cultural artefacts transformed by human intervention. In Australia a significant influence on rivers has been the effect of mining. Miners dammed and diverted rivers for water supply and then choked them with the sand, gravel and silt that poured from the mines. One hundred and fifty years after the gold rush this profound environmental disruption is all but forgotten yet the legacy is still here. Recent research has brought together multi-disciplinary teams of historians and scientists in order to study how the gold rush continues to shape rivers and floodplains. Understanding the lasting impact of mining has implications for the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage, remediation programs, catchment management, public health and debates about how people and environments interact.

About the speaker: Professor Susan Lawrence is an industrial archaeologist and environmental historian at La Trobe University, Melbourne. She has a long-standing interest in the social archaeology of industry, particularly the Australian gold rush, and has led several multi-disciplinary teams investigating the lasting environmental effects of historical gold mining. Susan is the author of over 100 refereed articles and chapters and several books, including Sludge: Disaster on Victoria’s Goldfields, co-authored with Peter Davies, which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Awards in 2020.

Presented by the Royal Australian Historical Society.

When: 6-7pm AEST (Sydney time) Wednesday 24 May 2023

Where: Online via Zoom

For more information and to register: https://www.rahs.org.au/event/naw-sludge/


National Archaeology Week
Royal Australian Historical Society.