It seems to me that one of the great problems we have as a species is that many of us have forgotten we actually live in a place. Our lifestyles, and certainly our culture and economy, treats all places – that is, the vast array of ecosystems that cover our planet – as being generic and interchangeable. So we are not very good at looking after things, because we have lost (or not learnt) an attachment to place.
Many of us, even in the global North, are nomadic, moving between cities and suburbs, countries and towns without much connection or appreciation for where we are. Our community tends to be people rather than landscapes. Yet people want to belong somewhere – somewhere special. Witness how the big land development companies pitch their ugly houses in the endless urban sprawl as being somewhere tangible or real – ‘Barwon Waters’ or wherever, and they even use indigenous plantings and so on as part of trying to make these estates, which has just been grafted onto the land, seem authentic. We crave something more connected and real, but we don’t get it through mass acre urban developments or shopping malls. We have to find it somewhere else.
This website is just a small attempt to provide a forum to appreciate one specific corner of the world – the south eastern corner of Australia. In bioregional terms, I call this the Bogong bioregion, and to me it stretches from the basalt plains of western Victoria, up to the Murray and along the southern coast, in an arc north of the Snowies and across the Monaro Plains to the coast in southern NSW. This site is especially focused on some of the sub regions – the Basalt plains, particularly where Melbourne is located, the Central Highlands and the Victorian Alps, as this is the country that speaks to me in the richest and deepest ways. I would welcome others filling in some of the obvious gaps.
I work with Friends of the Earth in Melbourne, and split my time between there, Castlemaine in Central Victoria and Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps. I can be found via cam.walker [at] foe.org.au I am always up for a yarn about politics, bioregionalism and mountains.