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Indigenous knowledge and climate change : the Wathaurong and Gadubanud narrative for the Great Ocean Road region

conference contribution
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Phillip RoosPhillip Roos
For more than forty thousand years Aboriginal people of Australia have been confronted with major climate, ecological and geological changes as well as annual seasonal variations. Many of these changes have been captured in the cultural traditions of Maar (the people) of the south-west Victorian coast and the knowledge has been transferred from generation to generation through Dreaming stories. Many Dreaming stories recount the forming of the coastal landscape and Sea Country. Weather patterns and climate change were gauged by the occurrence of natural events such as the tidal changes, sea level rise, landscape changes, behaviour of animals, and the availability of food sources. Can this ancient knowledge provide answers for adaptation and resilience to a rapid changing climate? Drawing upon recent literature on coastal climate change in the Great Ocean Road Region (GORCC, 2012), literature review of indigenous environmental planning (Kooyang Sea Country Plan, 2004), and investigation of settlement patterns of the Wathaurong and Gadubanud people, this paper reviews the changes in the landscape due to climate change and explores traditional knowledge as input to a potential design based adaptation model for coastal settlements of the Great Ocean Road Region.



International Federation of Landscape Architects. World Congress (50th : 2013 : Auckland, New Zealand)


226 - 236


[The Conference]


Auckland, New Zealand

Place of publication

[Auckland, New Zealand]

Start date


End date


Indigenous content

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Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2013, IFLA


R Davies, D Menzies

Title of proceedings

IFLA 2013 : Shared wisdom in an age of change : Proceedings for the International Federation of Landscape Architects 50th World Congress

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