Deakin University

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Indigenous landscape change and climate change : the historical transformation of the Port Phillip bay from an indigenous and landscape architectural perspective

conference contribution
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by G Pocock, David Jones
Currently there is a dearth of research into Australian Indigenous knowledge and their understanding of climate change especially in regard to how it fits into an Indigenous world view. Recent discussions by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) have highlighted this deficiency and also the need to source projects that address this perspective, and enable the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge into the planning of climate change adaption strategies. Within this context, this paper examines the use and understanding of landscape, both urban and regional, surrounding Port Phillip Bay and the risks and opportunities climate change adaptation brings to the local Indigenous communities. This paper comprises a literature review and proposes further research with the Wurundjeri (Yarra Valley), Wathaurong (Geelong-Bellarine Peninsula) & Boon Wurrung (Mornington Peninsula - Westerport - southern Melbourne) which aim to elicit a contemporary and local response to issues raised by NCCARF but importantly to articulate a possible Indigenous position about the formation, change and direction that Port Phillip Bay and its environs should take from their perspectives. The research looks to draw on how these communities have adapted to climate change physically, mentally and spiritually over their long habitation of the region and their perceptions of climate change this century. The project looks to uncover a longitudinal perspective of adaptation focused upon Indigenous views of 'country' and custodial obligations to 'country' including accumulated cultural and environmental histories, and how this can inform the contemporary practice of landscape architecture and the design of resilient and sustainable human environments.



International Urban Planning and Environment Association. Symposium (10th : 2012 : Sydney, New South Wales)


129 - 147




Sydney, N.S.W.

Place of publication

Sydney, N.S.W.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed


N Gurran, P Phibbs, S Thompson

Title of proceedings

UPE10 2012 : NEXT CITY : Planning for a new energy & climate future : Proceedings of the 10th International Urban Planning and Environment Association Symposium

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