Our Place, Our Environment, Our Future

Barbara Norman

“For Australians, our sense of space and place are central to our identity and culture. From the first inhabitants of Australia to the diverse range of migrants who have made their way here, this country represents a freedom and way of life that is envied the world over. Yet Australians cannot afford to be complacent. The summer of 2012–2013 has seen temperatures skyrocket and very large, destructive bushfires. Indeed, the summers of the past 10 years are a litany of natural disasters, beginning with fires in the suburbs of Canberra in 2003 that destroyed or damaged over 500 houses and killed four people. The climate events of fire, flood, cyclones and drought have always occurred throughout Australia’s history, but the undeniable forces of climate change mean that the term ‘natural disasters’ is becoming a misnomer …”