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August 16, 2022
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
Event Category:


Member Forum on Zoom under Chatham House rule
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Landscapes of Our Hearts

Interest Group: Non-Fiction Books

Hosted by:
Peter Lamell
Dianne Jacobs

August 16, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm


If we look afresh at our history through the land we live on, might Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians find a path to a shared future?

On this ancient continent, waves of people have made their mark on the landscape; in turn, it too has shaped them. In this book group discussion we embark on a compelling exploration of this country’s diverse landscapes and examine how a re-engagement with the environment may offer all Australians a shared path to reconciliation.

Landscapes of Our Hearts: Reconciling People and Environment (Thames and Hudson, June 2020) by Matthew Colloff  is a book of hope and will change the way you see this land.

Superbly written, this book integrates science and cultures, taking a sophisticated and bold approach to writing history, questioning and provoking us to think about a different future.

Matthew Colloff works at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University and before that was a research scientist at CSIRO for twenty-three years. He has had a distinguished career in the areas of climate change adaptation, conservation and ecosystem ecology, and is an award-winning writer.

‘Landscapes of Our Hearts is a work of impressive breadth, a work of real intellectual and creative ambition. Sometimes lyrical, sometimes, hard-hitting, it interweaves environmental history with memoir, with Indigenous voices, fieldnotes, settler diaries, literary references and more. It asks the reader to look anew at our history, at the natural world, and ask ourselves how we might speak to each other across cultural divides and find creative ways to deal with climate change.’ – Judges, 2021 NSW State Library Prize

‘A book as full of mystery, fascination and beauty as the landscape it describes. Compelling, multifarious and essential.’ – Don Watson

‘We are locked in a dance with landscapes – moulding their contours as they shape our souls. This book will take you into the heart of Australia’s relationship with the natural world. Put it in your backpack, hike to your favourite place, and drink in its wisdom.’ – Andrew Leigh, MP

Read the book, come with an open mind, hear differing perspectives in this intimate, digital format and uncover what your fellow readers think.

Other books this interest group is discussing:


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