In recent talks, I have expanded the usual acknowledgement to traditional owners, elders past and present, to include reference to all indigenous people who have occupied the Australian continent over the last 65,000 years. In saying this, I make special mention of those lands now under the sea. Read More

National Budgets - Some Thoughts

Each year we are subjected to the performance of our Treasurer as they present the Government’s budget. A few days later the Opposition Leader gives a speech in reply. It is all part of the Parliamentary process that offers citizens a chance to learn something of their financial plight and also for the public sector to have confirmed their expenditures for the financial years ahead. Read More

Last Interglacial Marine Deposits at Mary Ann Bay, Tasmania

Mary Ann Bay - Quaternary Enigma? It is always dangerous to comment on a famous geologic site without undertaking a detailed field study. But I must indulge myself on this occasion as the site is one of the most important in the Quaternary history of southeastern Australia. I'm referring to Mary Ann Bay on the South Arm Peninsula of the Derwent Estuary, south of Hobart, Tasmania. Read More

Coastal Archaeology

I am currently reading a fantastic new book by Billy Griffiths entitled Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia. It has been described by Tim Flannery as “the freshest, most important book about our past in years”, and by the historian Mark McKenna as a book “that marks the emergence of a powerful new literary voice and shifts our understanding of the nation’s past”. Read More

Climate Change Adaptation in Australia - A Loss of Momentum

Over the past 10 years there have been a range of initiatives by federal and state governments that aim to improve the nation’s capacity to meet the challenges of climate change. Considerable attention has been directed at reducing emissions, or climate change mitigation, especially at a federal level. Efforts to respond to impacts of climate change, or climate change adaptation, have been the subject of less public debate although the focus of research and planning by governments, academic institutions and some businesses. It appears that the appetite for continuing such efforts is dwindling. This does not bode well for the nation’s future. Read More