Summary

Interview with Anthony 'Hubie' Sheldon at Ngallo by Deb Anderson in February 2006. Anthony Sheldon is an organic, dryland farmer and owner of the Sheldon property at Ngallo, via Panitya in Victoria. This is a follow-up interview following Deb's discussion with Anthony on 14 February 2005. Anthony's paternal grandparents established their Ngallo property in 1910 after selecting their block of land. His mother's family arrived in the area around World War I.

This is one of 24 oral histories documenting the lived experience of drought, and the cultural and historical construction of climate, and which forms the Mallee Climate Oral History Collection. This Collection is an outcome of the PhD research by Deb Anderson. In 2003 Deb Anderson received a Doctoral Research Scholarship, jointly sponsored by the University of Melbourne (Australian Centre) and Museum Victoria. The key focus of her cross-disciplinary research was the lived experience of drought and perceptions of climate change in the Victorian Mallee.

These oral histories and photographs are featured in a book by Deb Anderson, entitled 'Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought', published by CSIRO in 2014.

The project has direct links to individuals, locations and themes featured in the Victorian Women on Farms Gathering Collection, Australia's Biggest Family Album and the Future Harvest project. Anthony Sheldon was a case study of sustainable agriculture in the Future Harvest project, which featured inspiring examples of sustainable land and water use from across Victoria.

Description of Content

Anthony discusses paying attention to media coverage about weather and climate change after hearing about the El Nino in the 1980s, balancing the media’s coverage of climate change with his family’s knowledge, weather forecasting, community perceptions of climate change, harvesting, weed problems in the Mallee and farm stock on his property.

Physical Description

RadioShack mini cassette.

Significance

This collection documents the lived experience of drought and perceptions of climate change in the semi-arid Mallee wheat-belt of Victoria. This project coincided with a key moment in time when Australians were confronted with the issue of climate change and its meaning for their futures. The oral histories and photographs document the enduring historical narratives of Mallee life of endurance, adaptation and survival, which are placed in the context of contemporary concerns about drought and climate variability, and an uncertain future in a climate change world.

A ‘life history’ approach was used for each participant in the oral history project. The interviews allowed participants to talk about their lived experience of drought and perceptions of climate change, in their own terms. These 22 people come from a variety of backgrounds and community involvement: farmers, financial counsellors, members of social action and welfare groups, members of local government, a newspaper editor, a nurse, educators, administrators, agronomists and researchers. The photographs support the oral histories with images of the participants in the context of their family, farm, and broader rural landscape.

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