RHSV October Lecture: ‘Returning the Kulkyne’ with John Burch

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 05:15 PM


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
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Event contact

Lauren Indiveri-Clarke

Join author and historian, John Burch, for a lecture tracing the history and use of the Kulkyne, a unique natural environment south of Mildura, formed by the Murray River overflowing into the dry Mallee.

‘Returning the Kulkyne’ traces the use of land from the squatters to the present, examining its impact on the land and its people. It also explores the possibility of returning the Kulkyne to some semblance of its former state.

The Kulkyne is formed of floodplains, semi-arid woodlands and semi-permanent lakes, which made it densely settled Aboriginal land and a desirable place for squatting. The squatters grew Kulkyne Station into a 3,000,000-acre business before it collapsed under the pressure of land reform and rabbits. Already seriously compromised, the land then became State Forest and was logged until exhausted. The Mildura railway, finished in 1903, opened the area up and led to the natural values of the Kulkyne being identified. In the 1930s Mildura resident Les Chandler initiated the campaigns that led to the creation of Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in 1980.


Who: John Burch, author and historian, in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria

What: Lecture and Q&A with author and historian, John Burch

When: Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Refreshments at 5.15pm with lecture at 5.45pm with Q&A immediately following 

Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne 3000

Cost: RHSV members free and $10 for non-members

Contact: 9326 9288 or [email protected]

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$10.00 AUD


The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

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The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342