Victoria's Native Vegetation: History, Heritage, Politics

On 16 March 2020, the Making Public Histories committee announced, with regret, the cancellation of this seminar as it had been scheduled.

The Old Treasury Building, the magnificent host venue, is closed to the public until further notice.

All booked participants will be advised by email. The seminar may be rescheduled at a later date, or communicated in other ways.

To stay informed about future events, please subscribe to the E-news bulletin of the History Council of Victoria.

While maintaining 'social distance' during these challenging times, please read more history! You can shop online from Monash University Publishing, generous sponsor of the seminar series.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Here is the information about the event as it had been planned for 12 May 2020:

In recognition of 2020 as the UN International Year of Plant Health, this seminar will illuminate the challenging and contested past, present and future of Victoria’s native vegetation.

Professional historian Dr Gary Presland, author of many books about Victoria’s natural and human heritage (including Understanding our natural world: the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 1880-2015) will speak about the importance of native vegetation in understanding past human activity.

Professor Mike Clarke from the Centre for Future Landscapes at La Trobe University will consider the place of fire in the history of Victoria’s vegetation: 'The Bush will be OK, it’s evolved to cope with fire…hasn’t it?'.

Dr Lilian Pearce, a research fellow on the ARC-funded project Owning nature: mapping the contested country of private protected areas and a member of the Landscape Reference Group with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), will consider the changing role of history in contemporary environmental management activities.

This seminar contributes to the 2020 Australian Heritage Festival for which the theme is ‘Our Heritage for the Future’. The discussion will be chaired by Professor Alistair Thomson of Monash University.


The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

We thank the series sponsors, Monash University Publishingthe Monash University History Program and the Old Treasury Building:

Monash University Publishing - some current titles         

Old Treasury Building                                      Monash University History Program

and the organising partners:

Old Treasury Building     Monash University History Program      HCV



May 12, 2020 at 6pm - 7:30pm
Old Treasury Building
20 Spring St
East Melbourne, VIC 3002
Google map and directions
Margaret Birtley · · 0418 814 957