History of Sydney's Rivers

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History of Sydney's Rivers

<p>Sydney has some beautiful rivers – the Nepean-Hawkesbury, the Parramatta, the Lane Cove, the Georges, the Cooks River. The first peoples of the Sydney region were dependent on these rivers

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Sydney has some beautiful rivers – the Nepean-Hawkesbury, the Parramatta, the Lane Cove, the Georges, the Cooks River. The first peoples of the Sydney region were dependent on these rivers ecosystems. With the growth of Sydney since 1788 many of these rivers have been seriously polluted and degraded from farming, industry, land reclamation, urbanisation and mining. Learn about the history of Sydney’s rivers and why many continue to call for their protection and restoration. The course builds on earlier WEA environmental history courses on Forests (2018: Term 1) and Oceans (2018: Term 2) but is not required to have attended to enrol.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The history of Sydney’s rivers including the Nepean-Hawkesbury, the Parramatta, the Lane Cove, the Georges, the Cooks River from Indigenous to contemporary times.
  • Significant events where campaigns began to protect these rivers, including the emergence of Environmental Protection agencies to stop river pollution; local government intiatives to stop litter and pollutants entering catchments.
  • The intensification of environmental effects on Sydney’s rivers in the twentieth century as a result of population increase, urbanisation, increasing industrial production, increasing demands for water and pollution.
  • An understanding of the ecological consequences of damaged and polluted rivers at a time of water scarcity, climate change and biodiversity extinction.
  • The developments in ideas about urban rivers in relation to ideas about ‘Gaia’, ‘limits to growth’, sustainability, and the ‘rights of nature’.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify Sydney’s major rivers.
  2. Understand their environmental history.