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Salinity and community action

Salinity and community action

The destructive potential of salinity has induced wide ranging community action in and around Wagga Wagga. Community educators, urban and rural Landcare groups, Wagga Wagga City Council and other concerned individuals and groups have drawn people from across the community into efforts to address salinity.

People, salinity and community action

People shape places. How we see and talk about land influences how we engage with it. Problems like salinity have been exacerbated by the ecological changes made across the Wagga Wagga region since settlement in the 19th century. Careful and innovative responses by people to the phenomenon of salinisation reveal shifting understandings and perceptions of land.

Sister Carmel Wallis
Photo: George Main     

Sister Carmel has devoted much of her time to developing the Erin Earth Ecological Justice Resource Centre, a place which models and teaches sustainable living practices.

Related Pass the Salt stories: ErinEarth

Jim Phillips
Photo: Naomi Zouwer   

Jim Phillips came out of retirement as a soil conservation officer to teach people in the community about salinity.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Salinity education display

Crow Gang
Photo: Jen Thompson,   
Museum of Riverina

The Crow Gang are a group of children who participated in the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens Waterwise Gardens education program. The program covers a range of sustainability issues including salinity.

Graham Strong
Photo courtesy: Graham  

Salinity outbreaks near their farm have led Graham Strong and his family to think and farm differently.

Related Pass the Salt stories: DancePlant t-shirt | Arcadia

Flo Grant
Photo: George Main         

Flo Grant, a Wiradjuri elder, manages a living skills and cultural learning place. '... we've all got to work together to heal land and preserve our water, because we build for the next generation.'

Related Pass the Salt stories: Wiradjuri Yalbalingada

Sid and Patricia Clarke
Photo: Naomi Zouwer       

Sid Clarke, a third generation farmer, and his wife Patricia have lived on their property for 38 years. Since the 1980s they have adopted a policy of land management to reflect land stewardship.

Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group
Photo: Petrina Quinn        

The Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group has been an essential part of community responses to salinity in the Wagga region for more than ten years.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Emblem Park

Places, salinity and community action

Places tell stories. The patterns and particularities encountered in places reveal entangled histories of land, people and other species. Crumbling brick walls, salinity scalds, gardens of Indigenous plants and signs explaining salinisation speak of the various and shifting ways people have imagined and engaged with land across the Wagga Wagga district.

Photo: Naomi Zouwer      

At ErinEarth, Sisters from the Mt Erin convent are exploring how to live in a more sustainable way.

Related Pass the Salt stories:  Sister Carmel Wallis

Wiradjuri Yalbalingada
Photo: George Main       

As part of teaching young Wiradjuri people about their culture, Aboriginal elders at Wiradjuri Yalbalingada are establishing a native plant nursery.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Flo Grant

Objects, salinity and community action

Objects have histories. As salinity reshapes places and draws responses from residents of the Wagga Wagga district, a diverse range of objects record and tell these stories of dynamic interaction between land and people. On close inspection, objects reveal rich histories of changes brought by salinity to places and to human perceptions and behaviour

Monitoring bore no. 9
Photo: George Main        

Bore no. 9, located at South Campus, was one of more than 100 bores used to monitor changes in the water table in the Wagga Wagga urban area.

Related Pass the Salt stories: South Campus | Emblem Park

Salinity education display
Photo: Naomi Zouwer     

Jim Phillips and his son Andrew designed and built a theatrical display to demonstrate how salinisation works.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Jim Phillips

Danceplant t-shirt
Photo: George Serras     

This t-shirt celebrates the 'DancePlant' events; where people planted trees all day and danced all night.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Graham Strong