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Salinity and education

Salinity and education

Education deepens our understandings of how natural systems work and suggests various ways to imagine and engage with land. Communication of scientific understandings about processes of salinisation guides efforts to address salinity. Likewise, developing more complex understandings about the influence of culture on human action enables necessary changes.

People, salinity and education

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 ErinEarth 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

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

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.

Places, salinity and education

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

Photo: George Main     

At Arcadia, the Strong family have developed innovative approaches to living with salinity. They share their ideas and knowledge through regular field days on the property.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Graham Strong | Rosie SmithDancePlant t-shirtNative plant seed bank

Wiradjuri Yalbalingada
Photo: George Main     

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

Related Pass the Salt stories: Flo Grant

Emblem Park
Photo: Naomi Zouwer  

The first pumping bore of the Central Wagga Wagga Bore field was installed at Emblem Park. These bores are being used to regulate the level of the watertable.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Groundwater mapMonitoring bore no. 9 | South Campus

Objects, salinity and education

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 watertable 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

Indian water pot
Photo: Oz Green                

As the culmination of the MYRiveR project, students poured water from the Murrumbidgee, Murray and Darling Rivers into the sea at the mouth of the Murray River.

Groundwater map
Photo courtesy: Wagga   
Wagga City Council

The Groundwater map indicates areas at high risk of salinity. It was issued by Wagga Wagga City Council as part of its public education salinity initiatives.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Emblem ParkWagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group