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The Paddock Report

About the project

North Taylors is the name of a paddock on the southwest slopes of New South Wales, south of the Murrumbidgee River, in the Birrego district, between the towns of Narrandera and Boree Creek.

Once a year, National Museum of Australia curator and environmental historian George Main visits North Taylors and writes a report that binds global issues of climate change and food security to the local, present day realities of this paddock, its history and possible futures.

What understandings of land and people arise from encounters with windmill grass, sheep, kurrajong trees, foxes, a dam? As our climate, places and society change rapidly, what meanings are offered by terrain enclosed to produce food and fibre, to keep us fed and warm?

North Taylors and Oakvale

The 60-hectare North Taylors paddock is part of Oakvale, a farm owned by the Strong family, leaders in the development of new, ecological farming methods. Oakvale was established in the first decade of the 20th century by George and Mary Taylor.

Before 1904, the rectangle of farmland now called North Taylors was part of Buckingbong, one of the great Murrumbidgee pastoral stations, established on Wiradjuri country by the Jenkins family in the 1830s.

Used to grow cereal crops for generations, today North Taylors is cloaked in self-sown pasture, and nourishes merino sheep.

Map


View North Taylors paddock, Oakvale in a larger map

More

Subscribe to our People & Environment blog if you would like updates about The Paddock Report. 

‘From Our School House’ video on YouTube
This installation by the Cad Factory, a regional  arts initiative, explores the history and significance of old Birrego schoolhouse, located alongside Oakvale.

‘Well Beyond Water’ website
A short documentary film by English composer Andy Ross about the Strong family’s efforts to adapt to climate change.

‘Pass the Salt’ online feature
A National Museum of Australia website featuring the Strong family and their attempts to reverse dryland salinisation.


 

People and the Environment

The Paddock Report is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.