A watercolour painting of Clarence River, near Dr. Dobie's, in New South Wales by Edward Thomson

Australia is the driest populated continent on the planet and yet it is covered with evidence of water: rivers, creeks, washes and wetlands. 

This collection-in-focus exhibition explores Australians’ relationships with their waterways, in a land of drought and flood.

The First Australians survived in both the driest and wettest of places, living with plenty and scarcity. Europeans brought with them a different mindset, one formed over thousands of years in the northern hemisphere. They sought to shape the environment to serve their existing cultural, social and economic ideas and support a growing population. Dams, reservoirs, tunnels and pumps are evidence of that.

Rivers: Lifeblood of Australia was curated by Ian Hoskins, author of the NLA Publishing title Rivers: The Lifeblood of Australia

About the Book

The book cover of Rivers: The Lifeblood of Australia by Ian Hoskins

In this broad-ranging survey of ten Australian waterways and river systems, Ian Hoskins presents a history of our complex connections to water.

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Image at top: Edward Thomson, Clarence River, near Dr. Dobie's, New South Wales, c.1848, nla.cat-vn2156723