High Lean Country captures the rich history and haunting character of the New England region of northern New South Wales.
The authors explore how memory - of land, of family, of patterns of life on the other side of the world - has influenced the identity of New England. They also consider how the high country itself has shaped its people and their sense of regional uniqueness. In doing so, this book sets a new direction for understanding Australia as a whole.
Weaving together the histories of human settlement, economic, social and cultural development, as well as interactions with the environment, High Lean Country shows how colonial settlers strived for decades to literally create a new England. It traces the story of the graduates of Oxford and Cambridge who turned their hands to sheep husbandry and developed a squattocracy, the establishment of schools and other institutions, and the cultivation of traditional arts. It also examines the early colonial bushranging period, and a history of not always friendly relations between white settlers and the local Aboriginal population.
A project of the Heritage Futures Research Centre at the University of New England, High Lean Country is a fascinating study of this distinctive Australian high country.
Table of Contents
South of My Days' - Judith Wright
Note on Aboriginal Language Names
Prelude: Uplands Always Attract - J.S. Ryan
1. What is New England? - Alan Atkinson
PART 1: PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
2. The Rocks Beneath - Bob Haworth
3. Sunshine, Snow, Wind and Rain - Jack Hobbs and Alan Atkinson
4. Wildlife - Peter Jarman and Karl Vernes
5. The Vegetated Landscape - Peter Clarke
6. Land and Livelihood - Nick Reid and Lewis Kahn
PART 2: FIRST PEOPLES
7. Seeing Red: Musings on Rock Art - June Ross
8. Aboriginal Archaeology - Wendy Beck
9. The Frontier - David Andrew Roberts
10. Aboriginal People and Pastoralism - Rodney Harrison
11. Aborigines and Citizens - Matthew Jordan
PART 3: NEWCOMERS
12. Passing Through - Martin Auster
13. Colonial Settlement - Alan Atkinson and John Atchison
14. Homesteads - Jillian Oppenheimer
15. Schools - Bruce Mitchell and Jean Newall
The editors are all members of the University of New England. Alan Atkinson is author of The Europeans in Australia. J.S. Ryan is a cultural and regional historian, and is editor of the journal Australian Folklore. Iain Davidson teaches archaeology and is a former president of the Australian Archaeological Association. Andrew Piper has worked as an archaeologist, curator and site manager in Africa, Australia, Micronesia and New Zealand.