In October 2020, Centre Director Ruth Morgan presented the Annual Lecture for the ANU Archives and Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives.

The lecture is now available online via Youtube.

By all accounts, 2020 has been a remarkable year.

Bushfires of unprecedented duration and spread, then a pandemic, have led us all to wonder, when will this be over? When will we return to normal? But what is normal in a dry and drying land is especially elusive.

The archives can offer insights into how peoples past grappled with similar uncertainties, as non-Indigenous peoples reckoned with the continent’s unfamiliar climes. Through their stories, this lecture explores what the disasters of 2020 have revealed about our relationships with the environment, and how we live on the driest inhabited continent on Earth

Image: Hunt, H. A & Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology (Australia). ([192-?]). Revised average annual rainfall map, Australia and Tasmania from