Sydney’s misremembered swamplands

Recorded on 1 September 2020

This Scholar Talk presents an environmental history of Sydney’s freshwater swamplands. Once dominating the landscape between Centennial Park and Botany Bay, these habitats were progressively destroyed after European colonisation. Two small remnants of the former swamps — now protected within Centennial Park and the Botany Water Reserve — are thus prized for their high natural and cultural value. However, historical and scientific data reveal a more complex story as to what these sites truly represent, challenging our perceptions of their conservation value. 


Rebecca Hamilton is geographer based at the Australian National University, with a research interest in using long-term environmental data to reconstruct past landscape and climate dynamics in southeast Asia and Australia. She is particularly interested in applying her work to landscape conservation.