In this talk, Claire Fenby will introduce you to the broad fields of climate history and historical climatology, and give you a brief overview of her PhD research which attempted to answer the following questions:
Did European Australians adapt to the problems posed by weather and climate during this period?
This presentation will also provide an opportunity to reflect on what has changed since this thesis was finished in 2012. In the years that followed, Australian government commitment to action on climate waned change, the phrase ‘climate emergency’ entered our lexicon and hundreds of thousands of Australians joined strikes for climate. What role does history play now?
Claire Fenby is an environmental historian, whose PhD thesis, Experiencing, understanding and adapting to climate in south-eastern Australia, 1788-1860, explored the impact of rainfall variation in south-eastern Australia both between and within the colonies. Meteorological records were sparse during this time in Australia’s colonial history. Claire used historical documents including letters, diaries, newspapers and government records to fill the gaps in the numerical record, and to provide narrative context to weather data.
In the 7 years after submitted her thesis, Claire worked at Hume City Council taking on a range of roles that included records management, environmental planning, and water strategy. She is currently Darebin City Council’s Environment Officer (Waste and Water) in the Climate Emergency strategy team.
Like our previous talk, Claire will be delivering her presentation online with time for questions and conversation at the end. Please register for the session and you will be emailed a link before the event.