Drought is Australia's most devastating recurring natural disaster. Severe droughts impact the well-being of the Australian people and economy. Current understanding of drought in Australia is sorely limited by the short meteorological record (~100 yr). Long-lived trees that form annual growth rings provide a unique opportunity to extend the drought record back by several centuries. We will use tree-rings to reconstruct a spatially explicit, multi-century record of drought variability across eastern Australia. The results will provide the foundations of a drought early-warning system by providing a detailed understanding the extent, frequency, duration, and intensity of past droughts.