Endurance in the Australian Wheatbelt: 'Drought makes who we are'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter leverages the insights of oral history on extreme weather and climate change to engage with the notion of endurance. It draws from extensive oral history project undertaken in the Mallee wheatbelt of Australia during the millennium drought, which coincided with a marked shift in public awareness of climate change. It homes in on the drought stories of two farming families who have assumed normative patterns of farm inheritance and devolution, where the future is constructed in a way that allows farm people to conceive of themselves upon a multigenerational continuum. In each case, the lived experience of enduring boom-and-bust cycles of drought is positioned as a prerequisite to understanding both the region’s historical volatility and the wider neoliberal denial of rural community in the late twentieth century. In this context, despite shifts in climate change perception, experience and expertise are viewed as inherently partial forms of knowledge. Acknowledging that both livelihoods and identities are at stake, the chapter explores the self-preservative power of a narrative of endurance for a rural culture under threat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Contemporary Meanings of Endurance
EditorsNoel Salazar, Jeroen Scheerder, Eilis Lanclus
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003321842
ISBN (Print)9781032343846, 9781032343853
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Resilience


  • endurance
  • drought
  • climate change
  • oral history

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