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Following the Water


This book is based on my PhD thesis. A thesis, and then turning that thesis into a book, is a lengthy and collaborative process, and many people have assisted me along me the way.

My supervisory panel, John Dargavel, Nicholas Brown, Barry Higman and Sara Beavis, deserve the academic version of a sainthood for getting me through when my life was falling apart. The strengths of this work reflect their patient and loving guidance, and the errors reflect my inability to translate their good advice into words on a page. The university was also kind enough to grant me many extensions so that I could go home to Perth to be with my dying mother, and then support my father as he adjusted to life without Mum. Sadly, neither of them lived long enough to know I had passed.

I would also like to thank Tom Griffiths and Libby Robin who accepted my application to participate in the 2006 Environmental History Postgraduate Workshop, as well as all the staff at the Fenner School and the School of History who were always willing to help. The College of Arts and Social Sciences were kind enough to award me their publishing prize, a true boon. I thank Geoff Hunt and Morgan Burgess for their assistance in editing the revised manuscript and also Christine Huber for her kindness and additional support during the publication process. ANU Press was a dream to work with and I thank Emily Hazlewood and her team for putting together a beautiful-looking book.

I’m grateful to Meredith Fletcher for her assistance in navigating the collection at the Centre for Gippsland Studies. Theses cannot get written without all the behind-the-scenes librarians, database builders, indexers and stack retrievers at all the libraries I consulted, and I thank them for their anonymous work.

Nor can theses get written without a substantial support crew in the rest of life. Seven deaths in five years would test anyone, and it is a testament to the cheering, cajoling and hornswoggling abilities of my support crew that I have managed to complete this and finally get published! I am totally in your karmic debt. You know who you are.

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