Category: Books

Flora of the Hills

“Flora of the Hills” Field Guide project
Introduction by Kaye Rodden

This is the story of history and science, passion and enquiry coming together in an endeavour to determine what the Barrabool Hills landscape looked like before European colonisation in the early 1820’s. Why….so that those in the community wishing to plant native vegetation, could go some way towards “recreating the original landscape”.

It is also the story of partnerships, between the TAFE students and staff of the Gordon, the landcare community and key sponsors such as the Wettenhall Environment Trust, the Surf Coast Shire and the Bendigo Bank.

The result is a beautifully produced field guide for the Flora of the hills, supported by documented reference of over 80 indigenous species, mapped during the field studies by the students, which will be available on the group’s new website. The group are also running a photographic competition to select an image for the cover, with prizes available for the winners of a range of categories, provided by local award winning engineering company Austeng.

Also available on the website will be a chronological summary, supported by historic sketches and photos, of how and why the vegetation has changed over the last nearly 200 years.
To celebrate the publication of the Field Guide, the culmination of nearly 300 hours of course work for the Gordon students, and hundreds more for community members, the field guide will be launched at a “cocktail party and dinner’ in a marquee on the top of the Barrabool Hills overlooking the volcanic plains…. There will also be an exhibition of the winning photographs.
This has been an opportunity not just to learn about how the current Barrabool Hills Landscape came into being but also to establish new partnerships with the youth of Geelong, and hopefully inspire them to value this landscape for the future!

Click here to go to the pdf file:    Flora of the Hills ed2

Ed’s Note: Further data supporting this publication can be found at Stephen Murphy’s web site:

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Books of the Barrabool Hills

Books of the Barrabool Hills


The publications listed below were not necessarily written about the Hills, but some reference is made in all of them to the Barrabool Hills and their surrounds:

Barrabool, Land of the Magpie” by Ian Wynd, 1992, published by the Barrabool Shire.

Intimate Landscapes” by Fred Kruger (photograher), 2012, published by National Gallery of Victoria.

Minnie, Memoirs of a Squatters Daughter” , by Mary Emily Susannah (Minnie) Brewer. 2005, published by Lois Dean 2005.

Gnarwarre History and Recipe Book“, by Nola Noble and Flora Weaven circa 1998.

Early Murgheboluc“, by Irene Sarah Venters 1990, published by John Garner Bookcrafts, Geelong.

A Changing Landscape, Celebrating Landcare in the Barrabool Hills“, Booklet by Kaye Rodden 2010, published by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

John Muston, Draper, Squatter, Speculator in Colonial Australia“, by Robert Wuchatsch 2017, published by Stony Rises Run Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

Barro-abil, Our Beautiful Barrabool Stone”, by Jennifer Bantow and Ros Lewis 2017, published by the authours.

We are attempting to compile a list of publications which contribute to building an historical picture of the Barrabool Hills. If anyone has books or photos to add to this list, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

Brent Rodden, e:


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