- Year: 2001
- Editors: Dibden, Jacqui; Fletcher, Meredith; Cocklin, Chris
- Publisher: Monash Regional Australia Project
- Published Location: Gippsland, Victoria
- Country: Australia
- State/Region: Victoria
The genesis of this book was a seminar held at Monash University's Churchill campus, in Gippsland, Victoria, on 15 November 1999. The seminar was held, fortuitously, very soon after the unexpected defeat of the Kennett Liberal government on 18 September. The title of the seminar, "The Region Strikes Back", reflected the astonishment felt by many commentators that the "regions" outside of metropolitan Melbourne had dramatically revealed a new political reality: that country people could no longer safely be ignored and treated as disposable by power-brokers based in the cities.
This collection consists of updated versions of papers presented to the seminar, together with more recent contributions from Gippsland-based researchers. It documents some of the economic, social and policy issues which provide the background to the rural backlash. It also considers the responses of rural people, and some positive strategies developed within regional areas for dealing with change. A majority of articles are devoted to a study of particular aspects of change, and reactions to change, in the Gippsland region. Others deal with broader regional processes, but are written by researchers based at Monash University's Gippsland campus. All are linked in some way to the Gippsland region, which provides an ideal case study of the impact of structural change on country Australia.
The aim of this book is to provide a diversity of perspectives on change and responses to change in rural areas, such as Gippsland.
The collection as a whole represents a contribution to the debate about the issues confronting rural and regional Australia, the responses of rural people, the impact these have had on more powerful players (government and the media), and the varied solutions which have been explored both by rural people and by government agencies and academics working with them. Some of the chapters also illustrate the dilemmas of rural development and the barriers to achievement of authentically 'community-driven' development processes.