More than 80 per cent of Australia's population is clustered in and around cities on the coastal fringe, and yet the lives of Australians on the land still capture our collective imagination. For over 200 years the pioneering spirit of Australia's rural people has enabled them to meet the challenges presented by a difficult climate in a fragile land. Today, that same spirit of resourcefulness helps farmers embrace the changes required to compete successfully in a globalised world market.
This book acknowledges the foundations of the past and celebrates a future built upon a resilient country spirit. Evocative images and text combine to create a picture of rural life that will appeal to Australians everywhere, but in particular to those who have lived through the changes being explored. The book looks at the rapid transformation of rural Australia from the early days of European settlement to the present; the critical elements of country life - land, work, town, communication and home. Character sketches interspersed throughout the book are drawn from particular images of people, place and landscape. Elements of story, anecdote, memoir and biography reanimate the lives of country people from a passing era, investing contemporary rural Australia with a healthy sense of place.
'The Spirit Of Rural Australia' celebrates the indomitable spirit of rural people and reminds us that this wide land claims us as much as we claim it.