"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Barmah (Red Gum) Forest

In the early 1960s a young graduate forester, Barrie Dexter, was tasked by the FCV to investigate the relationship between cattle grazing and the regeneration of Red Gum eucalypts in the Barmah Forest, on the Murray River in north-central Victoria. That request was to result in Barrie, over subsequent decades, becoming internationally renowned in terms of the ecology of one of Australia’s most iconic eucalypts.

Opened in 2011, the ‘Barmah Forest Heritage and Education Centre’, in nearby Nathalia, portrays the long period of human occupation of the Barmah Forest. In 2016/2018 the Centre, and the local Moira Shire Council, commissioned the production of two DVDs that feature selected recollections of people who were closely associated with the forest. (‘If Only the Trees Could Talk’- Parts 1 & 2).

Prior to the compilation of the two DVDs, each of the participants was separately interviewed, on camera. These individual DVDs are available for viewing by visitors to the Nathalia Centre. The audio on this page - Barmah Red Gum) Forest - is taken from the 30 minute interview Barrie did as part of his contribution to the ‘If Only the Trees Could Talk’ DVD project.

And at this link is Part 2 of ‘If Only the Trees Could Talk. As well as Barrie this DVD, which focuses on resource and ecosystem management in the Barmah Forest, also features, among others, the recollections of former District Forester Herb Caldwell, and his son Mick. Mick was to work in and around the forest for much of his career.

The DVD and audio appear on this site with the permission of the Heritage Centre and Moira Shire.