Thematic Environmental History of Casey

Thematic Environmental History Report

Thematic Environmental History (Post European contact) report (4mb)

This environmental history provides an explanation of the themes and activities that have been important in shaping the present day City of Casey (the study area), which was created in 1994 and comprises parts of the former Cities of Berwick, Cranbourne and Knox.

It is important to understand that it is not intended as a complete social or political history of the municipality, but rather as a summary of human use and impact upon the landscape in the years since first contact with indigenous inhabitants. It is not a chronological record and should not be read in this way.

Rather, the history is organised according to themes so as to provide a context to assist with the identification of heritage places that illustrate the rich cultural history of the study area. These heritage places include buildings and structures, precincts, objects, ruins, trees and landscapes. The themes are also embodied in the historic or continuing use of places and people’s social and spiritual associations with them.

The themes used in this environmental history have been adapted from the Australian Historic Themes (AHT) set down as guidelines by the Australian Heritage Council (AHC). The AHC notes that:

The consistent organising principle for the Thematic Framework is activity. By emphasising the human activities that produced the places we value, and the human response to Australia's natural environment, places are related to the processes and stories associated with them, rather than to the type or function of place.

Finally, it is important to understand that the history is not arranged as a hierarchy, which gives priority, weighting and privilege to some themes, nor is it simply a checklist. One place may have many themes reflecting the integrated, diverse and complex way that places evolve over time.

On this basis, each chapter includes:

  • A brief introduction, which includes an explanation of which AHT is relevant.
  • An outline of the history of the study area associated with the particular theme.
  • A list of the heritage places associated with the theme. The lists of heritage places are not exhaustive; rather they are representative of the many places that the Study has identified.

This environmental history forms part of the Casey Heritage Study 2004 (Post European Contact), which was completed in June 2004. The purpose of the Study was to complete the identification, assessment and documentation of places of post-contact cultural significance for the whole of the municipality.