Study AdviceVCE: Outdoor and Environmental        Studies (Unit 3)           Revised 2006
1. Historical PerspectivesThis area of study focuses on how Australians have understood and interacted with theoutdoors ov...
Some argue that the impact of these activities was relatively slow and there were likelyecological adjustments as the impa...
grazing immense flocks of sheep year after year on the same pasturage, without givingany rest to the land’.In addition to ...
Australia’s first national park, Royal National Park near Sydney in 1879 was alsodeclared during this period. Victoria soo...
The environmental movement declined substantially following World War II (Hutton &Connors 1999, page 89). This was in part...
2. Contemporary relationships with natural environmentsThis area of study focuses on the current state of the environment ...
The patterns of human interactions with natural environments are also influenced by thefactors listed above. Patterns of i...
•   increasing availability of guidebooks and grading systems, making information        on areas and activities more read...
The outdoor environment and nature Contemporary viewsContemporary views of natural environments could include natural envi...
Naturalists view the outdoor environment and nature differently from scientists. Ratherthan focussing on scientific detail...
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Study advice unit3 2006

  1. 1. Study AdviceVCE: Outdoor and Environmental Studies (Unit 3) Revised 2006
  2. 2. 1. Historical PerspectivesThis area of study focuses on how Australians have understood and interacted with theoutdoors over time. This is investigated by exploring relationships with the outdoorenvironment in different historical periods up to the end of the twentieth century.Indigenous cultures relationships with the landWhile it is important to recognise that contemporary indigenous Australians engage inpractices that are both traditional and contemporary, the emphasis in this key knowledgepoint is on the traditional hunter-gatherer societies. However, with respect torelationships with the land, it is also relevant to discuss the effect on indigenous culturesby non-indigenous settlements over the past two hundred or so years.Aboriginal groups first arrived in Australia at least 40,000 years ago, though somearchaeologists believe it could have been as long as 120,000 years agoIndigenous relationships with the land are usually framed in terms such as:. In Aboriginal Australia people and land were united in ways that are difficult for outsiders to grasp. Access to land was vital for the maintenance of both body and soul. Food and water were necessary for physical survival but land was far more than an economic resource. People were tied spiritually to a particular locality; this was their ‘country’, ‘home’ or ‘dreaming place’, a tangible link with the ancestors who had lived and died there and with the Dreaming being who originally created the territory. Through such links people derived a sense of belonging, of identity and of oneness with the living world.Neidje, Davis & Fox (Dingle, Aboriginal Economy, 1988, page9) expand on this point: So, through 50,000 or more years, the environment which sustained life and culture became bound intimately with every aspect of human life…Aboriginal and environment were one and the same. Ownership of land in the European sense did not exist. Aboriginals were part of the living systems because through their mythology they understood that their ancestors created the landscape and the life on it including themselves, with each part playing a role in the maintenance of the whole dynamic world. Geography and seasonality ruled the Aboriginal lives through their effect on access and food supply…not so much controlling the shortage of food but the maintenance of variety. Seasonal changes ushered in new foods. The Aboriginal seasonal calendar emphasises this point. (Neidge, Davis & Fox, Kakadu Man, 1986, pages 11, 12)Both of the quotes support the notion that Aboriginal perceptions of the land were closelytied to their spirituality and their uses of the land as more than just a resource. Studentsneed to understand these aspects of indigenous relationships with the landThese sources provide the basis for discussions about relationships with the land as theytell various stories of how the land, flora and fauna originally came to be as it is now andhow it was long ago.Direct evidence of the initial impact of hunter-gathering by Aboriginals in Australia havelong disappeared. However, there has been a long-term legacy in terms of:• Vegetation changes due to firestick farming• Extinction of megafauna due to the above or to hunting• Partial extinction of some native fauna due to the introduction of dingoes.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 2002 3
  3. 3. Some argue that the impact of these activities was relatively slow and there were likelyecological adjustments as the impact appears to have been sustainable and ecologicalbalance was maintained.Paddle (2000, page 18) also discusses how Aboriginals were in direct competition withthe indigenous megafauna, particularly the carnivores, and argues that the megafauna‘were destroyed through direct competition with humans for a finite food resource’ andthat ‘ the demands of human predation, accompanying an increasing human population,caused the complete disappearance of the previous ecological balance and the decimationof whole prey species’.It is important that students are aware of these different views on Aboriginal uses of theland, their management practices and the impact of their uses as part of this keyknowledge point.The arrival of European settlers and their conception that the land was owned orpossessed by nobody (terra nullius) impacted greatly on Aboriginal relationships with theland.Early settlers relationships with the landThe main ideas to be covered in this key knowledge point relate to the perceptions, uses,management practices and impact of uses of the early non-indigenous settlers.The standard view of the early settlement period is that the settlers exploited anddestroyed the Australian environment. For example, Marshall in The GreatExtermination (1966, page 2), wrote: ‘The bush, to our great-grandfathers, was theenemy: it brooded sombrely outside their brave and often pathetic little attempts atcivilisation; it crowded in on them in times of drought and flood. It, not they, was alien.’In contrast, Bonyhady (2000, page 3) writes that ‘While many colonists were alienated bytheir new environment, others delighted in it… many members of the First Fleet laudedthe gum tree for its distinctiveness’. He later notes, ‘Thirty years later, most writerscondemned the eucalypts. Far from delighting in their difference, colonists and visitorsjudged them against an English standard and found them wanting in even moreextravagant terms’ (2000, page 71).Not only was there no consensus on perceptions of the Australian environment, there wasalso much concern about the rapidly deteriorating state of the environment within a shorttime of the arrival of the First Fleet. Bonyhady, for example, writes that: The settlers’ attachment to the colonial landscape was matched by their desire to preserve it. The protection of the continent’s native flora and fauna, pollution of its rivers, degradation of its pastoral lands, planning and improvement of its cities, preservation of beauty spots, retention of public reserves and access to the foreshore were all major issues in the colonial era. Even climate change–perhaps the environmental issue most thought of as modern–excited attention as early as 1795, when the magistrate Richard Atkins speculated that the weather was changing ‘in consequence of the country opening so fast.The governments in the early years of European settlement in Australia failed to act ontheir own environmental goals and legislation; even where the laws were in existencethey were rarely or ineffectually enforced. Environmental damage rapidly occurred due tothe pressures of population and the pressures of settlers concerned with short-term profitrather than long-term environmental conservation. For example, by 1803 there wereflooding problems resulting from the clearing of cedars from the banks of theHawkesbury River, and between 1803 and 1829 the number of sheep in Tasmania rosefrom 30 to 172,000, and there were 80,000 sheep in New South Wales in 1819 (Paddle,2000). This grazing destroyed the native grasslands: for example, in 1882 Andrew Ross(in Bonyhady 2000, page 284) states he deplored ‘the gradual but wholesale destructionof the native grasses and herbage all over the country, resulting from the practice…ofOUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 20024
  4. 4. grazing immense flocks of sheep year after year on the same pasturage, without givingany rest to the land’.In addition to growing sheep to export wool back to England, the colony was chargedwith securing naval timber for the British government. The early colonists also engagedin sealing in Bass Strait and many other activities focussed on exporting resources.Sustainability was not a concern.Survival was an issue for these early settlers, both individually and collectively. Foodsupplies arriving by ship from England were erratic and frequently delayed. The settlershad to find their own food – by hunting and clearing the land. Gathering was not seen asan option as the plants were alien and not recognised as food sources (even though theAboriginals were using them). Land was cleared for crops and grazing along the coastand rivers and then further inland as the early explorers opened up routes. This land wasfarmed in the same way as it was farmed in England, with no regard for the differences insoils or climate. Even today the landscape in farmed areas resembles an Englishcountryside.Students should develop an understanding of the effects of the traditions of urbandwellers and people from domesticated rural environments in Europe on the Australianenvironment, and how their lack of understanding of the local flora, fauna, soils andclimate related to their perceptions of and impact on the environment.Students should be aware of the notion of Australia as a terra nullius and its implicationsfor relationships with the land in Australia. According to the Council for AboriginalReconciliation (accessed on 14 December 2001): British colonisation policies and subsequent land laws were framed in the belief that the colony was being acquired by occupation (or settlement) of a terra nullius (land without owners). The colonisers acknowledged the presence of Indigenous people but justified their land acquisition policies by saying the Aborigines were too primitive to be actual owners and sovereigns and that they had no readily identifiable hierarchy or political order which the British Government could recognise or negotiate with.Goldrush to Federation relationships with the landThis historical period quite arbitrarily separates the early non-indigenous settlers from thetwentieth century. It has been distinguished at the Goldrush period because of thechanging nature of the relationships with the land that were happening around this time,particularly in Victoria.As with the previous periods there is no simple characterisation of relationships with theland from the Goldrush period to Federation. In the goldfields there was not so much adisregard for the environment as a focus on the potential reward that lay in the discoveryof gold. Large tracts of land were denuded and waterways and ecosystems were pollutedand eroded, but the environmental consequences of these activities were not considereduntil later.While most non-indigenous settlers were concerned with exploiting the land for itsmineral and timber resources and for agricultural export purposes, there was also thebeginnings of an environmental movement (Hutton & Connors, A History of TheAustralian Environment Movement, 1999, page 46): Colonial ignorance about indigenous flora and fauna and the limits of the climate, and the under-resourcing of biological research by the state, led to the founding of acclimatisation societies in the eastern colonies in the 1860s…Community-based but, like the royal societies, supported by influential residents and amateur and professional scientists, the acclimatisation societies played an important role in public education and political pressure.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 2002 5
  5. 5. Australia’s first national park, Royal National Park near Sydney in 1879 was alsodeclared during this period. Victoria soon followed with small areas set aside as nationalparks for public recreation at Fern Tree Gully in 1882 and Tower Hill in 1892.The publication in 1864 of Man and Nature by the American G. Page Marsh had asimilar effect on the attitudes of naturalists as did the publication of Rachel Carson’sSilent Spring a century later. According to Hutton & Connors (1999, page 51), ‘Marsh’stheme was the destructive effects of human domination of nature, and his ideas about thedamage caused by forest clearance were popularised in the Australian colonial press ofthe 1860s’. For example, in 1871 Ferdinand von Mueller, Director of Melbourne’s RoyalBotanic Gardens passionately promoted the cause of the forests and intergenerationalequity: ‘I regard the forest as a heritage given to us by nature, not for spoil or todevastate, but to be wisely used, reverently honoured, and carefully maintained’ (inHutton & Connors 1999, page 21). Forest conservation was also a concern for otherVictorians. For example, mining surveyors were concerned about the depletion of timbersupplies for mine-props in deep lead mines. Gradually each state established aconservator of forests; although it was not until 1907 that the Forest Act was passed inVictoria.The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria was formed in 1880, and served as a leader andlobbyist for conservation measures and included in its objectives ‘the preservation andprotection of the fauna and flora indigenous to Australia and its environs’ Similar clubswere formed in provincial towns around Victoria.The dominant relationship with the land at this time was development and exportoriented. Governments were interested in ‘opening up’ the land to settlers for agricultureand grazing, and in timber and mineral reserves; resource conservation was low on theagenda if it appeared at all. Settlers were interested in making money.The growing urban population was also seeking nature experiences – scenery, fresh air, aplace to picnic and walk, and escape from the summer heat in Melbourne (see Bonyhady,2000). Access was a limiting factor. Urban dwellers required railways or coaches toaccess desirable places such as Mount Macedon, the Dandenongs, Queenscliff andBrighton. In addition, as the cost of bicycles came within reach of working class paypackets around the 1890s, so people could pursue outdoor experiences away from thecities and beyond the train stationsSince Federation relationships with the landFederation provides an artificial but useful demarcation between the nineteenth andtwentieth centuries. The period in this key knowledge point finishes around 1970, withthe more contemporary aspects of the twentieth century being the focus of area ofstudy 2.While many of the same perceptions, uses, management practices and impacts of human–environment interactions continued, there were also changes in these in the twentiethcentury. Topics to be investigated in this key knowledge point should include:• the growth of recreational interest groups, e.g. bushwalkers, mountain climbers, caving, boating, aquatics, snow skiing, pursuing the wilderness experience• the growth of amateur bird watching, field naturalist and natural history clubs• the impact of mass transit with the development of rail networks to open spaces and scenic spots on the city fringes between 1880 and the 1920s• the growth of the conservation movement, e.g. the Victorian National Parks Association was formed in 1908 to promote more reservations for national parklands (although it was shortlived and reformed in 1952), and the Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs was formed in 1934 with an explicit conservation commitment.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 20026
  6. 6. The environmental movement declined substantially following World War II (Hutton &Connors 1999, page 89). This was in part due to declining membership of outdoorrecreation groups because of growing car ownership and weekend driving trips instead ofbushwalking, and to the former influential members of the groups now being members ofthe bureaucratic structures they had argued to create. There was also the restriction oflegitimate spheres of citizen action in the light of the Cold War.However, pollution problems in Western cities continued to grow.By the 1960s, motor cars were bringing more and more people into contact with nationalparks and contributing to a resurgence in outdoor recreation. Other technologicaldevelopments such as underwater photography popularised different recreationalactivities including scuba-diving and snorkelling. Photographs from the lunar missionswere also important for the conservation movement as they made people aware that theearth’s resources are finite: ‘Postwar economic growth fuelled by a surge of foreign investment, particularly in the mining sector, along with rapid technological development, caused ‘progress’ to intrude into new and once remote places across the continent’Public consciousness of environmental degradation and threats to the environment grewthroughout the 1960s through issues such as land development schemes, mining of beachsands, preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, the flooding of Lake Pedder forhydroelectricity generation, and noise, air and water pollution. In Victoria, the LittleDesert campaign of the 1960s (Robin, 1998) can be seen as being of great significance inattracting young people to the environment movement and helping to change its identityand profile. This campaign brought together notions of the changing perceptions of theland, uses, management practices and their impact during this period. Robin discusses thechanging conceptions of the bush – from Henry Lawson’s ‘Bush’ which was Australia’spastoral frontier so central to the mythical singular Australian identity, to the ‘bush’ ofthe Save Our Bushlands Action Committee for whom ‘bushland’ was public land, free ofagricultural development: ‘For one generation bush-bashing meant heroism, for the nextvandalism’.Environmental movements in AustraliaThe content to be covered in this key knowledge point relates to the history and role ofenvironmental movements in raising community consciousness and achievingconservation of environments in Australia. The emphasis and orientation is community-based environmental groups not government agencies.As has been mentioned earlier, there has been concern about the deterioration of theenvironment since the arrival of the First FleetThe role of these groups is to protect the environment. The may be active in restorationprograms and pest removal programs. Educating the public about the importance of theenvironment. Trying to influence decision makers by lobbying, direct action and letterwriting.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 2002 7
  7. 7. 2. Contemporary relationships with natural environmentsThis area of study focuses on the current state of the environment and interrelationshipsbetween humans and the environment. It examines a number of ways the Australianoutdoor environment is perceived, and the dynamic nature of human–environmentrelationships.Factors which influence patterns and types of interaction with naturalenvironmentsThe factors to be studied are those that are influences on human interactions with naturalenvironments. These include• Technology: better equipment• Media promoting of the environment through TV, magazines, etc• Increased environmental awareness interest in wilderness experiences awareness of conservation issues• Other Social influences: increased leisure time increased/improved economic situation guide books and grading systems packaging and marketing of activitiesThe types of human interactions with natural environments to be discussed in this dotpoint include• Conservation – many human interactions with the natural environment are for conservation purposes such as protecting and restoring natural environments through revegetation, erosion control, weed and pest control, habitat restoration, track development and maintenance, working in clean up programs, supporting breeding programs and wildlife sanctuaries, and working as a park ranger.• Recreation – human interactions with natural environments for recreational purposes include water activities such as swimming, canoeing, sailing, surfing, water skiing, jet skiing; tobogganing, snow boarding and skiing; bushwalking and rockclimbing; mountain biking and four wheel driving; adventure activities such as whitewater rafting; and passive interactions such as strolling and sightseeing.• Commerce – commercial interactions with natural environments use the environment as a resource to generate profit, such as mining, agriculture, forestry, fishing, grazing, tourist developments and resorts, water storage and hydro, tidal or wind electricity generation.• Tourism – tourist interactions with natural environments can be for recreational, educational, commercial or aesthetic purposes (or a combination). Tourist activities also include ecotourism.• Aesthetic appreciation – human interactions with natural environments for aesthetic purposes include writers, artists and photographers using the environment for inspiration; tourists seeking the wonders of nature; and those seeking solitude and spiritual renewal.Each of these types of interactions is influenced by the factors listed above.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 20028
  8. 8. The patterns of human interactions with natural environments are also influenced by thefactors listed above. Patterns of interactions – such as numbers of people engaging indifferent types of activities and the types of activities taking place – have changed overtime as a result of these factors. For example, the development of new technologies andproducts such as snowboards and jet skis has led to the development of new recreationalactivities, and increased environmental awareness has led to more people visiting nationalparks and the need for a permit system in some very popular areas. Other examples relatestate government proposals related to marine national parks and changes to forestrypractices.Role of technology in shaping relationshipsConsideration of the role of technology should focus on its mediating effect betweenhumans and natural environments. Students should consider the role of technology in theway that it acts as an interface or intermediary between humans and naturalenvironments. That is, technology has changed the ways humans relate with naturalenvironments. As a result of technology people can engage in different outdoor pursuitsand recreational activities. Without technology mediating relationships with naturalenvironments these relationships would be different. Technology helps us move faster,climb further, go to places we could not have previously accessed. Technology is theintermediary that facilitates these interactions.If a group of people were to go on a bushwalk and take a map and hand-held globalpositioning system (GPS), the map and GPS can be understood as technology thatmediates the bushwalking experience in several ways. The journey becomes linear, forexample, there may be less focus on what is actually in the environment and more on howto get through it from A to B. The focus is the map and the mathematical representationof nature on the piece of paper and not so much on the landscape and its features (apartfrom how they match the map). The dynamic in the group changes and the person/peoplewho can read the map and understand the GPS holds the answer. The use of the map andGPS has mediated the relationship between the users of the technology and theirexperience of the natural environment.The role of commercialisation of outdoor experiencesCommercialisation is generally used to describe the exploitation of a resource for profit.Today selling outdoor experiences is a booming industry. Whether it is a guided walk inthe Botanical gardens, a bus tour down the Great Ocean Road or a fully supportedexpedition to Mt Everest, someone is providing a service. The effect of many socialfactors (described above) has enabled people to pay for the outdoors experience. Theypay for someone to take them there and provide the equipment.A key factor in the modern day commercialisation of the outdoors experience is thepractice of “Ecotourism” This practice ensures the conservation of the areas byminimising human impact on the environment and using sustainable practices. Educationof the participants is also fundamental.Commercial operators that use the same location continuously can have a negative impacton the environment. They portray the environment as a resource.Commercialisation of outdoor experiences could include:OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 2002 9
  9. 9. • increasing availability of guidebooks and grading systems, making information on areas and activities more readily available • the marketing of outdoor activities, for example how the growth of the ecotourism sector and tour guide companies might alter the outdoor experience.The contemporary state of natural environments in AustraliaThe emphasis in this key knowledge point is on developing students’ knowledge of thestate of natural environments and the range of views about the state of theseenvironments. An understanding of the state of natural environments is often closelyrelated to the activities of community environmental groups and of government agencies.State of the Environment reporting happens in a number of different ways. The mostobvious is State of the Environment Australia which was published by CSIRO for theState of the Environment Advisory Council in 1996. Other reports (see their websites) onthe state of natural environments are forthcoming from government groups such as theAustralian Heritage Commission, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,Environment Australia and the Victorian Department of Natural Resources andEnvironment. Environmental groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, theWilderness Society, the Victorian National Parks Association and the CommunityBiodiversity Network also produce reports (see their websites) on the state of naturalenvironments, often closely related to their campaigns or areas of special interest. Thesedifferent groups often have differing views on the actual state of various naturalenvironments, and they will also differ from the views of other groups such as sawmillersor fishing industry groups.Students should investigate a range of different views about the contemporary state ofnatural environments in Victoria and Australia so that they understand some of thecomplexities of environmental decision making.There are a number of areas of national concern related to the contemporary state ofnatural environments – such as land degradation, erosion, inland water pollution, marineenvironment pollution, biodiversity, deforestation, loss of native forests and grasslands.These relate to government funded national programs and agencies such as Landcare,Coast Action/Coastcare, and Greening AustraliaThe role of humans in outdoor environmentsThis key knowledge point is closely related to the following ones, which focus on viewsand images of the outdoor environment and nature and the environmental movement inAustralia.While most Australians would no longer see their outdoor environment as hostile andalien, many still ameliorate their experiences of the outdoors through technologies ofvarious kinds. These include applying insect repellents, wearing protective clothing,observing the outdoors through a car/bus/aircraft/chairlift/resort window.Many Australians now also see their role as stewards or protectors of the environment,hence all the green consumer guides, green products on supermarket shelves, the growthof the environment movements and the development of codes of conduct for appropriatebehaviours in outdoor environments.Not all Australians share these views. There are those who see the environment as aresource to be exploited for short term gain, or who believe that their development issustainable.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 200210
  10. 10. The outdoor environment and nature Contemporary viewsContemporary views of natural environments could include natural environments as: • a resource (something to be used or harnessed to meet peoples needs) • an adversary (something to be beaten or a threat) • a museum (for preserving behind barriers) • a temple (a place of worship, of beauty and peace) • a classroom (a place for learning) • a gymnasium (a place to participate in physical activities).Another possible contemporary view is that of ‘kinship’, where the environments aresubjectively identified with self. This image is consistent with deep ecology andindigenous perspectives.The various contemporary view could also emanate or be linked to the groups discussedin the previous key knowledge points. In simplistic terms, for example, early settlersgenerally perceived the Australian environment as an adversary – unknown and thereforefull of dangers and in need of clearing and conquering – contributing to a view stillshared by many members of the community today along with the media and inadvertising. Students should be able to equate and compare contemporary view of natureas a resource for meeting human needs or as an adversary – where the land needs clearingor native animals or plants encroach on their farmland, with those of a museum orcathedral. The contemporary view of the outdoor environment as both an adversary – tobe confronted in various ways, and as a gymnasium, for exercise is a convenient vehiclefor would-be adventurers and risk takers that is used by the media in advertising andprogramming. Artists have long created both cathedral-like contemporary view of theoutdoors and ones of adversity in portraying the outdoor environment.Students are then required to analyse the role of these views in shaping relationships withnatural environments. For example, some views of nature and outdoor experiences couldcontribute to: • an increased community awareness of conservation issues and environmental impacts • an increased interest in wilderness experiences • social perceptions of comfort and the associated demand for facilities to enhance outdoor experiences • the manner in which the media portray images of natural environments and outdoor experiences.For the purpose of this key knowledge point ‘views’ is defined as a particular way ofregarding the outdoor environment and nature in relation to its purpose as a result of adirect relationship with it.In this key knowledge point students should examine a range of views of the outdoorenvironment held by a variety of people. The views of scientists, naturalists, adventurers,artists, landholders and indigenous people.This key knowledge point complements students’ developing understanding of the stateof the outdoor and natural environments in Australia and their studies of environmentmovements. The emphasis should be on the wide-ranging nature of these views ratherthan developing stereotypes or consensus.OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 2002 11
  11. 11. Naturalists view the outdoor environment and nature differently from scientists. Ratherthan focussing on scientific details they are enthusiastic amateurs, ‘students of plants andanimals’ (Concise Oxford Dictionary), who appreciate the beauty and interrelationshipsthey perceive within nature. To some extent this enthusiasm can be found in thetelevision documentaries of people like David Attenborough.Adventurers’ contemporary views of nature and the outdoor environment is reflected inthe growth of ecotourism and in the changing nature of risk-taking activities as a result ofdevelopments in technology. Many still seek out the challenge of pitting themselvesagainst the elements and use satellite technology and other developments to try to ensuretheir survival.The contemporary views of artists are much more than just paintings and sketches. Artistsin contemporary times include photographers, graffitists and performance artists. Theexhibit catalogue for Federation: Australian Art and Society 1901–2001 (McDonald,2000) includes a range of visual arts and ‘celebrates our indigenous communities, ourdiversity and multiculturalism, our sporting heroes, our cities and the bush’The contemporary views of landholders can be investigated through media reports andgroups such as Landcare, Ratepayers associations and Victorian Farmers Federation.Most landholders have used their land to produce food and materials of value to humanpopulations. They see the outdoor environment and nature as a resource to be harnessedbut have an increasing awareness of conservation and associated sustainability issues.The contemporary views of indigenous people are as varied as the environments withwhich they have kinship. Most are concerned about the changes to the environments overthe past two hundred or so years as expressed in the work of people such as Bill Neidje(1989) and other Aboriginal writers and in the work of numerous Aboriginal artistsSociety response to risk takingThe ways in which people respond to risk-taking behaviour vary and they are generallyrelated to perceived risk rather than actual risk.Responses can be affected by the way high risk adventures are portrayed in the media.This could be viewed as either negative. A newspaper may describe the death of a skier inthe alpine area due to hypothermia. People reading the article may view the activity asunsafe and therefore may not try it. Others may see it as unnecessary as it may have beenprevented if more phone towers were present in the region.Response to tragedy by authorities usually involves regulations. These restrictions canincrease the safety to both users and the environment. Banning of rock climbing atHanging rock, which is an unstable rock face.Typical response to risk taking 1. media coverage 2. public response 3. investigation 4. coroners inquest 5. media coverage 6. public response 7. criminal or civil proceedings 8. industry self-regulation 9. government legislationOUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDY ADVICE 200212