Transforming the Earth : Discovering an Underground Insurgency

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Apr ’13
18
1:00 pm
FREE Lecture: Transforming the Earth: Discovering an underground insurgency, Thursday 18th April, 1-2pm
Fenner Seminar Room, Frank Fenner Building 141, Linnaeus Way, Australian National University

Charles Massy, Fenner School of Environment & Society
Agriculture is problematic because practices integral to industrial agriculture are known to inhibit the continuing provision of essential
ecosystem services. My thesis explored a change-oriented new-organic agriculture. Based on a population of innovative Australian farmers
who have successfully developed ruminant-based, agro-ecological practices, it was found these farmers had undertaken transformational
change in their practices and personally. Central to this process was a change in their belief systems. Multi-method research based on critical,
open trans-disciplinary inquiry was used, with a focus on the interconnection of language and metaphor, the role of discourses, and the
power-knowledge nexus in the formation of personal psychological constructs.This thesis links three interconnected stories
relevant to humanity’s future:
•	Exposition of a different form of agriculture;
•	An exploration of the nature of transformational change; and
•	Revelation of a new way of regenerating Mother Earth via the melding of new and old knowledge.

About the speaker
Charles Massy gained a BSc (Zoology, Human Ecology) at ANU (1976), before going farming for 35 years. This included
the development of the prominent Merino sheep stud ‘Severn Park’. Concern at ongoing land degradaion and humanity’s
sustainability challenge led him to return to ANU in 2009 to undertakea PhD in Human Ecology. Charles was awarded an
Order of Australia Medal for his service as Chair and Director of a number of research organisations and statutory wool boards,
involving garment manufacture, wool marketing, R&D, and molecular genetics. He has also served on national and international
review panels in sheep and wool R&D and genomics. Charles’ has authored several books on the Australian sheep industry,
the most recent being the widely acclaimed Breaking the Sheep’s Back (2011, UQP).

 

 

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