Book launch: The Magic Valley: The Paterson Valley, Then and Now by Cameron Archer
Sunday 8 March 2020, 3.30pm for 4pm at Gleebooks, Sydney
To be launched by Professor Phillip Cox AO
The Magic Valley is a detailed study compiled over 40 years living and working in the Paterson Valley. It analyses the relationship between humans and their environment, starting with the impacts of Aboriginal land management and how this unwittingly benefited the invading Europeans and their herds and flocks.
Why is the book called The Magic Valley?
The Valley is seen as being like The Magic Pudding, the uniquely Australian children’s story about a pudding which immediately replaces the part taken thus suggesting that it can go on forever. Cameron feels that the Valley has been treated like the Magic Pudding and has also performed like one over the past 200 years. Whether this can continue has occupied his mind over many years.
How has the Valley changed and why?
The Paterson Valley has been the source of a diverse range of products and services throughout its 200 years of European exploitation. The reader is taken through the rise and fall of many industries. The book challenges the question of longterm sustainability and what the future may hold.
An essential read for anyone with an interest in the Australian landscape and environment.
Cameron Archer AM has spent his whole life in agriculture – from growing up on a farm, attending an agricultural high school, studying agriculture at the University of Sydney and completing a PhD on the environmental history of the Paterson Valley. This book is partly based on that study, but also on his long-term interest in local history and the environment. Over the past 35 years he has interviewed many local residents about the Valley. Cameron spent 40 years at Tocal College including 28 years as Principal, where he oversaw many changes and innovations in agriculture, agricultural education and heritage conservation. In 2013 Cameron Archer was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia for services to agricultural education and heritage conservation. He has written about, and spoken on, local history, agriculture and the environment, is a conjoint Professor with the University of Newcastle and serves on a number of boards and committees relating to the environment, history, heritage and education.
The Magic Valley will be launched at Gleebooks by Professor Philip Cox AO, who has had a very long association with the Paterson Valley. Philip and Ian McKay designed the award winning campus of the CB Alexander Presbyterian Agricultural College, ‘Tocal’, Paterson. The College opened in 1965 and received the Blackett and Sulman architectural awards. Philip has been a regular visitor and contributor to the College ever since having lifelong interests in the environment and land use.