Peter Fairbrother, Karen Douglas, Todd Denham and Valerie Prokopiv constitute the Centre for People, Organisation and Work (CPOW – RMIT) research team on the Growing Southern Gippsland project. The work is being undertaken with the Bass Coast Landcare Network as the lead and in partnership with Federation University. The work of CPOW investigates how farming households, practitioners and advisors are adapting farming practices to confront the challenges of changing climate.
We focus on the practical experience that informs education, training and income generation in the Southern Gippsland region. Innovative and responsive farming practices are examined to understand what job and income generating opportunities arise when the farming community adapts to changing climate and community expectations.
Our work includes data collection, principally via interviews, and covers the drafting and finalising of snapshot reports of what farming households are doing, reports on exemplary activity (vignettes), and extended reports about the socio-economic implications of these activities. The core data comprises 30 semi structured interviews of farming households and video recordings of twelve households selected for their farming practices. The research and subsequent reports are based on analysis of a core 30 farming households across southern Gippsland, supplemented by additional studies of notable vignettes of particular activity. This work is complemented by video recordings of twelve households selected for their farming practices. These households represent different landscapes, primary farming enterprises and farming practices.
The final ‘Southern Gippsland and climate change’ report provides an overview of the project detailing the types of farming practices examined, the scale of the farms and the ways in which local community relationships, resources and networks have developed in these changing circumstances.