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Hard labour in the sweet fields of the Herbert River Valley

Discover More Talk

Tuesday 9 April | 12-1 pm

This month historian Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui will discuss the Herbert River sugar growing district and reflect on the globally competitive Australian sugar industry.

Today in the 21st century, the Australian sugar industry struggles with poor sugar prices; competition from other giant sugar producers; arable farming land being absorbed for housing estates; loss of small farmer ownership of mills to foreign multi-national companies; small farms giving way to large corporate concerns; sugar being demonized as un-healthy and, cane growing seen as damaging to the environment.

Yet sugar was once highly regarded as a foodstuff for its economic value, while sugar planting and farming were identified as a way to develop, safe-guard and settle the tropical north. This talk takes you on a journey to explore the hard labour in the sweet fields of the Herbert River Valley.

This Discover More Talk is presented in conjunction with the current exhibit Hard labour for sweet fields: the history of sugar in the Ingham region.


Image credits. Above: Workers planting sugar cane in the Townsville district ca.1900. Source: State Library of Queensland, APA-19 Album Views of Townsville. Image number: APA-019-01-0018

Home page: The large Gairloch plantation house. Charles Léon Burguez on horseback, circa 1880-1882. Source: Hinchinbrook Shire Council Library Photographic Collection.


Event Details

09 April 2019, 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

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