Rural-regional sustainability in the Murray Darling Basin: School / community difference and the politics of water in rural Australia

Amy McPherson, Philip ROBERTS, Natalie DOWNES

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    Abstract

    In this paper we critically examine the role of rural schools as community hubs through the example of sustainability and natural resource scarcity. Drawing upon the first phase of a two-year project exploring education and sustainability in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) of Australia, the paper examines different understandings of community and their impact on community cohesion. A key finding has been that while both community members, and schools, regard sustainability as very important and report high levels of commitment to its pursuit, there are very different understandings of its meaning and implication for communities. The different understandings that emerged potentially creates conflict and makes the pursuit of sustainable community futures difficult. The differences observed reflect debates about community in rural areas, as well as sustainability in the research literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberonline first
    Pages (from-to)1
    Number of pages15
    JournalAustralian and International Journal of Rural Education
    Volume27
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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