Sydney Environment Institute

HfE Observatory

HfE Australia Pacific Observatory

Our aim is to honour and explore the concept of ‘caring for country’, a unique tradition of philosophical ecology that has been espoused and practiced by Indigenous Australians for centuries.

The HfE Australia Pacific Observatory in Environmental Humanities is an active hub of the multi-disciplinary SEI and also part of a separate international research grouping based at the University of Sydney. The Observatory is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation (New York), managed by the US Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), and linked with other Observatories representing the United States and Europe.

Our own mission is expressed in the title of this node ‘Caring for Country’. The Humanities and the Shaping of Australia-Pacific Environmentalism in the Age of the Anthropocene, 1768-2012.

By bringing the rich, holistic tradition of Indigenous Australians into conversation with western environmentalism we hope to deepen our mutual capacity to live sustainable and humane lives in the face of the challenges thrown up by the Anthropocene, a geological epoch in which humans now exert a significant planetary impact.

Environmental humanities scholars invited from across the region will guide our program of conferences, colloquia, workshops, and digital and print publications.

Learn more at


Flickr Commons: "Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, near Bungendore, NSW"_Steve Shattuck

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