Eco-social sustainability in the Murray-Darling Basin research network


Murray River treesThe Eco-social sustainability research network was formed in 2003–04 to develop a series of interdisciplinary models of best practice in social and environmental sustainability, using the Murray-Darling Basin as a major case study.

Our members were drawn from university and government research centres and have expertise in a wide range of areas in social policy and resource management.


  • Our background paper outlines the development of the concept of sustainability, with specific reference to its position as an Australian National Research Priority.
  • The Australian sustainability research section outlines current major activity on eco-social sustainability in Australia.
  • Our position paper outlines our view of eco-social sustainability and includes thoughts on our directions for future research.
  • The Murray-Darling case study discusses research on the Murray, and possibilities for future research partnerships with local organisations.
  • Our abstracts and examples page illustrates the variety of our members' approaches to eco-social sustainability.
  • Links to websites and documents will be found throughout the site. The most important of these have also been placed in the links and resources section.


This website was produced by the Hawke Research Institute with assistance from the ARC Special Research Network Initiative. We submitted an application to the seed funding stage of this initiative, which was unsuccessful.

Some outcomes of the network include:

  • 'Literacy and the Environment' project (2004–2007) of the Centre for Studies in Literacy, Policy and Learning Cultures. Three researchers from UniSA and two from Charles Sturt University received an ARC Linkage Grant with the Primary English Teachers Association to conduct this project.
  • Barbara Comber, Helen Nixon and JoAnne Reid edited Literacies in place: teaching environmental communications, published by the Primary English Teaching Association in 2007.
  • Emily Potter, Alison Mackinnon, Stephen McKenzie and Jennifer McKay edited Fresh water: new perspectives on water in Australia, published by Melbourne University Press in 2007. The collection was developed in a two-day workshop in September 2005 funded jointly by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Academy of the Humanities.

This website was developed by Stephen McKenzie with assistance from Stephen Atkinson.

Areas of study and research

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