Dr Gary Presland is an archaeologist and historian and the author of numerous books on the natural history, and Indigenous culture, of Melbourne. He believes that by looking at the natural history of a place, we derive clues about the human history of that place. 
The natural environments of the Melbourne area are wide-ranging and diverse, and make an interesting area of study. This is especially so when we also consider that much of Melbourne’s history has been heavily influenced by those very environments.
Gary explained:
  • How the main Melbourne settlement location was based on availability of freshwater upstream from a waterfall on the Yarra;
  • How the lop-sided development of Melbourne to the East was driven by geology and higher rainfall patterns;
  • How the Noxious industries in the 1880s (which processed products from sheep farming) were located alongside rivers.
Gary's presentation included some wonderful photos and charts. Click on Gary's photo for the presentation.