Aleisha Mahony, from Noorat, took this shot of a girl kneeling over a drying puddle for the Lessons from the Landscape project. Picture: JANE LEE Picture: BERNICE ROOK Picture: ANNE MIRTSCHIN Succulents. Picture: ROBIN B Dead fish at a dry Lake Colac. Picture: JOY McLEAN Lake Colac. Picture: JOY McLEAN Drying land has caused grave stones to fall. Picture: GLENDA HAMPSON Picture: DENISE RLONG, hot summer days spent swimming at Deep Lake are a childhood memory Noorat resident Ian McKenzie cherishes as he looks out over the now dry lake bed.Remembering Deep Lake, near Derrinallum, as a vibrant place for water-skiing, boating and other activities, Mr Mckenzie said the signs of climate change were starting to show as he looked at the lake today.Mr McKenzie photographed the lake as part of the Lessons from the Landscape project co-ordinated by the South West Climate Change Forum.He was among 72 Noorat and Hawkesdale residents who took part in the community art project using disposable cameras to capture images representing climate change.The photographs will be displayed as part of an exhibition later this month.The South West Climate Change Forum was established in 2007 to distribute locally-relevant climate change information and help primary producers adjust their businesses to respond to the issue.Forum manager Karen Wales said the project was the first of its type to focus on climate change.”I think it has raised awareness about climate change in the area by asking people to think about how it affects them in their own lives,” Ms Wales said.”We all hear about how climate change affects other places around the world but by taking the photographs people had to think about how climate change will affect their lifestyle or business.”The project was supported by the Glenelg and Corangamite Catchment Management Authorities and the South West Primary Care Partnership.Ms Wales said the photographs represented a range of very personal accounts to more general community issues.From dried sporting ovals, eroding sand dunes, crumbling cemeteries and dead fish in dried lake beds, Ms Wales said many of the photos represented the concern residents had for fading resources.Other photos, including succulent gardens and new environmental projects, focus on how climate change has forced many to alter their lifestyle, while some photographers showed the current dry spell as part of an environmental cycle.The Hawkesdale exhibit will open at the Hawkesdale Hall on Monday, January 26, as a part of the community Australia Day breakfast from 9am to 10.30am. The photographs from Noorat are set to be displayed in Terang on Friday, February 27, at the end of the Noorat to Terang Fun Run.Ms Wales said she hoped the exhibition would eventually tour the region and Melbourne to raise further awareness of climate change.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.