The River Murray has been central to South Australia’s existence. Named in 1830 by Charles Sturt after Sir George Murray, British secretary of state for the colonies, the river runs 2576 kilometres from its watershed in the Australian Alps to the sea near Goolwa on the Fleurieu Peninsula, 650 kilometres of the river’s flow being within South Australia.
Before and after the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal peoples had a well-developed cultural understanding and practical knowledge of plants, animal behaviour, local geology and meteorological conditions. Information they provided was frequently vital to the success – and even survival – of early European navigators and explorers.
Singaporean migration to South Australia has occured from the early nineteenth century, however, when the Restriction Act 1901 was relaxed in 1967 there has been a significant increase of people coming to South Australia.
In South Australia, the prime key to wealth has been land. From its inception as a European colony, ownership (or control) of land meant access to agricultural and mineral resources. For the Aboriginal peoples, dispossession meant devastation.
The story of wheat is more than the story of a versatile food grain. In South Australia, the history of the production, transport and marketing of wheat opens wider windows onto society, economics and politics.