Skip to the main content

Preliminary communication

Temporality, Development and Decay in the Whitsundays (Queensland, Australia)

Philip Hayward ; School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Full text: english pdf 1.257 Kb

page 85-102

downloads: 171



The Whitsundays comprises an archipelago of 74 islands and an adjacent coastal strip located in the north-east corner of the Australian state of Queensland. The region has been occupied for (at least) 9000 years, initially (for 98.5% of that duration) by Indigenous Australians. In the early 1900s European settlers arrived and rapidly depleted, dispossessed and displaced the local population and introduced tourism as a major local industry. These developments occurred in synchrony with (and contributed to the ascension of) the Anthropocene. Any overview of human inhabitation of the region, and of related senses of history and temporality, thereby has to acknowledge two distinct moments, one of a major duration and the other, the briefest contemporary flicker. This article attempts to explore patterns of contrast and similarity across these two very different time scales and the populations involved and to consider how the contemporary epoch reflects humans’ role in shaping the (rapidly changing) environment. Temporality is thereby a key concern, and the article explores various notions of time and of cyclicity, including those concerning patterns of climatic development and of human responses to these. The research informing the paper also has a temporal dimension, having occurred over a thirty-year period during which many changes have occurred in the region and its weather patterns. The speeds of development and decay observed in some areas and the relative stasis of others provide key motifs for the discussions that follow.


speed, temporality, development, decay, tourism, Whitsundays

Hrčak ID:



Publication date:


Article data in other languages: croatian

Visits: 524 *