In the Melbourne Museum is a collection of rainforest leaves. Wafer thin, they are not part of the forest gallery that gives visitors a taste of Victoria’s modern-day temperate rainforest. Rather, they are part of an exhibition about the tropical rainforest that Victoria was home to millions of years ago. Donated by the late palaeobotanist David Christophel – who explains in a video on the museum website that he never stopped feeling excited at being the first human to lay eyes on fossils buried millions of years ago – the fragile leaves are from the warm, moist Eocene period, about forty to fifty million years ago, when Australia was still part of the fragmenting supercontinent, Gondwana.
'Aluminium dreams' by Lauren Rickards
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Lauren Rickards is an Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne. She visited the Melbourne Museum as part of a Making Futures event organised by the Anthropocene Campus Melbourne and the Everyday Futures project https://everydayfutures.com.au/about/project/, during which she worked with Matthew Kearnes, Martin Leckey, and David Turnbull to piece together the narrative recounted here.
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