Regional and rural Australia is defined as all those areas outside the state and territory capital cities. With a population of eight million – one-third of the nation’s population – non-metropolitan Australia features a wide variety of environments, economies and settlements. Australian geographers are particularly interested in investigating, describing and explaining:

  • Dynamic population and environment interactions in non-metropolitan settings.
  • The demographic, socio-cultural and economic characteristics of different country towns.
  • How and why these characteristics differ over space and from place to place.

In doing so, geographers study the diversity and complexity of rural and regional Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander geographies of rural and regional Australia.

Many of Australia’s smaller rural settlements are in decline as a result of economic and technological change. Here, deserted shops line the main street of Terowie: a small town in the mid-north region of South Australia, some 220 kilometres to the north of the state capital, Adelaide (Source: Shutterstock)

Relevant careers include climate change assessment and planning; climatology and meteorology; community development; conservation, heritage and land management; consulting and project management; education; environmental and social impact assessment; environmental monitoring and management; mitigation; local and regional development, mapping and cartography, market research, natural resource management and agriculture, planning, populational analysis; public policy; research, social services and welfare; sustainability, tourism management.