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Rachel Goldlust

Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University

Recently completing a Ph.D in Environmental History on the history of 'Off-Grid' living in Australia, I am working towards publication and expansion of my research areas. I am interested in 20thC social, political and environmental history of housing, co-operative lifestyles, off-grid technology and self-sufficiency in Australia. Previously, I have worked in sustainable building design, environmental education, facilitation, project management, town planning and environmental assessment.

Currently working for Renew a national not-for-profit member-based organisation looking to promote sustainable housing and technology alternatives.


  • 2020–present
    Phd Environment History, La Trobe University


  • 2009 
    RMIT, Masters Soc Sci
  • 2004 
    University of Melbourne, Bach Arts (Hons)


  • 2023
    “‘Housing for a Changing Climate: The Commonwealth Environmental Building Station in 1950s Australia.”, Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia 1. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.
  • 2022
    "Building with hand and heart: The rebirth of do-it-yourself earth houses as environmental sentiment in post-war Australia", International Review of Environmental History 8, 2: 51-73.
  • 2021
    “Real Men Do Real Farming, While the New Woman Goes Home: Australian Suffragists Go Back to the Land 1894–1917”, Journal of Australian Studies,
  • 2021
    “Working from Home: An Oral History of Activism, Gender and the Environment”,, Journal of Oral History Australia 43, October 2021: 85-113.
  • 2020
    ‘Independence, thrift and industry’: David Andrade’s turn back to the land in the 1890s, Victorian Historical Journal91(1):67-91
  • 2018
    Against ‘neo-peasantry’ and the desire for self-sufficiency, Overland
  • 2016
    Alistair Knox (1912–1986) and the Birth of Environmental Building in Australia, Arcadia18 Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

Professional Memberships

  • Professional Historians Association
  • Australian Historical Association
  • Renters and Housing Union