I am so pleased to share with you this special issue of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management which is focusing on Indigenous water management. Bradley Moggridge and Sue Jackson have done a great job of bringing together a mix of articles that share insights and knowledge into different aspects of Indigenous water management. As Bradley and Sue note in their Editorial, it is now 15 years since policy-makers first recognised Indigenous rights and interests in national water policy, and although there remain many obstacles and constraints, there are some progressive and positive developments in many parts of Australia.
“The years of advocating for greater opportunities for involvement under the auspices of national water policy have seen the generation of much local activity, as the articles in this collection show. Across the country, and especially in the MDB states, there is a flourishing of community-based Indigenous water management projects. The efforts described in these articles to articulate Indigenous management and governance objectives, values and principles, to reform government-led approaches, to negotiate with states over water rights, and partner with NGOs to direct and use environmental water, show the diversity of ways in which Indigenous people are today managing water.”
(Moggridge and Jackson, 2019)
We have provided you with a link to the home page of the Indigenous water management special issue so that you can easily access the articles. I thoroughly recommend you read Bradley and Sue’s Editorial, as it provides a good overview of the collection of articles and provides an excellent contextual background against which to explore the issue.
Indigenous Water Management Special Issue: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tjem20/current
Bradley also sent me a recent interview he did alongside Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu, for the ABC Radio’s Life Matters program. It is a 20 minute conversation that is well worth a listen, as Bruce and Bradley discuss the current ‘big dry’, and the value of Indigenous knowledge in understanding our country and developing better management strategies to adapt to our changing climate.
Including Indigenous knowledge in debates about water and land use: https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgYV49ZwZ7
Our connection to country
Within the Australian River Restoration Centre team we prioritise personal relationships with local Aboriginal people living and working in our region. It is to these people that we look to for knowledgeable advice, culturally appropriate communication, and wisdom about who we need to talk to learn about areas of sacred significance.