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Wimmera CMA

Street Address:
24 Darlot Street, Horsham, 3400
(enter via Gleed St)

Postal Address:
PO Box 479, Horsham, VIC, 3402
Phone: (03) 5382 1544
Fax: (03) 5382 6076
Email: wcma@wcma.vic.gov.au
 
Office Hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 - 5:00pm
(excluding Public Holidays and Christmas - New Year Closure.  Office may also be closed for short periods Monday mornings)

Article

People gather for Wimmera ‘River Yarns’

Mar 27, 2017
 
River Yarns Community members meet for the first Aboriginal
Waterway Assessment at the 'House of Feathers'
cultural site, by the Wimmera River in Horsham

A new water initiative documenting Aboriginal history and the cultural values of the Wimmera River kicks off this week (March 27) with ‘Community Gathering - River Yarns’.

Five days of workshops and site visits involving Traditional Owners, Aboriginal groups, community groups, historical societies and local and state government representatives will start in Horsham on Monday. River Yarns will then follow the Wimmera River to Dimboola, Antwerp and Jeparit before continuing to Lake Hindmarsh, Outlet Creek and Lake Albacutya.

The group will visit historical sites as well as record cultural use of plants and bush medicine. Guest speakers will include archaeologist Abby Cooper, Wimmera River Improvement Committee chairman Gary Aitken, long-time Wimmera bird monitoring expert Jonathan Starks and Daniel Clarke from Aboriginal Victoria.

Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and Barengi Gadjin Land Council are coordinating the week in partnership with the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations. 

River Yarns is part of the Wimmera River Aboriginal Water Project, which brings together local groups and individuals to officially document cultural information in the region using an Aboriginal Waterway Assessment tool. Ben Muir and Brett Harrison are leading the project.

Wimmera CMA chief executive David Brennan said River Yarns would map cultural sites and artefacts as well as identify project and economic development opportunities.

“By supporting the Aboriginal community in documenting cultural values, stories, memories and how they feel connected to the river, this project aims to also create economic opportunities now and for future generations,” Mr Brennan said.

River Yarns also builds on themes and partnerships promoted in this week’s Cultural Diversity Week activities in the Wimmera. Australian bestselling author Bruce Pascoe spoke to a crowd of more than 250 in Horsham Town Hall on Tuesday night for a Wimmera Landcare Harmony Day event.

“This is such an important point in Australia’s history,” Bruce said. “It seems like people are more interested in their own country and interested in looking after it. It makes me feel more confident about the future when Australians finally starting to listen to the earth. We need to treat the earth like Australia, not Kent in England. Aboriginal people feel like we can’t miss this opportunity to start this discussion with our country.”

The Wimmera River Aboriginal Water Project is funded through the Victorian Government’s Water for Victoria program, which aims to increase the involvement of Aboriginal communities in water resource decision making.