Water Journal : Water Journal June 2013
JUNE 2013 WATER 33 Feature Article can be enhanced by today's science and engineering. This two-way learning can take place at a personal level, an industry level and a governmental level. Only through furthering and encouraging these types of discussions and collaborations will Australia accelerate its process towards truly sustainable resource management in this unique environment. As Lee from YYNAC says, we have a powerful opportunity to combine "Western science and Aboriginal knowledge to provide a better outcome for Country." WJ THE AUTHOR Leila Macadam (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Civil Engineer in Waterways & Water Resources for GHD in Brisbane, and a volunteer with the EWB Queensland Region. The opinions expressed in this article do not directly re ect those of GHD, but are derived from Leila's experiences on the Study Tour. For further information on the Murray-Darling Dialogues on Development Study Tour, please visit our interactive map: www.ewb.org.au/explore/initiatives/dialogues/dialogues-on- development-murray-darling-interactive-map. REFERENCES Australian Geographic (2011): DNA Con rms Aboriginal Culture One of Earth's Oldest. www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/Aboriginal- Australians-the-oldest-culture-on-Earth Cathcart M (2009): The Water Dreamers: The Remarkable History of our Dry Continent. Text Publishing Company. Melbourne, 2009. 327 pp, illus. Review: www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_ le& le_id=HR10005.pdf. CSIRO (2010): Water for a Healthy Country, Sustainable Yields Projects, The Murray Darling Basin, page 6 of 9. Effects of Change in Water Availability on Indigenous People of the Murray-Darling Basin. www.csiro.au/en/ Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Water-for-a-Healthy-Country-Flagship/ Sustainable-Yields-Projects/MDBscience/Effects-of-change-in-water- availability-on-Indigenous-people-of-the-Murray-Darling-Basin.aspx. Jackson S, Moggridge B & Robinson C (2010): Summary of the Scoping Study: Effects of Change in Water Availability on Indigenous People of the Murray- Darling Basin. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Report Series. Murray Darling Basin Authority (2013): What We Do, Working With Others, Aboriginal Communities, Cultural Flows. www.csiro.au/en/Organisation- Structure/Flagships/Water-for-a-Healthy-Country-Flagship/Sustainable- Yields-Projects/MDBSY/MDBSY-indigenous-water-report.aspx. Tonini K (2013): Yorta Yorta To Welcome Expert Team (April 2013). www.mmg. com.au/local-news/echuca/yorta-yorta-to-welcome-expert-team-1.15617. Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (2012): Yorta Yorta: World Leaders: Fact Sheet. www.yynac.com.au/cms/resources/fs3worldleaders.pdf. avoided the pitfalls of over-hunting and resulted in the maintenance of species diversity and respect for habitat. LAKE CONDAH Heywood is within the land of the Gunditjmara people. The area is famous for the ancient Aboriginal engineering of eel traps that, combined with an abundant environment, allowed their ancestors to stay in the area year-round. Other nations tended to move around on their land as resources shifted. The eel traps were part of a complex series of channels and water diversions within the volcanic rock and have been dated to 7,500 years old. Tom Day, CEO of Gundij Mirring Aboriginal Corporation, hosted us on a visit to the eel traps in Kurtonitj Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). He explained how the Corporation was seeking World Heritage Listing for the eel traps. Another project was the re- lling of Lake Condah, which was drained for agricultural activities in the 1950s. This project, aided by GHD, Alluvium Consulting, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Armistead Earthmoving, saw a weir and regulator installed to retain water and reinstate the functioning of the eel traps. The community played a key role in the construction process and the industry partners were honoured with a Civil Contractors Federation Earth Award. Tom believes that a journey of interaction between organisations is the key in Traditional Owners being transitioned from irrelevance, to token relevance, to consultation, to sitting in partnership. BARMAH FOREST Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC) is based in Shepparton and Barmah, Victoria. It was actually our rst host in the Dialogues experience; our pre-departure training in September occurred at their Yenbena Aboriginal Training Centre and in Barmah National Park, where they are co-managers with Parks Victoria. YYNAC partners with a number of organisations that offer their skills pro-bono to further YYNAC's aspirations for their land and community. These organisations include EWB, GHD and David Lock Associates. In addition to a day of cross-cultural awareness led by Shane Charles, Lee Joachim from YYNAC dropped by to tell us about YYNAC's world-class geographical information systems (GIS) project studying the effects of climate change on Yorta Yorta cultural heritage. Through a combination of 'talking journeys', where elders walk the land recollecting stories and memories about land and resources, story collation, photography and mapping, Lee and his team are making a record of cultural values that can then be used as a basis for assessing the effects of a varying climate in the region (YYNAC, 2012). The project receives assistance from Brown University in the USA and the World Bank, as well as Monash and LaTrobe Universities locally (Tonini, 2013). That night, we camped out in the peaceful Barmah Forest, a RAMSAR-listed site with unique wetlands. Experiencing the signi cance of water on-Country at Murra Murra.
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