Nulungu Journal Articles

A tale of two rivers - Baaka and Martuwarra, Australia: Shared voices and art towards water justice


Two of Australia’s iconic river systems, Baaka in New South Wales (NSW) and Martuwarra in Western Australia (WA), are described in a narrative that connects Indigenous custodianship, bio-physical features and art, and contrasts settler law with First Law to provide multiple ways of seeing the two river systems. Our narrative is a shared response to: (1) upstream water extractions that have imposed large costs on Baaka and its peoples; and (2) threats of water extractions and developments to Martuwarra. By scribing the voices of the two river systems, we have created a space to reimagine an emerging future that connects the past and present through the concept of ‘EveryWhen’, where First Law has primacy, and where art connects Indigenous knowledges to non-Indigenous understanding. Through a dialogue process with Indigenous knowledge holders, artists and water researchers, five action processes, or journeys, are identified to guide water decision making towards water justice.


Country, Indigenous knowledge, Living Waters, water crisis, water governance

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