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The Management of Water by and with First Nations People

The AWA NSW Regional Water Champions hosted a well-attended and informative networking event last Thursday evening, entitled The Management of Water by and with First Nations People.

The event attracted strong interest from around Australia with 109 registrations to attend online or at one of the seven regional hubs – Parramatta, Newcastle, Wyong, Taree and Orange in New South Wales and in Darwin and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Facilitated by Daniel Gray, Principal Legal Officer at the NSW DPIE, the event included presentations from Tom Attwood, Senior Project Officer at the NSW DPIE which focussed on the celebration of an award-winning project for the Aboriginal community at Jubullum; Jimmy Cocking – CEO of Desert Knowledge Australia based in Alice Springs who discussed ‘Amplifying Voices for Better Water in the Bush’ ; Wendy Spencer, Ricky Townsend and Bow Simpson from the Dharriwaa Elders Group along with Alicia Dunning from the Yuwya Ngarrali ‘Food and Water for Life’ program who collectively discussed the importance of water and critical aspects of water management in the Walgett area.

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Attendees of the Orange, Taree and Darwin hubs

In addition to the presentations, the Hubs enjoyed a break out session to discuss aspects of water management within their own regions with one participant from the Orange Hub saying, “We had some great chats at our Orange Hub, and I think we all left feeling inspired by the difference that can be made in the water sector broadly, and especially within remote communities, through indigenous storytelling and applying cultural values to water!”

Others provided feedback on the valuable networking opportunity that the event provided – facilitating introductions and potentially valuable contacts to benefit future work in water management and advocacy to government and key authorities.

AWA wishes to thank all presenters, Dan Gray for his great work as the facilitator, all the hub facilitators for your support and to the NSW Branch Committee for their significant contribution which ensured this was a very successful event.

If you are interested in hosting your own regional hub for next year’s event, please contact or Kristy Bunting, NSW/ACT Member Engagement Manager at