Elders, MDBA team up

SUN DANCE: Luke Gardiner and cousin Mark Gardiner from Jindi-Worabak in Melbourne performed the closing ceremony.

LOCAL rivers and waterways were assessed last week as part of a trial between indigenous communities and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

Dhudhuroa and Waywurru elder Gary Murray and his team joined forces with MDBA personnel to conduct both cultural and environmental assessments of rivers in the Ovens and Kiewa Valleys.

Mr Murray said the five days were used to assess the quality and cultural flows of rivers and the group finished their stay with a closing ceremony at Centenary Park, where Morses Creek meets the Ovens River, last Friday.

“It’s about the economic culture and culture itself, look at places where red gums used to be but aren’t any more,” he said.

“They’ve died because there’s not enough water, which affects us because we aren’t able to scar trees, which create artefacts and we can’t use the trees to make canoes, all of which are a huge tourist attraction.

“There’s government interest in the waterways, but that’s environmental and agricultural, not cultural.”

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