07 Nov Melinda Kennedy
Melinda is a proud Wadawurrung Woman and Aboriginal Water Officer for the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation.
Ngubitj Murrup Wadawurrung Water
“Ngubitj Murrup is Water Spirit. Water is the foundation of our life journey, our connection to water starts at conception. Our mother’s waters protect us and nourish us to grow, our journey then continues with our connection to water” Corrina Eccles Wadawurrung Woman, Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation.
During 2018, Corangamite CMA updated the environmental flows study for the Upper Barwon, Yarrowee and Leigh river system in partnership with the Wathaurung Aboriginal Coorporation and Alluvium Consulting. This environmental flow study represents a transparent science-based approach to assessing the flow requirements of freshwater reaches of river systems. It examined the flow-dependent environmental values and objectives of the system and determined the flow regime required to meet these objectives. For the first-time, Aboriginal Cultural values for all sites within Wadawurrung Country formed a key component in driving the recommendations of the work. Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung, from the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation, informed site selection and conducted site inspections and background Aboriginal Cultural values research on those reaches on Wadawurrung Country.
The Aboriginal Cultural values that informed the study include:
- Maintaining watering requirements for healthy thriving culturally significant species such as Wad-dirring/Perridak (Platypus), Turrpurt (Native trout) and Ware-rap (Blackfish) which are all important food sources.
- Recognition of confluences as meeting / ceremony / trade places. Water flowing at confluences is critical to maintain these values.
- Maintain Deep / Permanent Waterholes and Refuge Pools.
- The importance of water to the Wadawurrung “We were using canoes and waterways as roads. Think about where our waterways go and how far it takes you on our Country”.