First Nations

First Nations Culture is intertwined with the Murray–Darling Basin. It is integral to healthy Country and healthy lives. The Basin connects First Nations People and sustains intergenerational connections.

Our water systems create economic and employment opportunities. Looking after the rivers protects First Nations heritage and gives First Nations People freedom to live and work with Country.
Water is an important part of culture and Country. Taking care of the Murray–Darling means taking care of Country.

Over the coming months, First Nations communities will share their stories of connection as part of a series of video, audio, music and art created by those who live and work in the Basin.

See our First Nations water policy

Hey, Aunty, why are we at the river? 
Did you know that our people, Bub, First Nations people, have a deep connection with the Murray Darling Basin?
Today, there are more than 50 First Nations communities living in the Basin. It holds many stories and dreamings from different countries.
The Murray-Darling Rivers connect our mob from Queensland all the way through NSW, the ACT, Victoria and South Australia.
Our ancestors and bubs, just like you, are connected through country and water. The Basin sustains our generational connections.
Our water systems create economic and employment opportunities for our peoples. Looking after the rivers protects our heritage and gives us freedom to live and work with country.
Our culture is intertwined with the Basin, and taking care of country means taking care of its rivers.

Artwork by First Nations artist Sonny Green. It symbolises the importance of our rivers and waterways.

Murray–Darling rivers artwork

'Sustainable water management practices have been embedded in Aboriginal culture and our communities for as long as we know. 

This artwork is about understanding the importance of our rivers and waterways.  They are the life blood of our communities and have provided sustenance for generations upon generations. Many of our families grew up or continue to live close by the water. 

Caring for our country includes caring for our river systems. This means sustainably managing our waterways to ensure that our children and their children will be able to benefit from these beautiful resources that we have. The lifeblood of our communities.'
Sonny Green artist

© Sonny Green, reproduced with permission

Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water uses tracking tags and pixels to aid in customised, targeted follow-up advertising.
Learn more about how we manage privacy.