Story from Frank Weisenberger (Frank Weisenberger Consulting)
The traditional lands of Barkandji people can be found along the Darling River in the western region of New South Wales, Australia. The name “Barkandji” means “People who belong to the river.” Since the arrival of European settlers, the traditional lands of the Barkandji have been ravaged by resource overuse, extensive water extraction, and in recent years, an unprecedented drought.
Barkandji people are now developing a Healthy Country Plan to protect cultural and natural values on their traditional lands. As custodians of country, Barkandji people are equipped with a holistic view of their traditional lands and hope to overcome the barriers and silos of government departments and bring stakeholders together to better look after the Darling River. Through the Healthy Country Planning process, Barkandji people established a technical reference group consisting of government and non-government stakeholders to find solutions that will help bring back the health of the iconic Darling River system.