News From Our Last Cultural Catch-up and Introducing Our Gomeroi Cultural Advisor

Author: Tamara Kermode | Traditional Gamilaaraay Language of the Gomeroi nation used in this article (H. White & B. Duncan – Speaking Our Way, M. Mckemey).

Kerrie Saunders is our newly appointed Cultural Advisor for the Gwydir Selected Area. Kerrie will be guiding us in communications and engagements with Traditional Owners in the land of the Gomeroi Peoples.

Kerrie is a proud Gomeroi woman from Moree. She is passionate about native foods, particularly native grains, and the sustainability of Country. When she isn’t helping the Flow-MER team Kerrie runs her Yinarr-ma business conducting bush tucker tours along the Mehi River and helping Urban Landcare in native vegetation restoration. She is also an Aboriginal Community Engagement leader for the University of Sydney. Busy hey!

Kerrie (right) explaining the uses of native grains for making food to Paul Frazier (centre) and Kurnu-Baakandji Cultural Advisor Kevin Knight (left).

Kerrie has learned and developed skills that allow her to encourage her community to embrace their culture and wants to make young people aware of how important native grains are to culture and connecting with Country.

For Flow-MER we will work alongside Kerrie to help understand and restore the Gwydir system.

Did you Know! Native grains have been eaten by Traditional Owners for tens of thousands of years, they are gluten free, highly nutritious and keep the land healthy.

On the 6th of October 2023 in Moree, Paul Frazier, Tamara Kermode, Jason Wilson, Jane Humphries and Chrissy Jeffries caught up with Cultural Advisors Kevin Knight from the Kurnu-Baakandji Peoples and Kerrie Saunders of the Gomeroi/Kamilaroi Peoples.

We started the day with breakfast at the Cafe Gali & Yaama Ganu Gallery (Figure 1). This was a lovely introduction to our discussions around how to best bring culture into the Flow Monitoring, Evaluation and Research (Flow-MER) program as we were surrounded by Aboriginal artworks.

Afterwards Kerrie showed us the native grasses garden she has been working on in the Moree Botanic Gardens (Figure 2). Kerrie walked us through the different native vegetation she has planted and how native grains and other species were used by her ancestors and her today as a source of food.

Having the chance to sit down, enjoy the sun and chat about the future of Flow-MER with our Cultural Advisors is always enlightening as new perspectives, thinking and cultures are addressed. Below are a couple additional photos.

Breakfast at Cafe Gali with everyone. Left to right: Jason Wilson, Paul Frazier, Kevin Knight, Kerrie Saunders, Tamara Kermode, Jane Humphries, Chrissy Jeffries. Photo credit unknown.
Exploring the Moree Botanic Gardens. Photo credit Tamara Kermode.

Featured Photo: Exploring the Moree Botanic Gardens.

Photo credit: Tamara Kermode.

Our work in the Gwydir

The Gwydir is a special place with significant environmental, cultural and economic values. Our work here focuses on monitoring and evaluating the outcomes water for the environment enables in some of the largest waterbird breeding colonies in Australia. We also work in the rivers and floodplains to assess water quality, fish breeding and Food webs.

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