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Acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners of the Murray–Darling Basin

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners, and their Nations, of the Murray–Darling Basin, who have a deep cultural, social, environmental, spiritual and economic connection to their lands and waters. The MDBA understands the need for recognition of Traditional Owner knowledge and cultural values in natural resource management associated with the Basin.

The approach of Traditional Owners to caring for the natural landscape, including water, can be expressed in the words of the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations Board:

“As the First Nations peoples (Traditional Owners) we are the knowledge holders, connected to Country and with the cultural authority to share our knowledge. We offer perspectives to balance and challenge other voices and viewpoints. We aspire to owning and managing water to protect our totemic obligations, to carry out our way of life, and to teach our younger generations to maintain our connections and heritage through our own law and customs. When Country is happy, our spirits are happy.”

This website may contain photographs or quotes by Aboriginal people who have passed away.

Using the term Aboriginal

Based on the advice from both the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations and the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations the MDBA will use the term 'Aboriginal' to refer to all relevant Traditional Owner groups in the Basin, who have the auhtority with respect to land and water management. 

Ronald Hughes and Cody Campbell from the Dhudhuroa Nation, in Dhudhuroa Yaitmaithang Country, Falls Creek, Victoria. Photo by Ipshita Mondal
Ronald Hughes and Cody Campbell from the Dhudhuroa Nation, in Dhudhuroa Yaitmaithang Country, Falls Creek, Victoria. Photo by Ipshita Mondal