Friday, 19 September 2014

Murray Darling Tour 2 - "Seeking to Hear All Voices Involved in the Life of the Rivers " -

A good view of the Barmah Lake from the The Kingfisher Cruise plus the speed of the Murray as it rushes down  

We were now running late as the stop at Savernake Station was a last minute add-in but worth it!
Finley is a farming community. The Church Fellowship had done a lunch that was wonderful- the choices! Yum O! The format of our time there was same as before with a forum of 3 speakers - Tim Strong, a rice Farmer and Malcom  Holm, a dairy farmer and Perin  Davey, a water policy officer with Murray Irrigation. We were also treated to some great songs from Kathryn Creek, Paul and Dorothy’s daughter, great songs! Dorothy was joining the group from this point, as was Myra Cowell, a leader here at Finley.

Uniting Church Finley NSW

After great insight from the speakers it was off, out and open the bus, check all aboard, out to the Dairy Farm for a visit. City to the country big time - 750+ cows lined up to meet us   as well as being milked. Round and round they went. The size of the cows surprised some. After some input from Malcom, history from Myra, as she also lived and used to farm here, it was down to see the calves.

Myung Wha, the Moderator Elect, get's in touch with the locals.

Visit to the Dairy 

Then, well – “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out” heading to dinner and sleep at Maidens Inn Caravan Park Moama NSW. We had by now crossed in and out of NSW and Victoria more than 18 times. I lost count after 18 but we were to cross that river many more times in the days to come. As we pulled up Paul met us with the usual “Where you been!?” We unpacked and it was back out for dinner at the club down the road.

Next morning- round to Barmah for a River Cruise. This was the cruise Lyn and I did (see photos in the blog (May 9th 2014) and Insights. Today was a bit fresh so the water bird life was not coming out for a photo but the commentary and answers to many questions where good. We learned a lot before heading back to the Barmah Hotel for a pre- ordered lunch. (Lucky Paul kept the list as many forgot what they had asked for!)

Under the this River Gum is a lot of  signs of early meetings 

Over to the Yenbeena Indigenous Training Cultural Centre where Shaun spoke to us on his people and culture “we ground ourselves in our dance to the land“   he said, taking the stance and stamping his feet as we see in many dance moves and“ we have to sit on our bottom on the land.” The “Yorta Yorta” people have lived along the river from the time of the earth’s plate moving. He told of his grandmother’s stories of the people seeing the water change and them climbing up the hill to escape it.  He also spelt out much of the “Lore .“ (See photo of white board questions) His people ask,” Where you from, where you going?”, their trading paths and song lines took them far and wide. I found this all very interesting.

We then went to Echuca, through the Cadell Fault made 25000 years ago, to the Historic Port Interactive centre.   Here we got a guide’s eye view of the history of the Port. Very interesting! No time to look at all the “old” boys toys unfortunately but we did see a very modern sight on the river. A boat went passed with a man standing up with strange thing strapped to his back, a Google earth camera. Must check to see if our group made Google earth!

Emma Ivan and Myra at Echuca Forum 
 We met later for next the  Forum.I was chairperson this time. Our guest was, Emma, who works for the Murray Darling Water Authority and is on local council. She was very excited that we took this issue so seriously as to take this time to tour the area and that the Uniting Church was seeking to hear all voices involved in the life of the rivers, that she drove up from Melbourne. One of the people at Albury had rung and told her about us and she decided she needed to meet with us, so glad she did!  We also had 2 more members join our group for the day and night, Rev Hawea Jackson and his wife Janice, who sang some songs to open the event. It was good conversation from the panel and Emma. The night ended and home to bed. 

The old way of using the Murray 
I found this re visit to the Barmah area still opened new things to me as we came with an agenda to hear how it affected lives of those on the river. Not all felt this was enough and more answers were needed but we came to listen to the role of all stake holders which is vital to the life of the river if it is to stay healthy.

 There is still more listening and looking to do, questions now flow easy for this “Community” that is forming in the bus as it travels along. 

Phill Matthews 

No comments:

Post a Comment


View My Stats