For Aboriginal Elder Dr Berryl Carmichael the Darling River is her Livelihood.
For Dr Berryl Carmichael, the Darling River is her livelihood.
Berryl remembers a time when the river water was as clear as the ocean, a place where she played and learned the traditions of her people.
“We used to have great fun going down and pumping the yabbies out,” she said.
“We used to put our foot in the hole instead of setting traps and the yabbies would back out the other hole.
“We grabbed the yabbies and put them in the bucket so we had a feed.”
Over the years, Berryl has noticed different species come and go from the system, like the catfish.
“We used to always catch catfish and they were a beautiful food,” she said.
“Especially if it was your totem, you needed that catfish, a bit of your spirit food to feed your spiritual self.
“Now today you can hardly get a catfish in the river.
“Things like that connected the people to the water.
“It is fast disappearing, it’s very sad.”
On the longer term health of the Murray-Darling Basin, Beryl says he is concerned for the next generation.
“What about the fish dreaming?” she asked.
“This is when the Aboriginal people need to come together again and let our voices be heard loud and clear.
“It’s the life vein of our people.”