‘Reconnecting to Rivers’ is a Curtin research project that explores how Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members have used, managed and valued the waterways of the Swan Coastal Plain. The project centres on Blackadder Creek in the riverine valley east of Perth, an area where many creeks and streams combine to drain into the Swan River.
‘Reconnecting to Rivers’ is primarily a deep mapping and monitoring project, where research into Noongar cultural heritage, water biodiversity, ecology, conservation and creative works will be brought together and presented as an Indigenous informed, two-way learning project that speaks to a better water management future. An important part of the project is the planned yarning circles with Noongar community members with connection to the Blackadder Creek area, from which research outcomes will be inspired. The project hopes to take the lead from Indigenous deep connection to place to generate an understanding of how these water landscapes have been used, managed and valued over time by Traditional Custodians, complimented by water histories from the wider community.


The project is Indigenous-led, and the research aims to contribute to long-term culturally appropriate water management prospects, with other Indigenous-led projects across the State relating Healthy Country and Caring for Country to the management of groundwater, wetlands and river systems.


The Reconnecting to Rivers team is inviting applications for aligned projects in Education that relates to use and connection to rivers, wetlands or underground water. The proposals should explore and articulate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and engagements with landscape and place, including the effects and implications of settler colonial presence, and community and creative responses to these circumstances. This could be about the area of Blackadder Creek – the focus area of our study – or the wider waterscapes of the Perth coastal basin


The project will:
• Have a tangible and practical application to primary and/or secondary education, and
• Have a focus on sustainable education AND/OR Have a focus on teaching History and in particular local and Indigenous histories


The project could:
• Have a connection to Indigenous language/s
• Critically apply yarning circular conversation technique and/or other Indigenous research methods as part of a multidisciplinary approach

Further details at Curtin University website