At Recfishwest we recognise the inseparable connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have to country is central to their culture.
To celebrate this, and as part of NAIDOC week this week, we are proud to be able to share this fascinating short film, Dildjid Dreaming, which was funded through a Recfishwest community grant.
Narrated by Djoona Managing Director and Biboolmirn Nyoongar Joe Collard, the film tells the story of how the water of the Swan and Canning rivers connects his people – the ‘Paperbark People’ of the South-west – with their Boodja, their land.
The film was a collaboration between Aboriginal training and cultural immersion organisation, Djoona, and Task Force Films.
CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “We have much to learn from Traditional Owners’ knowledge of seasonal cycles of sea country and aquatic environments that has been built up over thousands of years. We share many similar values especially when it comes to protecting our waters so we and future generations can continue to enjoy them.
“The theme of this month’s NAIDOC week is ‘For our Elders’, so it’s fitting that this inspiring short film acknowledges and features Biboolmum Elders sharing stories of their people’s connection with the waters of the Swan and Murray coastal plains.
“We are pleased our community grants scheme has helped Joe share some of his community’s knowledge and history through the medium of this film.”
Recfishwest’s recent fishing clinic in the Pilbara town of Cossack was a major hit with the local community, enthusiastically attended by kids, adults and Elders alike all eager to wet a line!
Taking place on beautiful Ngarluma land, the fishing clinic, run by Recfishwest, with the support of the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd, Roebourne Hub Community Resource Centre, Woodside Energy and DPIRD, saw at least 40 kids and adults arrive by buses supplied by the Yaandina Community Services and Real Employment for Aboriginal People (REFAP) to one of Cossack’s popular fishing platforms.
As soon as the next generation of young fishers turned up and saw the rods and hand lines perched against the rocks waiting for them, they excitedly sprinted over itching to get casting!
Recfishwest acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and sea, and we pay our respect to Elders past, present and future. We recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of traditional custodians in managing and caring for the land and sea. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to life in WA.
Running for around five hours, it was clear that none of the fishers wanted to take breaks either! Attendees fished non-stop and landed great species such as golden trevally, bream, honeycomb cod, estuary cod and others.
Around 30 rods and 15 hand lines made available from Recfishwest were handed out to attendees and our team was kept busy baiting the hooks of fishers, who were happily educated and entertained with fishing tips and bites.
With a strong connection and knowledge of sea country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities share many of the same values as recreational fishers and those in and around Cossack were no exception!
The care for the sustainability of these species was evident by all of those attending the clinic, with a majority of fish caught and carefully and quickly released back into the pristine waters.
Recfishwest’s Sam Russell said, “We had just as much fun coordinating this fishing clinic as the friendly kids and Elders did in wetting a line. Their connection to the land and sea and passion for fishing was abundantly clear and it was awesome to see fishing bringing people together in this way,” said “There was plenty of fish biting and seeing everyone coming together and catching a few was one of those moments that make doing what we do so special – we can’t wait to come back next year.”
Danielle East, Woodside Communities Advisor for Corporate Affairs in Karratha, said, “The event was incredibly successful and the feedback we have received from participants has been very positive. Community members are already asking when there will be another clinic!” said Danielle.
“We certainly would like to see more of these types of activities in the future. The knowledge sharing that was made possible from this event was invaluable. Not only the information the Recfishwest team could share with community, but the knowledge the Elders were able to share with Recfishwest was very useful too.”
Our Recfishwest team are also excited to head back to Cossack next year and engage with community members.
“We’d like to thank NYFL and the Roebourne community for their warm welcome and Woodside Energy for funding this program, none of this would have been possible without all of you guys.”