WHERE THE WATER STARTS
Director: Amanda King
Producer: Fabio Cavadini
We need to be armed with the best of Aboriginal connection and of regenerative science to move forward together.
The Snowy Mountains is home to the headwaters of the Snowy, Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers yet the delicate alpine ecosystem that supports these vital water sources is being trampled.
The alpine area that covers only 0.01 of Australia’s inhabited land mass is under threat from a combination of the impacts of feral animals, artificial water flows and climate change.
Where The Water Starts reveals how this fragile alpine region, particularly Kosciuszko National Park, the largest in the Australian Alps is seen by a number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who were born or live in the southern mountains area, or who care deeply about it.
The film brings together respected Aboriginal community leaders including Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, Aunty Sue Bulger, Aunty Rhonda Casey, Bruce Pascoe as well as alpine river guide, Richard Swain and his partner Alison, and local farmer, Sterling Dixon, scientist, Prof David Watson, former parks officer, Paul Hardey and academic, Dr Isa Menzies.
The film reflects on their ideas around caring for country as a shared responsibility of all Australians; that the best of Aboriginal connection and the best of regenerative science can work together for a better future for the alpine environment and to protect the habitats of 34 threatened native species.
Join Indigenous Ambassador for Invasive Species Council, Richard Swain for a special Q&A Screening. Richard has worked for 25 years as an Indigenous guide within Kosciuszko National Park. Having spent his life in the Snowy Mountains he has seen first-hand the huge impact feral animals are having on the park and the threatened species that rely on Kosciuszko for survival. He is passionate about educating the public on the true history of landscape changes and degradation over the past 230 years.
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Richard Swain grew up with a connection to country. His father taught him the history of the Australian landscape, and his grandfather taught him how the Aboriginal people moved through and respected the country.
He completed his trade as a carpenter in 1989. He spent his younger years playing football and travelling Australia during a three year remote 4WD trip. After spending a year travelling overseas, Richard came back to his home in the Snowy Mountains shocked at the impact modern societies were having on the entire earth, and the lack of desire to live in harmonious balance with the planet.
He found a piece of country next to the cleanest river in the district to build his off-grid home and rear his children.
Richard works as an indigenous river guide, running his own ecotourism business in Kosciuszko National Park.
He has a long history of volunteering on local environmental and community projects and has first-hand understanding of the huge impact feral animals are having on Australia’s natural environment.
As an ambassador for the Invasive Species Council Richard will help raise the profile of the role Indigenous people have in caring for country, and protecting it from invasive species. He will use his experience and networks make tackling invasive species a top priority for communities to address.
Richard has also been instrumental in creating the Reclaim Kosci campaign, which aims to overturn legislation that protects destructive feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.