Collaboration with Indigenous Peoples

An important aspect of our work is sharing the Australian water journey—and that encompasses the experiences of Traditional Owners. Traditional Owners have an intrinsic relationship with their ecosystems; their knowledge on land and water has been gathered, passed on and nurtured for tens of thousands of years.   

Our work to date has provided the consistent message that we need to increase engagement and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Knowledge is an important part of Australia’s water story and we actively respect and recognise the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ needs to move beyond symbolic acknowledgement to practical action. While we recognise local communities and Indigenous People’s strength, savviness, and know-how, which for Indigenous Australians spans thousands of years—we also acknowledge that action requires resources, decision making power and support. 

We want to listen and learn from Indigenous and First Peoples in the Indo-Pacific and beyond—and encourage others globally to do the same.  Through our activity portfolio, we aim to collaborate with Indigenous and First Peoples and seek their contributions to the design of locally-led water management activities. 

We also pursue opportunities to highlight the importance and mutual benefit of collaborating with Indigenous Peoples in the water sector. We support spaces where these groups can share their voices and experiences, providing time and space to Indigenous Peoples in international platforms. 

Voices for Rivers

Voices for Rivers aims to engage global audiences and raise awareness about the critical importance of rivers in our ecosystems. The vision is to inspire responsible river management and conservation, fostering a sense of responsibility for the protection of rivers worldwide.

The purpose of the videos created in collaboration between AWP and the International RiverFoundation is to convey First Nations’ knowledge of water management through shared rivers. Internationally, First Nations, Aboriginal, Indigenous, and Traditional knowledge of surface and groundwater, as well as cultural and spiritual values, are vital tools to achieve climate-resilient water management. Through this series, First Nations knowledge, experience and values will be amplified to global audiences, furthering the agenda for inclusive water management and action.

Embedding Indigenous Knowledge and Tools

The Australian Water Partnership has partnered with the International RiverFoundation to develop a series of three videos to amplify First Nation’s knowledge, experience, and values on rivers and waterbodies to international audiences, furthering the agenda for inclusive water management and action. In the first video of this series, learn about the importance of incorporating Indigenous knowledge and tools to achieve climate-resilient water management.

Inclusive and Equitable Decision Making

In the second video in this series, learn about the importance of enhancing river and waterway management through inclusive and equitable decision-making and governance.

Implications of Climate Change on Indigenous Communities

In the third and final video in this series, learn about the development outcomes needed to reduce the water-related impacts of climate change on Indigenous Communities.

Additional resources