In this, the 100th episode of the Sustainability Agenda, we speak to Dr Anne Poelina an indigenous Australian academic and human and earth rights activist. Dr Poelina explains her role as a “Yimardoowarra marnin,” which, translated from the Nyikina language, means “a woman who belongs to the Martuwarra River,” in Western Australia. Dr Poelina discusses what she calls “first law,” the Aboriginal peoples’ customary law covering the rules for living in coexistence with nature, the rules of conduct that hold together and bond a civil society, the principles of an ethics of care. She talks about the indigenous cultural approach to collaborative water governance underlying the legal work that she is spearheading to make sure that the development of the Fitzroy River does not lead to the mistakes made in the development of the Murray-Darling river.
Please see the Matuwarra Fitzroy River Council website to learn more about the Council and its work.
Dr Anne Poelina is a Nyikina Warrwa (Indigenous Australian) woman who belongs to the Mardoowarra, the lower Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She is an active Indigenous community leader, human and earth rights advocate, filmmaker and a respected academic researcher. Anne is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Notre Dame University and a Research Fellow with Northern Australia Institute Charles Darwin University. She is also Managing Director of Madjulla Incorporated, an indigenous not-for-profit non-government community development organisation working with remote Aboriginal communities.