AEGIS seminar: Dialogues with rivers

7 May 2021

Speakers: Associate Professor Linda Williams (Chair) with Dr Charles Dawson and Keith Wood (both Aoteoroa/New Zealand) and Bonita Ely (Australia).

About the talk

In March 2017 The Whanganui River in the North Island of New Zealand became the world's second natural resource to be given its own legal identity, with the rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.

Dr Charles Dawson discusses some personal intercultural lessons from the Whanganui River, its Indigenous guardians and his late father's work with the Whanganui where he continued to use law as a tool for justice in the tribe's river claims before the Waitangi Tribunal.

Keith Wood (Ngati Rangi, Whanganui iwi, Ngati Ruaka, Ngati Tu) has been involved in environmental and conservation management work since 1988 following the inaugural Tira Hoe Waka on the Whanganui River and the subsequent establishment of the Runanga Rangatahi ote Awa Whanganui in the wake of that Hikoi.

Their work with the Whanganui River was important in leading to the Whanganui's now globally recognised legal status of personhood and citizenship.

Bonita Ely’s trans-disciplinary art practice pioneered Australian environmental and socio-political art. Hear about some of her eloquent artworks made along the Murray-Darling River System.

Image: Bonita Ely, Menindee Fish Kill, 2019

Acknowledgement of Country

AEGIS acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we work. We respectfully acknowledge their Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters across Australia and its Dreaming.