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The Green Frog and Desalination: A Nyungar Metaphor for the (Mis-)Management of Water Resources, Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia


In common with Aboriginal groups around Australia, the indigenous people, or Nyungars, of Perth adopt a holistic attitude towards groundwater resources. Of cultural significance are lakes, springs, soaks and watercourses that feature in Dreamtime creation narratives. Perth is experiencing major water shortages and many Nyungars feel that the degradation of the freshwater supply is a result of mismanagement and unsustainable development by non-Aboriginal people. Proposals for dealing with the issue are seen as equally out of balance with the natural order of things. Water regulators have much to learn from indigenous Australians about water and environmental management. Although water continues to be central to Nyungar identity, the study on which this article is based found evidence of attenuated knowledge about the Dreaming, with discontinuities evident in the way significance is increasingly being read in everyplace rather than in specific 'story places'. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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