60 seconds with Mark Koolmatrie

Mark Koolmatrie, a Ngarrindjeri Elder, has kindly shared his thoughts on the impact of First Nations engagement and how the CLLMM Research Centre can play its part in supporting the community.

What does the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth mean to you? It is our life. Our life blood to health and well-being. Our creation tells of connection to our waters with its rules for living.

What is the best citizen science project you have worked on and what does citizen science mean to you? Probably the nature repair of Yundi Nature Conservancy. Its an ongoing project of wellbeing of the land and waters to strengthen Ngarrindjeri cosmology. Citizen science is about sharing knowledge/s to improve the environment through outcomes. Caring for Country takes action not mere words. 

Mark Koolmatrie with Nathan Hartman, First Nations Engagement Officer at the CLLMM Research Centre.

How do you feel First Nations engagement enriches Science research? Science and First Nations knowledges should work in unison and not be separated. They both complement each other.

Where is your favourite place to visit in the CLLMM region? I’d have to say The Murray Mouth if I had to choose one as it is culmination of all our sacred waters meeting together.

How can the CLLMM Research Centre help? By continuing your engagement with First Nations groups and understanding that there are other groups like science, local community, businesses that play important role in caring, acting to improve our waters and the environment.

What do you hope for the future of the CLLMM? To be the conjoin of our whole community to demonstrate what can happen when we all work together.

We acknowledge the Ramindjeri people whose country the CLLMM Research Centre is based, and the people of the Ngarrindjeri and Boandik Nation from the South-East. We pay our respects to First Nations elder’s past, present and emerging, and recognise the value their knowledge and culture provides toward caring for our yarluwar-ruwe (sea-country).

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