Anabranch: Oral History of William Riley


Anabranch: Oral History of William Riley


An interview in three parts with William Riley, a Paakantji man.

Born in 1934, William talks about growing up in Wilcannia and Broken Hill in north-western New South Wales. He recalls being taught to fish by his Grandmother and Aunties using hand lines and fish traps. William talks about the effects of colonisation and racism on his life, and how important the river then becomes.

William discusses his work campaigning for change with Northern Basins Aboriginal Nations (NBAN); he compares the 1944 and 2007 droughts and the differences in atmospheric moisture; the impact of the introduction of carp on catfish; the impact of fishing on cod populations; and the changes in water flow and clarity, exacerbated by tree roots, weeds, and chemicals from irrigators.

Mention of: plants River Red Gum, Cumbungi weed; fish perch (species undefined).


Heather Goodall
Jodi Frawley


University of Technology, Sydney


Murray-Darling Basin Authority
NSW Department of Primary Industries - NSW Fisheries


Copyright University of Technology, Sydney



Access Rights

Open access. Conditional use.



Unmediated licence agreement. Interviewee's consent condition: Has requested access restrictions but has not specified what they are.


Jodi Frawley


William Riley


Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia


Part 1 00:23:01
Part 2 00:26:57
Part 3 00:02:35

Item Relations

This Item Is Related To Item: Anabranch: Images from interview with William Riley
This Item Is Part Of Item: Lower Darling and the Great Anabranch
This Item References Item: Paakintji
This Item Was Created By Item: Prof. Heather Goodall
Item: Dr Jodi Frawley
This Item Has Provenance Information Item: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive (ATSIDA)
Item: State Library of New South Wales
This Item References The Subject Item: Golden Perch
Item: Black Bream
Item: Water allocations
References The Subject This Item

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