Paroo: Oral History of Fay and Donald Cooney


Paroo: Oral History of Fay and Donald Cooney


An interview with Fay and Donald Cooney. Fay and Donald were born in Cunnumulla in the 1930s, and have lived most of their lives on the Paroo River at Eulo on family sheep properties ‘Turn Turn’ and ‘Goonamurra’, going back to the 1900s. Both talk about their connection with the river systems and how the rivers connect communities. Fay recalls growing up with local Aboriginal kids in Eulo, and Donald discusses a book he wrote about the history of animal stock bells.

Fay and Donald talk about: the impact of floods at Eulo prior to the bridge; a time before motorised transportation and telephone communications; the ‘flood truck’ which used to transport goods and people across flood waters; the river as a place of recreation for children and a stock route for graziers; swimming, playing, and yabbying with Aboriginal children; Donald’s father’s recollection of Aboriginal corroborees that took place at water holes at Caiwarro and Tilbaroo; the introduction of European Carp; how bore drains reduced the amount of stock along the river; bushfires in the 1950s; impact of feral cats on water rats and bird species; Paroo as the ‘last river going west that had the Murray cod’; being able to predict a flood’s size by the sound of frogs.


Heather Goodall
Jodi Frawley
Hamish Sewell


University of Technology, Sydney


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


Copyright University of Technology, Sydney



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Open access



Hamish Sewell


Fay Cooney
Donald Cooney


Toowoomba, QLD



Item Relations

This Item Is Part Of Item: Paroo River
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: Murray Cod

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