Upper Murrumbidgee: Oral History of Adrian Brown


Upper Murrumbidgee: Oral History of Adrian Brown


An interview in five parts with Adrian Brown.

Adrian talks about growing up along the River (around Queanbeyan River, Jumping Creek, and Wanna Wanna Creek) and the way that he and his brother learnt the land by walking it and fishing the river with their Dad. He talks about historical sites and significant sites; expressing continuity with Country; making Coolamons; the significance of Country; traditional ceremony; initiation rites; right of passage; the duty of care for different animals as part of an interconnected environment; and recognising law and responsibility for Country. He also discusses the interaction and movements of peoples along the catchment (relaying the history of the Ngunawal and their responsibility to the Murrumbidgee corridor and their relation to coastal peoples); trading; and shared vocabulary across language groups from the top of the Murrumbidgee to Lakes Entrance.

Adrian covers the effects of housing developments on cultural practice; weeds; variance in fish population according to river flow; lighting fires; cultural burns; site management; discrimination; ignorance; and work with the ACT government to promote the recognition and understanding of Indigenous Australian interests.

Adrian also shares his experience as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer with the ACT National Parks and Wildlife Service and his sense of pride and belonging. He talks about efforts to refocus the connection to Country of Indigenous Australians employed as rangers, and to promote a cultural mindfulness among them. He speculates how Indigenous people could again be welcomed by the Ngunawal as National Parks officers - all learning and walking the land together.

Adrian discusses how fish travel up the river when it floods; mixing traditional and modern fishing methods; sources of sediment (sand from Tharwa, dirt from Cooma, Bredbo and Numeralla Rivers); clay baking fish; mussels (saltwater and freshwater); abalone; native plants.


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

Restricted access.

Electronic records have been made private as per the request of Adrian Brown. As part of our data access requirements, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Data Archive (located at the University of Technology, Sydney) requires an applicant to sign an undertaking before access to material can be approved. These undertakings may include a request for information about the intended use of the data. The depositor and/or family may be informed of the application.

Preliminary applications may be made to:




An archival version of the Talking Fish Collection is managed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive (ATSIDA).


Mediated access. Interviewee's consent condition: Adrian Brown is to be consulted when material is to be accessed.


Jodi Frawley


Adrian Brown


Canberra, ACT


Part 1 00:21:05
Part 2 00:20:56
Part 3 00:11:42
Part 4 00:00:46
Part 5 00:02:34

Item Relations

This Item Is Part Of Item: Upper Murrumbidgee River
This Item References Item: Wiradjuri
Item: Ngarigo
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: Common Yabbie
Item: Silver Perch

Position: 20 (137 views)