Upper Darling: Oral History of Feli McHughes


Upper Darling: Oral History of Feli McHughes


Feli McHughes is a Ngemba man from the Upper Darling region of Brewarrina. His passion about the Brewarrina Ngemba Billabong and the wider river system has seen him involved in a number of projects with numerous organisations. His visions for the environment are intertwined with the Aboriginal cultural and environmental values that he holds, and his personal views explore further the wider social issues facing Aboriginal people today.

Feli believes that the root of social issues facing Aboriginal people is the lack of culturally appropriate employment. He reflects on his personal experiences where he recalls having to adopt another identity and therefore understands the difficulties this entails. He says that Aboriginal people as instinctive custodians possess valuable skills that are transferable to specialised areas of employment.

Feli’s vision for billabongs, that he says are the antibiotics for the damaged systems, include the revegetation of native bush tucker and restocking the waters with native fingerlings. He is working with scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Industry & Investment (now Department of Trade and Investment), and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to help realise these goals.

Feli also discusses the Native Fish Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin (2003-2013) and the Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) in which these billabongs are located.


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


Feli McHughes


Brewarrina, New South Wales, Australia


Part 1 00:25:22
Part 2 00:09:07

Item Relations

This Item Is Part Of Item: Darling River - Bourke to Brewarrina
This Item References Item: Ngiyampaa
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: European Carp
Item: Murray Cray

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