Upper Darling: Oral History of Phillip Parnaby


Upper Darling: Oral History of Phillip Parnaby


An interview in three parts with Phillip Parnaby.

Phillip has lived in Bourke his entire life and in this interview he talks about his experience fishing while growing up in a family of eight, when fish were a large part of their diet. He explains his relationship with the river, his family history, his Indigenous Australian heritage, and how fishing and sharing go together. He talks about swimming in the weir, setting lines, using spinners, teaching his kids to fish. He mentions yabbying at Wearrego and Cuttaburra, and explains how yabbies were used as a Chinese aphrodisiac. He discusses different baits: Silver Carp, Kangaroo, Emu, worms, sand worms, Bardi Grubs, tinned tuna, mussels, and yabbies). He explains the differrence between drop nets and overnight nets, and discusses the conditions that are good for Yabby catching. He talks about the river when it dries; salt springs; algae; water allocations; river management; and weir management. He also talks about the future of Bourke and people leaving town, and his involvement with the program Australian Story - Out of the Dust.

Phillip is an entrepreneur and is the owner of the Back O' Bourke Motel, rental accommodation, and he has just purchased the local RSL club and the Memorial Hall - which he wants to redevelop into a Tavern style place to cater to the tourists that come through in the winter. He explains that there are only two eateries in town at present - Port Of Bourke Hotel and Chinese in the local bowling club.

Mention of Silver carp ("forky tails"), Bardi Grubs, worms, sand worms, Kurrajong Trees, Gum trees, algae and Bourke Weir.


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



Jodi Frawley


Phillip Parnaby


Bourke, New South Wales, Australia


Part 1 00:21:59
Part 2 00:12:24
Part 3 00:14:34

Item Relations

This Item Is Part Of Item: Darling River - Bourke to Brewarrina
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: Murray Cod
Item: Golden Perch
Item: Upper Darling: Images from interview with Phillip Parnaby
Is Related To This Item
Item: Water allocations
References The Subject This Item

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