Upper Darling: Oral History of Phillip Sullivan


Upper Darling: Oral History of Phillip Sullivan


Phillip Sullivan grew up on the Brewarrina Aboriginal Mission in the 1960s with his immediate and extended family. For Phillip, life on the river as a Ngemba man revolved around the Barwon River with fishing and swimming being favourite pastimes for the entire family.

Phillip passionately discusses a wide range of topics that include growing up along the river; the impacts on the Upper Darling and surrounds caused by weirs and restrictions; Aboriginal history; the significance of connection to Country and water; Aboriginal law and personal responsibilities; and the relationships between neighbouring Aboriginal nations. He also points out the cultural shifts he has witnessed; from that of a group-focused, collectivist culture, to a more Western-aligned culture of individualism with its self-focused culture, and its consequences on Aboriginal kinship values, society and the environment.

Mention of: King Brown Snake. Eastern Brown Snake. Long neck turtles.

Quandong. Gum trees. Coolabah trees. Spinifex.


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: Please contact about restrictions.


Jodi Frawley


Phillip Sullivan


Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia


Part 1 00:24:41
Part 2 00:20:10
Part 3 00:23:27

Item Relations

This Item Is Part Of Item: Darling River - Bourke to Brewarrina
This Item References Item: Wiradjuri
Item: Gamilaraay
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: Freshwater Catfish
Item: Upper Darling: Images from interview with Phillip Sullivan
Is Related To This Item