from the editor's desk

Anne Poelina

Balginjirr: A Special Place on our Home River Country

The Westerly team were very lucky to sit down with Anne Poelina to hear a reading of her poem forthcoming in Westerly 64.1, due for release in July 2019. Anne Poelina is a Traditional Custodian from the Mardoowarra, Fitzroy River in the West Australian Kimberley region. Poelina’s poem, ‘Balginjirr: A Special Place on our Home River Country’, is a timely contemplation of the land in people’s lives and the importance of environmental governance.

Dr. Anne Poelina (Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Master of Education, Master of Arts (Indigenous Social Policy), Doctor of Philosophy & Doctor of Health Science (Scholar)) is Managing Director of Madjulla Incorporated. She is a Nyikina Warwa Traditional Custodian from the Mardoowarra, Lower Fitzroy River in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. Her childhood growing up in Broome, Derby and out on country has given her the love and respect for the diversity of Indigenous people, kinship and culture. She is a 2011 Peter Cullen Fellow for Water Leadership and is a signatory to the Redstone Statement that she helped draft at the 1st International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy in 2010. In 2011, she was the Inaugural Chair of the National First Peoples Water Engagement Council and later the same year she was elected onto the Broome Shire Council and became Deputy Shire President in her first term of office.  

In 2014, she was elected as Director and recently Deputy Chair of the Walalakoo Prescribed Body Corporate responsible for the integrated management of 27,000 square kilometres of Nyikina and Mangala Native Title lands and waters. In 2017, she was awarded a Laureate from the Women’s World Summit Foundation (Geneva). In 2018 she was elected Chair of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council. She is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Notre Dame University and a Research Fellow with Northern Australia Institute Charles Darwin University. Her current work explores the entrepreneurial ‘New Economy’ opportunities for Indigenous people along the National Heritage Listed Fitzroy River, in relation to green collar jobs in diverse, science, culture, heritage and conservation economies. Dr. Poelina champions the need to include traditional ecological knowledge, First Law and the rights of nature to the solutions for planetary health and wellbeing. See website: www.majala.com.au

Immersed Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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  1. Heather Heggie says:

    A very relevant vision for Australia, as it is generous, sane, febrile, charming and respectful. It speaks of past and future hopes and dreams of all Australians. I hope it is adopted and all the grid lines outlawed. I hope the rivers and tree lines continue to meander peacefully and cleanly forever.

  2. […] poem was first published in Westerly Magazine, 64(1), including an audio […]

  3. Sophie Tracy says:

    Wonderful post! Keep up the good writing. Thanks for sharing with us!

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