The Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region and surrounding areas represent the central homelands of the Ngarrindjeri people.

The region is central to Ngarrindjeri culture and spiritual beliefs. Creation stories (cultural and spiritual histories) about Yarluwar-Ruwe (Sea Country) reveal the significance of the relationship between the country and the people both physically and spiritually. Ngarrindjeri see all things connected - body/country/spirit - through their philosophy of Ruwe/Ruwar.

Freshwater flows down the Murray-Darling system are seen by the Ngarrindjeri as the life blood of the living body of the River Murray, Lower Lakes and Coorong, and the wellbeing of the Ngarrindjeri people, is linked to the health of the region. Ngarrindjeri seek a return of healthy and clean water to their country that sustains Ngarrindjeri livelihoods.

The Ngarrindjeri are committed to their country. They have made significant efforts over many years to be part of managing the region’s environment in response to drought and over-allocation.

Through the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority (NRA), the Ngarrindjeri worked closely with the department to develop and deliver the Coorong and Lower Lakes Recovery Project.

The department and the NRA have developed the Ngarrindjeri Partnerships Project, to support Ngarrindjeri participation in the natural and cultural resource management in the CLLMM region. This project is a key outcome of the Kungun Ngarrindjeri Yunnan Agreement (KNYA) between the SA Government and the NRA.

The project worked across the other CLLMM Program management actions, and supported core capacity within the NRA to ensure that traditional knowledge, skills, and cultural values were preserved and appropriately incorporated into site management; supported the Ngarrindjeri people to participate in aspects of environmental governance in the region; protection and management of Ngarrindjeri cultural values of the site; and provided funding for Ngarrindjeri training and involvement in on-ground actions to deliver site outcomes.

The CLLMM Ngarrindjeri Partnerships Project has supported the NRA to establish the Ngarrindjeri Yarluwar-Ruwe Program (NY-RP), a Ngarrindjeri mechanism to support long-term Ngarrindjeri aspirations and partnerships in natural and cultural resource management.

For more information about the project please contact Ngarrindjeri Partnerships Coordinator Lachlan Sutherland on (08) 8204 1138. You can also check out our fact sheet.

Alternatively, if you wish to contact the NRA and find out more about the Ngarrindjeri Yarluwar-Ruwe Program, please contact Clyde Rigney, Yarluwar-Ruwe Program Coordinator, on (08) 8531 3868.

Find out more about the department's partnerships with the Ngarrindjeri people.