Updated: Nov 23
I moved to Fitzroy Crossing with my family when I was two.
It's a small town in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. It has two pubs, a supermarket and not much else - apart from the river.
The Fitzroy River, or as it's known in Ninkina Language, the Mardoowarra, is one of the worlds great water systems. It flows for over 700kms. Down from the Wilinggin Ranges through to its mouth at King Sound and the Indian Ocean. It's a sanctuary to the endangered Sawfish and home to the elusive Barramundi.
I learnt from a relatively young age that this river holds a crucial role in the communities that call it's banks home.
I've grown up swimming, fishing and boating in its waters and the river holds a special place in my heart too.
When the wet season comes in the warm summer months, large monsoonal rains turn the river from a trickle into a flood.
Images of these masses of water flowing downstream have driven the imagination of agriculturalists for decades. Interest in the river has increased in recent years with billionaires Kerry Stokes and Gina Rineheart buying Cattle Stations in the area, keen to invest in further agriculture. This has been a cause for significant debate in my hometown.
On the one hand, the economically strained area is in serious need of jobs and opportunity. In the other, people are concerned about the health of the river if farms start to take too much water.
Working with the local radio station, Wangki Radio, I've been covering news on the Fitzroy River for years. Over the last few months, I've taken a step back from the day to day developments and focused on the future, in Living Water & Money To Make.
- Dylan Storer
My Mentor, Stephen Stockwell (ABC)
Wangki Radio Station Manager, Wayne Bynder
Gillian Howell from Tura New Music for 'Hello River' by students & staff at Fitzroy Valley District High School
Alan Poole for helping with transport and advice
This piece was made for the 2019 CBAA National Features & Documentary Series, a showcase of work by new and emerging Australian community radio producers, with training and mentoring provided by the Community and Media Training Organisation. The opinions expressed in National Features & Documentary Series content are those of the individual producers or their interviewees, and not necessarily shared by the CBAA or CMTO. Produced with the assistance of the Department of Communications and the Arts via the Community Broadcasting Foundation.