Yuwaya Ngarra-li team members from the Dharriwaa Elders Group and UNSW travelled to Mildura, where the Murray River is the border between Latji Latji Country on the Victorian side and Barkandji Country on the NSW side, to attend ChangeFest, the National Celebration of Place-based Change.  

The Dharriwaa Elders Group gave a presentation as part of the Connecting to Culture stream on Capability for Community Control. Team members also attended sessions on topics such as the evaluation of place-based change, deep collaboration and using local economies to build healthy and equitable communities. 

With Wendy Spencer from the Dharriwaa Elders Group, UNSW’s Ruth McCausland and Peta MacGillivray also discussed our approach to reflective practice in Yuwaya Ngarra-li.

L-R: ChangeFest facilitators Mark Yettica-Paulson and Shanesha Togo with YN's Wendy Spencer, Ruth McCausland and Peta MacGillivray.

We also met with a local social impact initiative to share reflections on working in community-led ways, visited two Indigenous ranger projects and a Mildura youth service that provides holistic support for children and young people. We also took the opportunity to see the confluence of the Murray with the Baaka river upstream at Wentworth.

YN Senior Research Fellow Rebecca Reeve reflected that 'ChangeFest 2024 was a wonderful opportunity for meeting face-to-face, especially with some of our Walgett colleagues but also reconnecting and making new contacts with other people working in and with communities. The presentations were inspiring, both reinforcing the strengths of the way we work in the Yuwaya Ngarra-li Partnership and stimulating new ideas. It was a great balance of presentations, time for reflection and cultural events, and the setting was beautiful.'