Hi, my name is Darren Whyman, better known as ‘Horse’. My tribe is the Barkandji people which mean ‘river people’. We lived along the river. The river was everything to us it was.. It brought us life, it brought us food, it brought us everything, the river, it was everything to us Barkandji people. In 1974 we had our massive flood that moved us from the banks of the river onto the mission what is called a reserve, the mission reserve. And apparently there was too many on that reserve, the mission, so they moved us close to town which some of our Elders didn’t like.
One of the Elders which is my father, he said “well I'm not staying in this part of this town, I'm moving up this part of the scrub”, which is called the Mallee. So that’s where we moved. At that time there was no water or taps or anything up that way so.. There was an old guy, a white guy driven a whole truck. He had 44 gallon drums on it, and that’s where we get our water from. That’s why I’m saying today that the river is so special to us, it shouldn’t be in the state that it’s in today. I am sad because our river is sad.