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“When we go back to Country, it lifts our spirits. We feel alive, because the land itself is alive. It's a spiritual connection that we share with the River, the trees and the animals. It's like a healing place. We want to keep that continuing into the next generation.”

– Patricia Riley, Martuwarra River Keeper & CEO of Panadanus Park Community


The Martuwarra River Keepers is a workforce of traditional custodians using Indigenous science to repair and regenerate Martuwarra. It is an independent, community-led initiative to care for Country, and defend against water inequity, fracking and climate change. We are building sustainable economies from the bottom up, to ensure a future for our children and Martuwarra River Country. 

Our current projects include Boab monitoring, mapping River walking trails and designing cultural burning strategies.




The Maruwarra River Keepers began with the Boab Monitoring Project.

Boabs are a keystone species. Some of the trees alive today are potentially thousands of years old. The Boabs of Martuwarra are iconic to the region. They hold deep cultural, environmental, and economic significance. Aboriginal people have propagated and harvested these trees for millennia. Their uses are numerous, and Boabs are now sought as a premium super food.

But the survival of this iconic tree is under serious threat. Half of the world’s eight Boab species are marked endangered on the International Union Conservation Nature (IUCN) Red List. Never have boabs faced such intense human development pressures.




Africa is home to the majestic and infamous Baobab trees. Many African Baobabs are now imploding due to climate change. We realised there was an opportunity to study how climate change is affecting Kimberley Boabs, and what that might tell us about the future.

We set out to discover what climate change is doing to this iconic species, and how could we respond.

The Boab project was the catalyst. This ongoing research has built the capacity of the community to be out on Country, using western science to compliment ancient ecological knowledge handed down for millennia.

River Keepers is proudly supported by inaugural partner The Wilderness Society. Kick-starting this program was made possible with their generous support. However, we still need your help to grow these sustainable economies of well-being for Martuwarra and it's people.


"We protect our River, and look after it. Like our ancestors before us. They protected the River. They were living in the River. We'd like to do the same. Other people can come, they can see how this River run, and then get more experience and a clear understanding what the River means to Indigenous people."

- Lloyd Kwilla, River Keeper



Support the River Keepers to protect Martuwarra

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