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After seeing the destruction of the fragile alpine ecology of Australia’s Snowy Mountains first hand, Richard Swain with the support of his wife, Alison decides to speak out. Hard hoofed animals are trampling and endangering the viability of the headwaters of three iconic rivers.
Where The Water Starts reveals how the fragile alpine region, particularly Kosciuszko National Park, the largest in the Australian Alps is seen by a number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who were born or live, or who care deeply about it.
The direct impacts of global warming become a visceral and frightening reality for Richard and his wife, Alison. The massive bushfires of 2019-2020 surround their community and burn vast swathes of Kosciuszko National Park, highlighting the broader context of the climate crisis.
Where The Water Starts brings together respected Aboriginal community leaders as well as business people, a local farmer, a scientist, a former parks officer and a social historian.
The film explores our shared Indigenous and colonial histories and identities. It focuses on the themes of Caring for Country as a shared responsibility of all Australians; that the best of Aboriginal connection and the best of regenerative science can work together for a better future for the alpine environment and the planet.
While the connection between Indigenous people and the land is at the heart of the film, the message is also one of a partnership between Indigenous people, other community groups and scientists working together in order to conserve the Park and rehabilitate degraded areas.
Wendy Bacon, journalist, activist October 2021