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 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
After the film, there will be a special Q&A featuring the below speakers.
Bruce Pascoe – Bruce Pascoe is an Aboriginal Australian writer of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and children’s literature. He’s best known for his non-fiction book, Dark Emu (2014).
Richard Swain – Indigenous Ambassador, Invasive Species Council
Richard has worked for 25 years as an Indigenous guide within Kosciuszko National Park. Having spent his life in the Snowy Mountains he has seen first-hand the huge impact feral animals are having on the park and the threatened species that rely on Kosciuszko for survival. He is passionate about educating the public on the true history of landscape changes and degradation over the past 230 years.
Mandy King & Fabio Cavadini – Director & Producer
Amanda King is an Australian filmmaker who has been producing documentaries since the late 1980’s. Her interests include the environment, Indigenous rights and independence struggles, through to the arts and labour history. She works closely with her partner, Co-Producer and Cinematographer Fabio Cavadini as the partnership Frontyard Films. They have produced a number of documentaries around stories based in the Pacific – in Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Bougainville – which have shown on Australian broadcast networks as well as to international audiences. Titles include Time To Draw The Line, Colour Change, An Evergreen Island, A Thousand Different Angles. In 2018 they co-produced, filmed and edited BUWARRALA ARYAH Journey West with director, Gadrian JARWIJALMAR Hoosan from the Borroloola community. In 2019, their documentary The Great Strike 1917 screened at the Antenna International Documentary Film Festival and in 2020, their film Clement Meadmore screened at the Fine Arts Film Festival in LA. They are currently completing 2 independently produced documentaries, WHERE THE WATER STARTS and MAXISM.
This event will include a special screening of the short film, The Ambassador, directed by David Gallan and starring Wynn Roberts.
When wildlife can’t vote or lobby, who’ll stand up for nature?
David Gallan In his youth David learnt to use a camera from his uncle, who worked as a newspaper photographer and editor, and would join the press team on assignments during the holidays. Now retired from teaching in schools and university, David enjoys recording wildlife around his property in the forest and uses his images for environmental campaigning and education. In 2015 he produced Understorey, a documentary on the south east forest campaigns. His film, The Ambassador, won the environment prize in the inaugural Far South Film Festival in 2020. His nature photography has been part of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature Photographer of the Year exhibitions.
FanForce acknowledges that we are on traditional lands, and recognises the global indigenous peoples. We honour all traditional custodians, and pay our respects to spiritual Elders both past and present.