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Speaking with the River - Citizen Science workshop program with LabX and guest artists

Ebb and Flow: Conversations on the Lower Richmond River  |  Marcus Ferguson + John Larsson with Adele Wessell and Jo Kijas

Date: Sunday 21 March 2021

Time: 5.00pm - 7.00pm

Where: Northern Rivers Community Gallery, 44 Cherry Street Ballina

Ages:  Adults and kids 15+

Cost: FREE

Join Marcus Ferguson and John Larsson for Conversations on the Lower Richmond River. The lands and waters of Bulinaa/Ballina remain culturally active but suffer annual extremes in poor water quality.  Share in a tidal conversation about oysters and mangroves.

Marcus and John will trace histories of the estuarine environment through the interwoven stories of mangroves and oysters. Marcus has used discarded mangrove wood from the Pacific Highway upgrade at Duck Creek to embed his respect of Country into telling artworks. John has poured his passion for the River into oyster research, working with OzFish to counter decades of degradation. They will be joined by environmental historians Adele Wessell and Jo Kijas to facilitate an evening of engagement around the richness, fragility and future of our River.

Marcus Ferguson, Nyangbul artist and historian, has a special connection to the Duck Creek and Bingal Creek Mob of the Lower Richmond River. Residing along the Richmond River has given him a greater understanding and appreciation of the culturally active waters and landscapes throughout Ballina and the surrounding area, respecting the culturally appropriate ways of his ancestral guardians that still inhabit many of the region’s cultural waters and landscapes of today.

John Larsson, retired from Medical Imaging Engineering, has lived all his life in the Lismore-Ballina area, always with an intense interest in the fisheries and once thriving oyster industry of the Lower Richmond. In 2013 he helped form the Richmond River Chapter of OzFish Unlimited and has since chaired the group. OzFish has provided the platform to investigate, pursue and help reverse water quality issues plaguing the River. In conjunction with Southern Cross University, John and Ozfish are evaluating an apparent new Rock Oyster variation that appears to have naturally evolved to compete with repeated disease outbreaks.

Adele Wessell is a food historian, interested in the environmental and cultural impacts of food. Adele is based in the Northern Rivers and teaches at Southern Cross University. She is editor of Locale: Pacific Journal of Regional Food Culture and is a regular contributor to ABC Radio’s Overnights program on popular food history.

Jo Kijas is a consultant historian and Adjunct Fellow at Southern Cross University. Her research and publications are focused in three areas: environmental, community and post-colonial history, specialising in oral history. Jo’s recent consultancies have centred around water, rivers and wetlands. These include a history of the Tuckean Swamp and an oral history of fishers and oyster farmers in Wallis Lake.


Booking Terms

Bookings are essential to attend this event. Due to NSW Government Covid-19 Health requirements attendance is strictly limited to ticket holders only. Individual attendee names must be provided at time of booking. All attendees will be required to sign in using the Service NSW QR code.

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This project is supported by Create NSW’s Audience Development Fund, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

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