“Warrangu. That’s the river. Any river. Water source, creek. River. Warrangu”

                                                                                              - Brad Steadman


WARRANGU; River Story is a collection of cultural knowledge of three rivers that form the surrounding tribal boundaries in Brewarrina NSW. The stories follow the Bogan River to the South, the Culgoa River to the North, and the Barwon River to the East. My grandmother Mary Clapham Nee Shearer was born and raised in Brewarrina. Her father, George Shearer, was born under the birthing tree on Murrawarri land on the Culgoa at Corella Station. WARRANGU; River Story is a journey back home to my family’s history, a connection to Culture.


Water theft on a grand scale has been occurring in the region for years, causing horrific and irreversible damage to our ecosystem, in particular, over-irrigation and redirection of the waterways known as the Murray Darling Basin for the profit of almonds and cotton.

On this tour we have the platform and opportunity to educate and protest corporate greed, songs like Water and Language Is In The Land speak directly to the devastating impact on the Murray Darling Basin as a result of illegal mass irrigation. In addition to this, last year up to a
million fish have died in Menindee NSW, rendering it the biggest fish kill in history, due to the high levels of Blue Green algae in the rivers.

It is evident that the waters in our
rivers have been mismanaged on a catastrophic level, and it is WARRANGU; River Story that could provide the soundtrack for community grown demonstration against the commodification and privatisation of a water source that is depended upon by over three million people.

WARRANGU; River Story will tour April to September 2021, with the album releasing mid year.


WARRANGU; River Story is a project DOBBY has researched, composed and produced as the 2017 recipient for the Create NSW Peter Sculthorpe Fellowship.

Presented by Vyva Entertainment

Written and composed by DOBBY

Knowledge holders of the Brewarrina Shire region: Brad Steadman, Aunty Josie Byno, Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth, Aunty Lily Shearer and Uncle Tommy Barker

Toured by Lolita Emmanuel (piano), Kelsey Iris (guitar and vocals) and DIOLA (dj)

Image: Collection: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Gift of Australian Consolidated Press under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1985. Unattributed studio.