Water businesses in Melbourne are joining together to support First Nation people in their involvement within the Melbourne water industry, and to understand how traditional knowledge could improve water management.

Terori Hareko-Samios, Senior Project Manager – First Nation Values of Water, has started work which connects City West Water, Melbourne Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water with First Nation peoples.

“I’m enjoying this new role, there is a commitment and a lot of goodwill to building strong relationships with the First Nation community, traditional owners and to building First Nation water values knowledge,” Ms Hareko-Samios said.

The role was established in June 2018 in partnership across the four water businesses, reflecting a joint commitment to increasing the involvement of First Nation people in the management of water resources.

Building on the new joint water journey to increase cultural understanding and knowledge of First Nation connection to land and water, Ms Hareko-Samios has facilitated two ‘8 Ways of Knowing: First Nation Cultural Knowledge Exchange Training’ sessions which have strengthened cultural understanding and engagement between the water sector and First Nation peoples.

City West Water Managing Director, David Ryan, said this work is a key step in the water industry’s understanding of how traditional knowledge could be used to enhance water management.

“Over generations First Nation peoples have managed land and water sustainably and this role will allow us to tap into their centuries of knowledge and experience,” Mr Ryan said.

“It’s vital that as an industry we recognise the cultural, spiritual and economic connections First Nation peoples have to land and water resources in their relationship to Country.”

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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