Abstract:

This postcard supports the poster Sharks and Rays of Northern Australian Rivers which features indigenous artwork by Graham Rostron and photos of critically endangered river sharks and sawfishes.

The Marine Biodiversity Hub works with indigenous communities and ranger groups in northern Australia to manage and recover threatened sawfishes and river sharks.


Berelh Copyright Graham RostronThe art - Berelh

Berelh is the Kunay word for the flat one, ‘stingray’. This is a female one. In the day she stays down in the sand ground, where it is cool. At night she swims around looking for tucker, looking for prawn, crab and other tucker. All night she swims, then goes back and rests herself, she covers herself back up with sand. This stingray is swimming around, she sees the sawfish, the shark and the prawn.
The sawfish we call Djenkundamen, he is dangerous when we are hunting so we be careful. The shark, he’s dangerous too, same like crocodile. The shark we call Wamba.
The little prawn, he’s a day time, night time man, walking around under the water enjoying himself.
These all live in the river where they hunt tucker. They are all tucker for us too on our country.

The artist - Graham Rostron

Name - Graham Rostron
Date of Birth  - 28-01-1980
Clan - Baraba
Skin - Balang
Language - Kunay
Mother’s Country - Kutji
Father’s Country - Korlorbirrahda
Dreaming - Narin (Quiet Snake)

Graham Rostron is a cultural teacher, artist, dancer, musician and song man. ‘My Father died when I was just crawling. I did not know him. Then we were living at Madjinbardi. Then we went to Maningrida to be with family, following my mother. My second dad brought me up at his outstation at Korlorbirrahda. His name is Tom Noytuna- you may have seen a photograph of him on an orange phone with lots of ceremonial paint on his face.  Korlorbirrahda is a long way out into the Great Arnhem Plateau. He was keeping me when I was little and he showed me hunting and painting and explaining to me everything.
He gave me confidence.’

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