EPA staff will navigate South Australian waters in a new boat that carries enormous Ngarrindjeri symbolism.
The Nori is decorated with an artwork by emerging leader Summer Sumner and its name is the Ngarrindjeri word for the pelican, which is abundant in the waterways it will monitor.
The EPA’s marine science team will use the Nori to access sheltered waters for compliance activities. It will also be used to undertake ecological assessments of the River Murray, Lower Lakes and Coorong and the monitoring and research of aquatic ecosystems.
EPA Chief Executive Tony Circelli said marine scientist Natan Noel, one of the EPA’s Aboriginal employees, had suggested the boat’s name and obtained permission for its use.
“We then sought a Ngarrindjeri artist to do the artwork for us,” he said. “Summer Sumner not only listened to our ideas for the layout, the imagery, and the dimensions that we needed to put it on to the boat, but she also managed to capture the very heart of our intentions.”
Ms Sumner described the story behind the artwork: “The rivers flow, bringing people together, the basket weave symbolises the Ngarrindjeri nation and the nets of our ancestors that became the bill of the Nori. The circles represent the unity of our people and your people. We are all caring for country together whilst the Nori watches over you as a protector.”
Ngarrindjeri elder Uncle Major (Moogy) Sumner performed a traditional smoking ceremony at the recent formal launch of the boat on Ngarrindjeri country at Milang. In what he described as an auspicious sign, a group of pelicans landed in the water nearby.