Jessie Davies

Cruel twist as much-needed rain turns NSW river to 'tomato soup', killing thousands of fish

Dubbo fish kill won't be the last as drought, fire raise extinction risk, ecologists warn A renowned angler says a mass fish kill in the parched Macquarie River in New South Wales this week left the waterway looking like "tomato soup." Tens of thousands of fish of all sizes and species are estimated to have perished near Dubbo, in the state's west, after much-needed rain washed sediment into the river, causing dissolved oxygen levels to drop rapidly. Fisher Matt Hansen said he was staggered b

'We need it': Community outcry over closure of remote NSW jail

Brewarrina jail is closing and the community warns it will have a devastating effect No walls, razor wire or watchmen — Brewarrina's jail in far western New South Wales is one of a kind. The Yetta Dhinnakkal Centre, meaning "right pathway" in traditional language, was established on a remote sheep station in 2000 as Australia's first prison exclusively for young Aboriginal men. But the low-security facility, where inmates are called trainees and learn to farm, is set to be closed. The decisi

'Martin Luther King of Australia': Aboriginal rights legend Bill Ferguson immortalised in bronze

He collapsed fighting for the rights of his people, and now, just steps away from where he gave his dramatic last speech and later died, legendary Aboriginal rights activist William 'Bill' Ferguson has been immortalized in bronze in western New South Wales. After a five-year campaign led by his descendants and supporters, a life-size statue of Mr Ferguson has been unveiled in the main street of Dubbo — the town he called home up until his death in 1950 aged 60. Mr Ferguson is best known for hi

'Dead tree detectives' wanted to map drought's environmental toll

Citizen scientists called on to map extent of drought killing native trees While rain has arrived in some drought-affected areas, it has been too late for many native trees. Unprecedented dry conditions this year have been killing trees that have survived previous droughts. To find out the scale of the problem, scientists have launched a citizen science program called the Dead Tree Detective. With help from the public around Australia, they hope to map the environmental damage of 2018's reco

Classroom to campfire: Aboriginal culture is being used to teach maths and science

New education program integrates Aboriginal culture into teaching maths and science A group of passionate educators are taking Aboriginal students from the classroom to the campfire to spark a love of science, technology and maths. Demand is high for spots in a new, hands-on initiative that takes the form of overnight camps, where yarning and dance circles set the scene for workshops taught by Aboriginal leaders. Students attending the camps learn their angles through the art of spear making,