Where the Water Starts

Date & time
7.30–9.30pm Thursday 1 September 2022

Kambri Cinema

University Avenue

Acton, ACT 2601


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Presented by Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ)

Film screening followed by panel discussion
Where the waters start

Join LRSJ for the screening of the documentary, Where the Water Starts.

Australia’s Snowy Mountains is the birthplace of some of our most iconic rivers, including the Snowy, Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers – but the delicate alpine ecosystem that supports these vital water sources is being threatened. Its unique and sensitive habitat, as well as the native plants and mammals that live there, have been endangered by feral animals, artificial water flows and climate change.

Where the Water Starts explores the effect that these challenges have had on Aboriginal community leaders, scientists, farmers and more who share a connection to the alpine region, particularly Kosciuszko National Park. It examines our shared histories and identities, and investigates how Aboriginal connection and science can work together for a better future.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Richard Swain, Isa Menzies and Dr James Prest to further explore the legal, environmental and cultural themes in the documentary.


  • Richard Swain »

    Richard is featured heavily in the film, drawing on his own experiences and extensive knowledge of Country. He also works as an Indigenous river guide, running his own ecotourism business in Kosciuszko National Park. He has a long history of volunteering on local environmental and community projects and has first-hand understanding of the huge impact feral animals are having on Australia’s natural environment.

  • Isa Menzies »

    Dr Menzies is also featured in the film, sharing her expertise on how the horse has been deployed in discourses of national identity and belonging. She completed her PhD at the Australian National University, with her research centring on the horse in Australian culture, from film and literature to its representation in Australian museums and cultural institutions.

  • Dr James Prest »

    Dr Prest is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in law specialising in environmental law with interests in administrative law and litigation and is a Member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law.

    He is a Member of the Executive of the Australian National University's Energy Change Institute a cross-campus inter-disciplinary network devoted to energy issues. His primary expertise is in national level sustainable energy law and policy for deep decarbonisation. Apart from his research interest in international climate law, his main research focus is in comparative review of national and sub national law and regulation for energy and transport sectors.
    His research has a strong focus on comparative environmental law, with an emphasis on renewable energy and climate change law, examining the legal and policy barriers to increased investment in renewable electricity generation. 


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